Sheet cakes are some of the easiest cakes you can make! This chocolate sheet cake is incredibly moist and fudgy (almost like a brownie)! The frosting on the cake is a whipped chocolate ganache, but you can use any frosting you like.
If you’ve been following along with this blog for a while, you may already know how much I love cupcakes. Mainly because they’re easier to decorate, PORTABLE, fun sized versions of cakes! Plus they’re outrageously easy to make.
And while it pains me to say it, they may have to be bumped to second place in terms of ease. But they are second ONLY to sheet cakes!
This is the birthday cake that I request year after year! This sheet cake can be made start to finish with just one bowl. Pour into a parchment lined baking sheet and you have a cake in virtually no time at all!
And can I just say, getting “effortless” looking swirls of frosting is not as effortless as it should be. It took me a solid hour.
Use boiling water with this cake!
Adding boiling water to chocolate cake has been popular for a while now, but if you’re new to baking or just haven’t heard of it before, you might be thinking “What the heck?” So let me explain!
This recipe (just like our fudgy chocolate cake recipe) uses steaming hot coffee, which is added to the cake batter at the very end. You can use plain boiling water if you don’t have coffee on hand, but hot coffee has 2 main jobs:
(1) The coffee doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee, but it does make the cocoa powder in the cake taste more chocolaty! If you want to learn more, Taste of Home has a whole article on this!
(2) The boiling hot water (whether you use coffee or not) also helps make the cake taste chocolatier and richer! The hot water blooms the cocoa powder, which in turn makes it taste more like an expensive chocolate bar (without … you know … all of the expensive).
Sheet cake frosting:
The most time consuming part about this cake is probably the frosting, but that’s exactly why I chose to include a whipped chocolate ganache on top of this rich and chocolaty cake.
Whipped chocolate ganache is probably the least labor intensive frosting. It does take slightly longer than other frostings just because of the chill time. But wait > work!
That being said, if you’re feeling energetic, you can pair this cake with virtually any other frosting you love! I usually go for vanilla buttercream or chocolate buttercream frosting, but you can also use cream cheese frosting, peanut butter frosting, Swiss buttercream, and more!
Check out some of these similar recipes!
Frosted Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe
For the chocolate sheet cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee * see notes
For the whipped chocolate ganache:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces semi-sweet Baker's or couverture chocolate
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prep a 9×13 inch baking dish by greasing the bottom and sides and lining with parchment paper. I like to leave a slight overhang of parchment paper up the sides to make it easier to pull the cake out!
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine.
- Add your milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Whisk again to combine. You should have quite a thick batter at this point.
- Add your hot coffee, and quickly (but carefully!) whisk it in to incorporate. Now you should have a very loose batter (that's what we're looking for!)
- Pour your cake batter into your prepared baking dish. Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- Make the whipped chocolate ganache: Heat heavy cream in a medium sized saucepan until it just starts to bubble along the sides. Take care not to let it boil (otherwise it'll be too hot for your chocolate).
- Pour the cream over your chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes to steep. After the 5 minutes are up, whisk until the chocolate is melted and you're left with a smooth mixture. Cover your ganache and refrigerate until it's fully cooled.
- Pour your chilled ganache into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or your hands if you want a workout), beat the ganache until it turns a light brown color, about doubles in size, and holds a stiff peak.
- Frost your cooled cake. (Optional) Top with sprinkles for added color and texture!