Chocolate Sheet Cake


Chocolate!! Life needs chocolate, period. Would I survive without chocolate? Maybe. Would I be an enjoyable person without chocolate in my life? No. Does that make me an emotional eater? Probably, but I’m cool with that. Really though, I love love love chocolate, and I also love love love chocolate cake! It is after all two of the absolute best foods combined into one so of course that makes it one of the most epic things in the world of food, right? Yes, of course that statement is right and it’s not to be argued with :). I don’t understand people who aren’t head over heals crazy about chocolate, like my sister for instance. I can’t even watch her eat chocolate chip cookies because she picks out the chocolate chips…and throws them away! Gimme those I’ll eat em! Yes, we all have different taste buds but I think it’s safe to say this Chocolate Sheet Cake will have everyone swooning!

Chocolate Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy

Why is this chocolate sheet cake any different from all those out there? Because I’ve always doubled the cocoa from that in the classic sheet cake recipe and it makes it 1,000 times better! I mean 1/4 cup cocoa most definitely could not be considered enough for a whole cake! I also chose to finish this one off with some chocolate whipped cream for extra decadence (it tastes like chocolate mousse), but it is optional so if you want to cut back on ingredients feel free to leave it off. Then of course I like to add some fresh strawberries because strawberries and chocolate just go together, plus they add that gorgeous red color. Chances are you already have all of the ingredients to make this chocolate sheet cake (if you don’t have buttermilk just measure out 1/2 cup milk, remove 1 1/2 tsp of it then replace that with 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let it rest 3 minutes), so…you should probably make it right this minute (then share with your neighbors and friends or you’ll be eating the whole thing for days. This cake is addictive)!

Chocolate Sheet Cake | Cooking ClassyChocolate Sheet Cake | Cooking ClassyChocolate Sheet Cake | Cooking ClassyChocolate Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy Chocolate Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy


Chocolate Sheet Cake

5 from 1 vote



  • 1 3/4 cups (248g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (410g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (48g) unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup (235ml) very hot water
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Icing

  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, diced into cubes
  • 1/3 cup (33g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/3 cups (430g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • Brown sprinkles (optional)
  • 20 - 24 fresh small strawberries (optional)
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream (optional, see notes)


  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet (average size cookie sheet) and dust lightly with cocoa powder and tilt to evenly coat, set aside. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  3. Add butter to a large microwave safe mixing bowl. Heat in microwave until melted. Whisk in cocoa powder and water. Pour flour mixture into butter mixture and using an electric hand mixer, blend until well combined. Add in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed for about 45 seconds. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean, about 23 - 26 minutes. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool, immediately begin to make icing (you want to ice the cake while it's still really warm so it stays really moist and sort of absorbs some of the icing).
  4. For the icing:
  5. Add butter, cocoa powder, salt and milk to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter has melted. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and powdered sugar (if mixture is thick return to medium-low heat and warm, stirring constantly, until it has thinned. It should be a nice pourable consistency). Immediately pour icing over warm cake and spread into an even layer. If using sprinkles add immediately before icing begins to set. Allow icing to set at room temperature. Cut into squares, if using chocolate whipped cream add just before serving and a strawberry to each slice.
  6. Recipe source: inspired by Taste of Home and Grandma's cake

Recipe Notes

If you'd like to add the chocolate whipped cream: whip 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream in mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add in 2 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 3 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla and whip to stiff peaks. Chill until ready to use.

Chocolate Sheet Cake | Cooking Classy


  • Bryn: Add your vinegar/lemon juice to an empty measuring cup first, and then fill to the desired amount with the milk (in this case to the 1/2 cup mark). Same result but less fussy than removing the milk.
    This cake looks so delicious, love the whipped cream! Thinking this may replace the PB sheet cake I had planned for next weekends Derby Party. Thank you for all your delicious recipes! May 1, 2016 at 5:39am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: I’m allergic to chocolate but I have become addicted to carob. It’s just like chocolate. I would devour this cake! May 1, 2016 at 6:34am Reply

  • Char: This has been my favorite chocolate cake since I was a little girl. (we called it Texas sheet cake) When I started making it for my family, I too, always put extra cocoa in it!
    Haven’t made it for a while but you’ve reminded me how much I do love it, so better invite “family” over cause it’s too much for only two people. (since my children are all grown and out of the house) Thanks for bringing back some great memories with this recipe. May 1, 2016 at 10:43am Reply

  • Lisa Gay Miller: Lovely cake. Quick question…is the Dutch or natural cocoa?
    Thank you! May 1, 2016 at 1:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I just used the regular cocoa not Dutch processed. May 1, 2016 at 6:23pm Reply

  • Linda C: I have a silly question. You have us putting this in a cake pan but your picture shows a jelly roll pan. The sheet cakes I usually make similar to this recipe is a jelly roll size. (Sheet cake). 😊 I really love a;; your recipes so want to make this one instead of the one I usually make. So just wondering which pan to use for sure. May 1, 2016 at 7:39pm Reply

  • Patti: My mom used to make a cake almost exactly like this, but she never decorated her chocolate sheet cake with strawberries and chocolate whipped cream. I hadn’t thought about her chocolate sheet cake in ages. Now, I think I will add your flourishes. May 1, 2016 at 8:28pm Reply

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: This is so pretty, I love the strawberry and chocolate whipped cream topping! May 2, 2016 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Juliana Ramsey: LOVE LOVE LOVE the way this cake look!! It looks so fancy for being a Sheet Cake which I love! Can you please do a Choc/Vanilla Marbled sheet cake I think that it would turn out great!!! May 4, 2016 at 1:30am Reply

  • senouci hamid: What’s The Size of your baking Dish ? May 13, 2016 at 2:33am Reply

  • samantha p: Looks amazing but they dont carry heavy cream in the stores near me, can I use half and half, the same amount, AND should it be very cold for the whipped cream? cant wait to try this. thank you. *sorry if it sent twice had laggy wifi dont know if it sent* May 16, 2016 at 11:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Half and half doesn’t whip up into stiff peaks the way heavy cream does so if you can’t find the heavy cream I’d just omit the chocolate whipped cream on top. I hope you love this cake Samantha! May 16, 2016 at 11:56pm Reply

  • Kristin: Looks great! Could i bake this in a 9×13″ pan?
    What temp and baking time would i use? May 17, 2016 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Alma Cerezo: i liked how you piped the whipped cream on top. did you just press the piping bag or did you rotate it? i made this and used cherries instead, that’s what i have in the fridge :) May 22, 2016 at 8:06pm Reply

  • NRS: I made this some weeks ago and still can’t stop thinking of it! Loved it so much! My usual chocolate sheet cake recipe has pecans in the frosting and less cocoa. I wanted a nut-free version and the extra cocoa here really makes it perfect! July 1, 2016 at 1:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you liked it! Thanks for your comment :)! July 2, 2016 at 1:43pm Reply

  • Leslie: The day I made thisi I was a hero. What a success! Thank you for sharing a delicious and easy-to-follow recipe. July 10, 2016 at 3:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear it! Thanks for your comment Leslie! July 10, 2016 at 9:47pm Reply

  • Nicole: Thank you so much Jaclyn for this delicious recipe!
    I made it yesterday and it’s now my whole family’s favourite – everyone absolutely loves it! The best without a doubt! July 22, 2016 at 5:31am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it Nicole! July 25, 2016 at 10:49am Reply

  • Tina: This looks amazing! I do have one question. Could I cut down on sugar as it seems that with the sugar in the cake itself and in the icing all together this dessert has a little bit more sugar than I would like.
    Thank you! July 22, 2016 at 1:31pm Reply

  • AGS: Another great cake from your kitchen. I do have a few fav chocolate recipes and really didn’t think I would add another to the list but I now have to.

    Thanks again September 18, 2016 at 1:11am Reply

  • Kristin: Okay, so I have a confession. I’ve had this recipe pinned for months… maybe even a year or more. It was just never on my top of new dessert recipes to try, because it didn’t seem too exciting. However, I finally decided to try it today, since my family is SO picky about desserts, but I knew they all liked chocolate, and I had all the ingredients already. (Most of my boys would rather settle for candy for dinner dessert than eat what I’ve made… and it’s not because I’m bad at baking. They’re that picky.) Anyway, this got rave reviews from everyone. It’s amazing for me to find a dessert that everyone likes. My oldest son said, “You should make this more often.” This cake is perfectly chocolaty, easy, and has a fantastic crumb. BTW, you always know how to present even the simplest of desserts in such a beautiful way. This is definitely a keeper, and I think I’ll be making it fairly often. I also love that it has ingredients that I always have on-hand. Thank you for another great recipe! Glad I finally tried it! :D October 4, 2017 at 7:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Kristin! So glad your family loved it! October 8, 2017 at 4:10pm Reply

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