Chocolate Sheet Cake

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Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? This simple but rich recipe for chocolate sheet cake looks just as good as it tastes. It is easy to make with simple ingredients. It’s a dessert fit for the whole family.

A sheet cake with vanilla buttercream.
Sheet Cake Recipe with Chocolate.

It’s no surprise that chocolate is a favorite, with its rich chocolate flavor and velvety texture. This recipe makes a moist sheet cake, with cocoa in the batter but not in the frosting.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Flour – I like cake flour for this recipe because it lends a wonderful soft cake with a tender crumb. If you do not have cake flour you can make your own cake flour substitute
  • Butter – I always use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in the cake. But, if salted butter is all you have use it and omit salt in the recipe.
  • Milk – I use full fat 3% milk. You can also use skimmed or low-fat milk.
  • Vanilla – I think vanilla bean paste is perfect for sponge cake but you can certainly use vanilla extract or substitute some of the sugar for vanilla sugar.
  • Cocoa powder – dutch processed cocoa powder works best for this cake.
A sliced chocolate sheet cake.
Sheet Cake Recipe with Chocolate.
A frosted sheet cake on the table.

Moist Chocolate Sheet Cake

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Decorating time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Calories: 341kcal
Adjust Servings Here: 18 servings


Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? This simple but rich recipe for chocolate sheet cake looks just as good as it tastes. It is easy to make with simple ingredients. It's a dessert fit for the whole family.


Cake Batter

  • 2 cups (250 g) Cake Flour
  • ½ cup (50 g) Cocoa Powder (Dutch Processed)
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup (60 g) Butter unsalted room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Cooking oil
  • cup (300 g) Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ½ cup (120 ml) Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Vanilla buttercream

  • 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 4 cups (480 g) Powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Milk or cream (or water)

Simple syrup

  • ½ cup (100 g) Sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) Water
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice


  • Oven – Preheat the oven to 325°F /165°C/ Gas Mark – 3
  • Pan – Grease and line a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan for a 2-inch cake or an 18 x 13 sheet pan for a 1-inch cake with parchment paper.
  • Dry ingredients – Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – set aside
  • Wet ingredients – In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and oil. Whip for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Next add the eggs, one at a time. Followed by the vanilla bean paste or extract.
  • Combine – Next, add the flour and sour cream in three batches. Combine well but do not over mix.
    Pro tip – we do not want to activate the gluten in the flour so work gently once you add the flour.
  • Bake – Pour the cake batter into the prepared sheet pans. Bake on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
    Pro tip – using baking/ cake strips for your pans will prevent a dome and excess caramelization around the edges which looks better for layer cakes.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Pro tip – always cool cakes completely before decorating otherwise the frosting will melt on warm cakes.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • Combine – In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Then, add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  • Whip – Once all the powdered sugar is in add the water or milk and vanilla extract. Continue to whip for 2 to 3 minutes until the buttercream is pale but light and fluffy.

Simple syrup

  • To prepare the simple syrup, boil the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved, boil a minute more – then cool completely.


  • Level – Using a bread knife or cake leveler, level each cake layer by cutting the domes off. Brush each layer with simple syrup.
    Pro tip – Watch a video – how to level, torte, and fill cake like a pro.
  • Stack – Place the first layer on the cake board or cake stand. Add a dollop of buttercream and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Then, place the second layer on top. Chill the cake for 15 minutes.
    Pro tip – chilling the cake will help hold the two layers together and prevent them from moving while frosting the outside.
  • Frost – Add more frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Smooth the buttercream as best you can.
    Pro tip – an offset spatula for the top and a straight-edged spatula for the sides of the cake does a better job of smoothing. You can also dip a bench scraper in warm water for final smoothing
  • I added dragees to the top but you can also transfer any remaining buttercream to a piping bag with a piping tip. Pipe a border on the top and bottom of the cake. Alternatively, this cake can be covered with fondant as well.

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Nutrition Information
Nutrition Facts
Moist Chocolate Sheet Cake
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 341 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 107mg36%
Sodium 129mg6%
Potassium 209mg6%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 625IU13%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you

Keywords – Cake recipe for decorated cakes, Chocolate sponge cake, Sponge cake for cake decorating
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