This easy Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe is super moist and fudgy with swirls of fudge frosting and sprinkles. It's extra large size makes it the perfect cake to serve at parties!
I scaled up my Moist Chocolate Cake to make this easy chocolate sheet cake to serve a crowd. Icing and serving the cake straight from the pan makes entertaining a breeze.
The cake is so moist and fudgy. If you manage to have leftovers, it stays tender for days!
And that frosting! You will fall in love with this simple yet decadent fudge frosting. Who wouldn't want to lick it straight off the spoon?
Sheet cakes are often underrated. With a some simple piping around the edges and a shower of sprinkles, this Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe can be equally stunning as its layered cake friends.
Not only is it super flavorful and moist, this sheet cake makes party prep and serving so much easier. No need to fuss over multiple cake pans and stacking layers.
This Chocolate Sheet Cake is perfect for traveling. If you are hosting a party outside of your home, then keeping the cake in the pan is the way to go.
- Unsalted butter
- Avocado or vegetable oil
- Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
- Instant expresso powder (optional)
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Semi-sweet chocolate
- Confectioners' sugar
Tools and Equipment
- Half sheet cake pan
- Electric mixer (hand or stand)
- Saucepan (for melting chocolate)
- Large rubber spatula
- Offset spatula
- Piping bag and tips
- General kitchen tools (measuring spoons, cups, etc).
Buttermilk - Measure out equal parts regular milk and stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to "sour" the milk. You may also use equal parts yogurt or thinned sour cream.
Espresso Powder - You can skip the espresso powder and use 1 cup of coffee instead of the water. Or skip it entirely.
Tips for Making a Half Sheet Cake
- I used my stir-together, one bowl chocolate recipe, but because of the increased size, I found it much easier to make in a stand mixer. Not only does this keep my counters cleaner, but it help keep from over-mixing the large quantity of cake batter.
- I recommend serving it straight from the pan, so don't fuss too much with preparing the baking pan.
- This recipe bakes up relatively flat and even. There is no need to trim the top before icing.
- Be sure to rotate the cake halfway through to ensure even baking. The edges may bake faster than the center, but this extra moist cake will be fine.
- When icing the chocolate sheet cake, use a large offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly over rot center of the cake. Do not go all the way to the edges if you plan to pipe a decorative boarder.
Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe FAQs
No, unfortunately you can’t use natural cocoa powder instead of Dutch-processed. One is acidic while the other is neutral. You could try in a pinch, but understand that it will change the results.
This recipe makes a lot of cake batter. You can cut the recipe in half and bake as two, 8-inch cake rounds or three, 6-inch cake rounds. Adjust the bake time accordingly.
You definitely can! I highly recommend it the coffee, though, and I promise that you won’t taste coffee in the baked cake. But if you don’t have any, then proceed with hot water.
SERVING AND STORAGE
Serve the Chocolate Sheet Cake at room temperature. Store the cake at a moderate room temperature overnight (preferably in a cake box or covered with plastic).
Wrap leftovers loosely in plastic and store for up to 4 days.
Freeze unfrosted cake wrapped well in plastic for up to 3 months.
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MORE CHOCOLATE CAKES TO BAKE
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Easy Chocolate Sheet Cake
Chocolate Sheet Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder Dutch processed
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup avocado or vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 cup hot water
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 4 tablespoon milk
- 8 oz semi or bittersweet chocolate melted and cooled
Chocolate Sheet Cake
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a half sheet cake pan (18 x 13 inches or similar) and set aside
- Whisk or sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the instant coffee granules.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and oil until smooth until some of the sugar begins to dissolve, about 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed to combine. Continue mixing while streaming in the buttermilk. Mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Slowly stream in the hot water and mix until the batter is smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft and smooth.
- Stop the mixer and add in the salt, powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and milk. Mix on low speed until incorporated then increase the speed.
- Mix on medium until soft and silky, yet not runny, adding more milk as needed.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
- Add in the melted chocolate and mix until combined.
- Wait until the cake completely cools before adding the fudge frosting. Reserve about 2 cups of the frosting for the swirly boarder.
- Spread the remaining frosting all over the center of the cake. Use an offset spatula to smooth it out as best as possible
- Pipe a reverse shell boarder using a 4B star tip around the edges.
- Decorate with sprinkles.