dark chocolate sheet cake
Chocolate dreams are made of dark chocolate sheet cake! This easy chocolate cake recipe comes together in minutes and bakes up into a perfectly moist Devil’s food chocolate cake topped with swirls of chocolate buttercream frosting!
Perfect for birthdays, parties, and any day that calls for chocolate, you’ll love this rich and decadent cake. And if you love salt with your chocolate desserts as much as I do, sprinkle each slice with flaky salt before serving.
The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake
Cocoa Powder – You’ll use unsweetened cocoa powder in both the cake and the frosting. I like Dutch-processed baking cocoa (with higher levels of cocoa butter) for maximum chocolate flavor.
Chocolate – This recipe uses 4 ounces semisweet chocolate in the cake. Use a high quality semisweet chocolate baking bar and finely chop the chocolate with a serrated knife.
Instant Espresso – Chocolate and espresso are made for each other, and a touch of instant espresso adds depth to the chocolate cake (if you’re not a coffee lover, feel free to omit the espresso).
Room Temperature Ingredients – Room temperature eggs, milk, and Greek yogurt ensure an extra moist cake.
Boiling Water – My favorite chocolate cake recipes all include boiling water. Boiling water whisked into the batter blooms and dissolves the cocoa for a super rich, Devil’s food chocolate flavor.
Bake Time – Bake cake until the top springs back to the touch and a tester inserted in the center come out with a few crumbs attached, about 24 to 26 minutes.
Perfect Chocolate Buttercream – Beat room temperature butter and salt together until softened and combined. Gradually add sifted cocoa to the mixer bowl, beating until incorporated. Mix in vanilla, then add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Use a spatula to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix on low speed until combined, then beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until frosting is light and airy.
Frost Cake – Use an offset spatula to swirl chocolate buttercream over the cake. If desired, sprinkle flaky sea salt or sprinkles over the frosting. Chill the frosted cake for 20 minutes before slicing into squares with a sharp knife.
Rich and decadent dark chocolate sheet cake topped with perfect chocolate buttercream frosting makes the best chocolate cake!
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp instant espresso
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 5 Tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Add sugars, eggs, egg yolk, milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla to flour mixture; whisk in just until incorporated. Dissolve instant espresso in boiling water; add to batter and whisk in just until smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth with an offset spatula; tap pan sharply to reduce air bubbles.
- Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs, and the edges are pulling slightly away from the pan. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- For the frosting, beat butter and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add sifted cocoa, beating until incorporated. Mix in vanilla. Add powered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix on low speed until combined, then beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until light and airy.
- Dollop frosting over cooled cake and swirl with an offset spatula. Chill cake for 20 minutes in the refrigerator before slicing.
Instant espresso: I recommend Starbucks VIA
Keywords: Chocolate Sheet Cake, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate, Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, Chocolate Frosting