This moist Chocolate Sheet Cake is the easiest cake you’ll ever make! The cake is topped with a rich dark chocolate frosting, so every bite is a burst of chocolate. There’s a hint of coffee inside to intensify all the chocolate flavours, and sea salt sprinkled on top to balance. This cake is perfect for any occasions!
My favourite part about this cake is the frosting! I’m usually not a fan of frosting because I find it way to sweet, but this one is so well balanced! I made sure to use good quality dark chocolate and there’s fresh coffee added to enhance the chocolate flavour!
Why this recipe works
Easy to make – The cake batter is made in one bowl. No mixers or fancy equipment.
Sheet cake – No stacking layers or crumb coats required.
Chocolate frosting – The dark chocolate frosting has a splash of coffee inside that intensifies all the flavours and pairs it together well.
Moist and fluffy- This cake creates the fluffiest texture!
Scroll to view a few ingredients notes. Full recipe and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Butter – Unsalted butter works best. This will be softened for the chocolate frosting.
Brown sugar – I used dark. Light or dark works.
Cocoa Powder – Use a high quality cocoa powder for the best tasting cake.
Dark chocolate – Using a good quality dark chocolate makes a hug difference in your cake.
Instant espresso powder: Espresso powder is totally optional, but highly recommended. It really enhances the chocolate flavour!
Eggs – Remove two hours before baking.
Oil: Any oil works in this chocolate cake recipe. I used sunflower oil, but canola or olive works great as well!
Vanilla – Using a good quality vanilla strengthens the flavour and allows for more use of the product in the long run. This is my favourite vanilla extract.
Step by step instructions
Here is how to make and bake this chocolate sheet cake. You will need a whisk or a mixer with a whisk attachment and an 8×8 inch baking pan.
Step 1: Prepare and preheat oven: Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lightly greasing it and lining it with parchment paper. For a thinner cake, use a 9-inch square pan.
Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Step 3: Whisk wet ingredients: In a large bowl, using a whisk or a hand mixer, beat together the brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until thickened and pale. Whisk in oil.
Step 4: Add in dry ingredients. Alternate between adding in the dry ingredients and the milk until no dry streaks appear in the cake batter.
Step 5: Pour the batter into the prepared pan: Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
Step 6: Cool completely. In the meantime, make the chocolate frosting.
Step 7: Frost the cake. Slice and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
Here are a few baking tips from my kitchen to yours!
- Cool the cake completely. Waiting is the hardest part but if you don’t the frosting will literally melt right off!
- Use a dark cocoa powder if you want a darker brown frosting! Unsweetened cocoa powder will leave you with a pale brown frosting. If you use a dark cocoa powder, you may need to add an extra 1/2 tsp of heavy cream.
- Sift the dry ingredients to avoid lumps in your batter.
Is the espresso powder optional?
How do I know my cake is ready?
Slightly open your oven door and insert a wooden skewer into the center of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean with just a couple of crumbs, your cake is done! If it comes out liquidy, it still needs to bake.
Do I taste the coffee in this cake?
No! Not at all. Using coffee in this chocolate sheet cake recipe simply enhances the flavour of the cocoa powder. This results in a more intense chocolate-y tasting cake!
Can I double this recipe?
Yes! Double in a 9×13 pan.
Storing & Freezing
Chocolate sheet cake can be kept on the counter for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover with a cake keeper or plastic wrap.
You can freeze this moist cake in individual cake slices. Wrap the slices in cling wrap and store in the freeze up to 30 days. Let the cake slice thaw for 1 hour before eating.
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Chocolate Sheet Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lightly greasing it and lining it with parchment paper. For a thinner cake, use a 9-inch square pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.2 cups flour, 2 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp espresso powder
- In a large bowl, add eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until thickened and pale. You may use an electric mixer or do it by hand.4 eggs, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla
- Add the oil to the egg/sugar mixture and continue whisking.3/4 cups oil
- Alternate and add in half of the dry ingredients to the wet and fold. Then add in all of the milk. Finish off by adding the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until there are no dry streaks. Do not overmix!1/3 cup milk
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a couple of crumbs.
- Slightly open your oven door and allow the hot air to escape. After 10 minutes remove from oven and cool the cake completely on your counter before frosting.
- Chocolate frosting: To make the frosting begin by melting the dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. In the meantime, whisk the coffee and cocoa powder together and set aside. Then beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the slightly cooled melted chocolate and continue beating. Add the cocoa powder/coffee mixture until smooth. Finally, add the cream. The frosting should be thick.1 chocolate bar, 1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, 1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
- Remove the cake from the pan and spread frosting generously on top. Top the cake with flakey sea salt or chocolate sprinkles and enjoy!