The perfect way to feed a crowd chocolate cake is to make a Chocolate Sheet Cake! This Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe is super moist and the coconut fudge icing is extremely delicious! It was a potluck find that became a family favorite recipe!
Sheet pan recipes are great ways to feed crowds! Check out or Sheet Pan Teriyaki Glazed Salmon Recipe or Sheet Pan Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches! We also love this Foccacia Bread Recipe baked in a sheet pan for serving many Panera Bread Frontega Chicken Paninis!
Chocolate Sheet Cake
A Sheet Pan Chocolate Cake smothered with a coconut fudge frosting is sure to become one of those desserts you can easily rely on! Who needs little Debbie Cakes or Petit fours, when you can whip up a chocolate cake in a sheet pan without the hassle of making a tall tier cake? You get the same moist and tender texture of a rich chocolate cake only portioned out to individual servings of choice (cut into smaller squares if you wish) and feed a crowd! How amazing?
This recipe was brought to one of our church fellowship meals and the lady that shared the recipe told me this was her wedding dessert! You know it’s a good recipe when it’s a wedding dessert! I could only imagine all the other special events it could make it to, like a birthday cake covered with confetti sprinkles or simply a plain Texas Sheet Cake! The fact is you can decorate it to any occasion and cut it to any size, it’s super versatile and best of all tasty enough to make it to special events!
How to Make a Chocolate Sheet Cake:
Chocolate Sheet Cake
- 18×12" sheet pan
- large mixing bowl
- hand mixer
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup butter
- 4 Tbsp cocoa
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
Coconut Fudge Icing:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 Tbsp cocoa
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup coconut flakes
How To Make Chocolate Sheet Cake:
- Bring the first three ingredients to a boil.
- In a bowl combine the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, soda, and salt.) Mix in the hot cocoa mixture.
- Then add the buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs and beat well.
- Pour batter into a greased sheet pan and bake at 325°F for 25-30 minutes.
To Make Icing:
- In a small saucepan bring all the fudge icing ingredients to a boil and pour over cooled cake. Let cake set in the fridge until icing stiffens. Cut into squares before serving.
- Cocoa Powder- for a richer and darker chocolate cake sub 2 Tbsp of Dark Cocoa in place of the regular unsweetened cocoa.
- Coconut- can be omitted to make a plain fudge icing.
- Make it a Birthday Cake: by pouring plain fudge icing over the cake then garnishing with rainbow sprinkles.
Nutrition per serving
Fudge Icing Variations?
This chocolate cake can be made with so many different icing variations! Here are some ideas;
- German Chocolate Sheet Cake- omit the buttermilk and use condensed milk instead.
- Plain Texas Sheet Cake- omit the coconut flakes to make a plain fudge topping.
- Confetti Sheet Cake- pour the icing over the cake then sprinkle with confetti cake decorations.
- Mocha Sheet Cake- omit the buttermilk and use brewed coffee instead.
- Birthday Sheet Cake- pour the icing over the cake then garnish with rainbow sprinkles.
- Peanut Butter Fudge Icing- omit the buttermilk and use peanut butter instead.
- Triple Fudge- pour the icing over the cake then garnish with mini chocolate chips.
What flour to use?
Cake Flour is the best choice of flour to use when it comes to baking a cake at home. However, if you don’t have any you can simply take out 2 tbsp of the measured all-purpose flour you have on hand and replace it with cornstarch. Cake flour creates a tender crumb and if you don’t have cornstarch or cake flour, all-purpose flour will work just as good.
Flours with a low gluten content are ideal for cake recipes since they create softer crumbs. Consider pastry flour, self-rising flour (omit part of the leavening called for since it has some in the flour already), and cake flour.
What Size Sheet Pan?
The sheet pan I used was an 18 x12″ sheet pan. This is the overall pan dimensions however bake surface would be 16.5″x11.5″ wide. It’s hard to find the exact pan dimensions as sellers go by the next rounded off digits like an 18×13″ sheet pan. Regardless, anything within those two size frames would be ideal as sellers go by one or the other dimension. Keep in mind the smaller the pan, the taller the cake.
Can I make Without Buttermilk?
Yes! Buttermilk or any acid is recommended with the use of baking soda to prevent any bitter after taste. If you don’t have buttermilk, no worries! Simply substitute milk and vinegar. Lemon juice is also very acidic so that can be used as well.
How to make a Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake?
Making a dark chocolate cake is just a matter of the type of cocoa powder you use or melted chocolate. Regular unsweetened cocoa powder tends to give more of a brown hue, whereas Dark Special Cocoa Powder is much more intense. I like to always mix and match the two for a deep chocolate cake hue without it being too extreme to one or the other.
Can I Use A Smaller Pan Size?
Yes! A smaller pan size could work although I wouldn’t exceed anything smaller than a 14″ pan.
- Use half dark and half unsweetened cocoa for the cake and icing to get a rich chocolate hue.
- Sprinkle rainbow sprinkles for a Birthday Sheet Cake!
- Add pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts for the coconut!
- Let fudge icing set in the fridge before slicing.