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!

Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake

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.

Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake

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.

Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake
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Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake

Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 to 15 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


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


  1. Preheat oven to 350Β°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth with an offset spatula; tap pan sharply to reduce air bubbles.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake

More chocolate cake recipes you’ll love:

Classic Chocolate Layer Cake
Double Chocolate Bundt Cake
Chocolate Pound Cake

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  1. This cake would make my family VERY happy! Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, Laura!


  2. This cake is a slice of heaven Laura!! Happy Valentine’s Day to you!! xoxo


  3. Beautiful chocolate cake, easy to follow instructions, seriously good butter icing, will make again and again and again x


  4. Dark, moist cake with little hits of salt from the sweet buttercream that work so well together. Yup, this is what chocolate dreams are made of. The baking genius that is Laura strikes again!

    1. Does the chopped chocolate need to be melted b4 adding it to the other ingredients? Or does the boiling water do a good enough job of melting it when it’s added? Thank you!


      1. Hi Beverley! The boiling water helps melt the chocolate into the batter, and it also melts during the baking time. Hope you enjoy this cake! πŸ™‚

  5. Such an easy and beautiful cake. Deep chocolate goodness with a fluffy buttercream frosting. I made it in a parchment lined 13Γ—9 and when cooled flipped it out onto a big tray. Easy to frost, take along & cut that way. πŸ˜‹


  6. This cake is chocolatey decadence at its best! If you love chocolate cake this one is for you! My family loved it at our get together yesterday. Thank you for a great recipe!!

  7. Hello,

    Can you make this into cupcakes? Also, if I don’t have the yogurt on hand can I substitute sour cream instead?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Brooke! Yes you can make cupcakes – fill the liners 2/3 full of batter. Baking time will be approximately 15-18 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back to the touch and a tester comes out with a few crumbs attached. And yes, you can sub in sour cream for the yogurt. Happy baking! πŸ™‚

  8. I just made this cake and oh gosh it’s the best cake I ever ate, I’m shocked at how moist it is, so decadent and delish!


  9. Just wow!!!! So easy! The BEST chocolate cake ever. And so light. The high quality ingredients make all the difference. Thank you so much. Will be my go to from now on. A complete showstopper.


    1. Hi Aldrina! For a Swiss roll, you need a sponge cake batter so this isn’t the best choice. I would search specifically for a chocolate Swiss roll recipe, and I will add that to my baking list as well. πŸ™‚

  10. Such a moist cake, and perfectly rich! A must try for chocolate lovers (we love the frosting!).


  11. One of my most favorite recipes! The cake and the buttercream are both phenomenally flavorful. Thank you for sharing this great recipe, I was blown away by it!


  12. I made this Valentine’s Day dinner. Both my husband and son loved it! This a keeper


  13. This sheet cake is so easy and delicious! Rich, moist, and perfectly soft. Plus that hint of espresso with the chocolate is just perfect!


  14. This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made! Super moist and rich, and the frosting is SO good.