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Chocolate Birthday Sheet Cake

Chocolate Birthday Sheet Cake

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The genius part of this rich and moist sheet cake recipe is the “reverse creaming” method. Instead of creaming butter and sugar before adding the liquid ingredients and flour, you’ll gradually add the liquid ingredients into the flour. As a result, the cake bakes almost perfectly flat—no domed tops, no layers to trim.


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process), plus more for dusting
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2½ cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup chilled heavy cream

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350˚. Butter and flour a 13x9" baking dish, tapping out excess flour.

  • Heat chocolate, coffee, and ⅔ cup cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water (water should not touch bottom of bowl), stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Let cool, then whisk eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla into chocolate mixture.

  • Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix salt, baking powder, baking soda, and 2 cups flour in a large bowl just to combine. Add brown sugar, oil, ½ cup butter, and ½ cup reserved chocolate mixture and beat on medium speed until flour is evenly distributed and mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add remaining chocolate mixture in 2 additions, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed and beating until smooth after each addition. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

  • Bake cake until top is firm to the touch and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30–40 minutes. Transfer cake pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

  • Just before serving, whisk cream in a small bowl to soft peaks. Add granulated sugar to taste and beat to medium peaks. Top cake with whipped cream and dust with a little cocoa powder.

  • Do Ahead: Cake (without whipped cream) can be baked 3 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Reviews Sectionhey, I was wondering if the cake will be firm enough to be able to cut clean into shapes. Im planning to make a number cake for someones bday!

When you need something sweet to feed a crowd, sheet cakes are the way to go. Take this Chocolate Sprinkle Sheet Cake for example, it's made with sour cream for a tender crumb and with a cocoa powder replacing a half-cup of flour for a deep chocolate flavor. The buttercream frosting gets whipped until airy with an electric mixer and a generous scattering of sprinkles finishes it off. Cut it into squares, skinny slices or chunky rectangles and watch as it disappears fast.

In this collection there are classics like Texas Sheet Cake, a rich chocolate-glazed chocolate cake, and super-citrusy options like Lemon-Glazed Sheet Cake, which has lemon juice and zest in both the batter and the glaze. Of course, we haven't forgotten classic vanilla, which is never anything like plain: In fact, you'll find that it's the star of an irresistible sheet cake topped with chocolate ganache, though you could certainly swap that topping for your favorite if you fancied. And if frosting or glaze isn't your thing, there's a cake for the young or young at heart that features broken Oreo cookies scattered over the top before baking for instant appeal.

Going beyond the classic sheet cake format, our test kitchen team has developed a delicious array of creative recipes that are sure to make you smile. You can combine two childhood-favorites into one with our Banana-Split Ice Cream Cake it has all the elements of the ultimate sundae in a family-friendly format. Fresh summer fruit will be put to use in a large-format, no-bake cheesecake (we call that a win-win!), and summer berries are essential in this Strawberry Biscuit Sheet Cake too (bet you never had a sheet cake like that before!). For all kinds of gatherings, from backyard barbecues to kids' birthday parties, these sheet cakes will end on party on a (sugar) high note.

38 Best Sheet Cake Recipes to Whip Up for a Crowd

And if you have a lot of slices left, it's not the worst problem.

There's a reason sheet cakes have stood the test of time. For starters, these larger-than-life beauties are impossibly easy to make&mdashjust pour the batter into a pan, smooth out the surface, bake, and decorate. But most importantly, they're ideal for feeding a crowd. The more slices, the better! Whether you're serving a group after a tailgate, baking for an extra-large birthday party, or you simply need something sweet to share with your kids on a Sunday night, a sheet cake is the way to go.

Here, we've rounded up the best sheet cake recipes. We've got heavenly pumpkin sheet cakes, classic carrot sheet cakes, and inspired peanut butter chocolate sheet cakes with all the fixings. Wr also have chocolate dessert recipes and traditional cakes with a twist, like a Southern caramel sheet cake that&rsquos perfect for a potluck or family picnic, and a strawberry sheet cake with a top-secret ingredient. (Okay, we'll tell you: It's strawberry Jell-O!).

Every one of the recipes we've compiled here is easy to make with pantry ingredients you probably already have on hand. Here's to a dessert that's as simple to whip up as it is delicious to eat.

Chocolate Birthday Sheet Cake - Recipes

I love a good sheet cake, it is the perfect thing for feeding a crowd. I can see why you kept going back for more of this. It looks delicious!

Mandy, I don't know if this recipe originated in Texas or not, but I am originally from East Texas (in Tennessee for the past 30+ years) and I can tell you I started making this cake at least 47 years ago (that's how long I have been married, and it was one of the first desserts I attempted.) I remember deciding to make this cake once and got all my ingredients out and got my pan ready, preheated the oven and was ready to go when I opened my box of cocoa and discovered that I only had about 2 tablespoons of cocoa left. Needing to make a dessert, I just winged it, and left the cocoa out of the recipe and added lemon juice and a little lemon extract in place of the vanilla. It turned out great. I think this recipe is very forgiving. Thanks for sharing it with everyone. Love your recipes.

The earliest versions of this recipe I've seen date back to the 60s. you know something's good when it's been around that long! I *think* it might be called Texas sheet cake because it's as big as Texas not necessarily that the recipe originated there but who really knows?! Maybe it's both!

I've made this without the cocoa and just doubled up on the vanilla and LOVED it but now I'm dying to try it with lemon juice and extract! That sounds divine! Thank you for sharing that idea!

Here is a thought, if you make it with lemon, when it comes out the oven poke some holes in it with a skewer and make a little lemon/sugar syrup and pour that over the top, let it soak in for a few hours and then cut and serve, I would dust it with a little icing sugar and add a whacking big dollop of real whipped cream, not that canned spray cream Amerkans seem to enjoy so much. I wonder if using limes would make it like a "Key lime" cake.
So we don't get confused, I'm from Australia, we like to have our cake and eat it too.

How much lemon juice did you add

About 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and I teaspoon of lemon extract for the cake. I left out the vanilla flavoring. For the frosting, I used lemon juice to thin the powdered sugar to the correct consistency.

I do believe that this did originate in Texas in the late 1960's or early 1970's. It was called the TEXAS SHEET CAKE and some called it "The Texas Sheath Cake". Why? I don't have any idea. The TEXAS SHEET CAKE had a teaspoon of cinnamon in it. I've been making it since 1970 and everyone has always loved it.

The recipe I got from my mom uses cinnamon too, and I add chopped pecans to the icing.

The last time I made a Texas sheet cake, we kept picking at it even after everybody had had a piece or two. I finally just put it in the middle of the table and we took turns cutting off "just a little piece" until the whole dang thing was pretty much gone. :-)

It's the dang devil! I'm glad we're not the only ones!

Definitely making this when husband is home. Otherwise, my "just one more bite" will have me polishing off the whole cake.

3 1/2 sticks of butter?? Yikes!! Will it make you gain 10 lbs.

Only if you eat the whole cake by yourself.

Made this for a birthday everyone loved it

Love anything Southern and I'm not. Love your cooking, homes and gardens. Thanks for all your hard work. Pat

Could you use self-rising flour, and leave out baking powder? Thanks

I would think so but I've never tried it myself so I'm not 100% sure. I don't know how important the baking soda is (vs baking powder that's in SR flour). If you try it, let us know!

You need the baking soda for the recipe all recipes use it when you especially have buttermilk

I make it with white lily self-rising flour all the time. I leave out the soda, but I do add the salt. It rises fine people love it. It's fluffy and tender.

I think this is similar to the recipe my mom uses for my most FAVORITE cake, but I think she pokes holes in it with a toothpick before pouring the icing over. Do you think that would work well with this? It makes the cake super moist!

I think that would be glorious!

Have this cooling right now. I made it in a 13x9 and had to add an additional 15 minutes. My only downside is I didn't like that the middle of the cake was slightly higher because the icing pooled around the whole perimeter but barely covered the center. I didn't need all the icing since the top surface of the cake was smaller but that gave me a few licks to polish off )

That's always going to be the case with 13x9 pans (same thing happens when you use a cake mix) because there isn't as much open surface area.

Try using cake strips around the outside of the pan, should help with the center rising, keeps it flat.

Looks delicious! How many grams is a stick of butter?

Google is telling me 115. One stick of butter is 1/2 cup, 115 grams, 125 ml or 4 ounces.

Made this cake and turned out fabulous!! Brought some into work and it was gone in an hour! Talk of the day! Didn’t need all that icing though and I love icing. Making again today and will probably do 1/2 or 3/4 of the recipe for the icing. Awesome recipe.

Yummm! Looks like an incredible cake! I can’t wait to try it soon. May I ask if there is a taste difference when using coffee instead of water? Thank you so much!

I think it has more of a dark chocolate taste but only slightly. I don't think you can taste the coffee really, it just knocks the sweet down a tad while giving it another layer of flavor.

Looks Delicious!!May I ask where you purchased your10x15x2 inch pan?I think that would be a great size.

For some reason I can't copy the link, but I got it on Amazon… search for Fat Daddio's 10x15x2 :)

Please I love recipe
Can you wrote in metric system.
I sm from Croatia.
Thank you.

Thanks for this excellent recipe. It is relatively easy and seems likely to be foolproof as long as the ingredients are followed. About this, I didn't see your buttermilk substitute until I had already baked the cake. I only had our 1% B.F. milk in the fridge. So that's what I used. The cake seemed to turn out okay. Also, I had to buy a new baking sheet, I wanted it for other things anyway, like pan pie. So I bought an 18" x 13" x 1"
baking sheet. The cake fits the pan perfectly. The baking time was 15 minutes at a temperature setting of about 335°F., note this being on an older stove, so no digital temperature control. Overall, your range of time for this size of pan is good, it works. The icing recipe actually fills the edges of the pan up to the rim, next time I will use a toothpick to put holes in the cake to facilitate better absorbtion of the icing. I will also let the icing cool and thicken up a bit. My old Aunt is somewhat fussy and she has a rather small appetite. She had seconds of this cake so that is a huge endorsement.
Also, I cut up and sugared fresh strawberries. These of course juice up with the addition of sugar. We then put them on the cake and topped off the whole thing with a dollop of Cool Whip. My preference is fresh whipped cream but we used the cheat in the interests of speed and convenience. Made for a delicious decadent dessert.

Lloyd Zillinski, I read where you think you will cool the icing before pouring it on the cake. I can see if you want to put holes in your cake to absorb the icing but if you cool it it won't have the beautiful "shine" to the icing on the cake. Just a little advice.

Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? It’s the one dessert that almost no one will turn down. Especially when it’s covered in a thick layer of rich chocolate frosting! Today’s cake recipe is positively swoon-worthy. Extra chocolatey and unbelievably rich, this sheet cake is the stuff dreams are made of.

Easy Homemade Chocolate Cake

I love baking sheet cakes. When you don’t have the time to spend fussing with layers and frosting bags, sheet cake recipes are a life saver. Mix the batter together, pour it into a pan and bake! It’s that easy.

Learn how to make homemade sheet cake and you’ll be set for any occasion. This recipe is perfect for a crowd and makes a wonderful birthday cake too.

This chocolate sheet cake recipe features pure cocoa flavor at its finest. Without a ton of mix-ins or toppings, the chocolate taste shines through beautifully!

How To Make A Chocolate Sheet Cake


Ingredients at a glance, full printable recipe is found below.

  • Flour – All purpose is perfect for this cake.
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – For this recipe use all natural cocoa powder, not Dutch processed.
  • Butter – Unsalted preferred, but if salted is all you have on hand, it will be fine.
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Eggs – Make sure they are large eggs
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract is always preferred.

  • Milk
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Saucepan
  • Sheet pan – 11.5″ x 17.25″ was used to make this recipe

Steps To Take

Steps to take at a glance, full printable recipe is found below.

  • Combine flour, sugar and salt, then set aside.
  • In a saucepan, melt butter along with cocoa powder and bring to just beginning to boil.

  • Combine melted mixture with flour mixture. Allow mixture to cool slightly.
  • Add milk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Pour into a sheet pan, then bake.

The Best Chocolate Frosting

This frosting is made by warming melted butter and milk with cocoa powder. The warmth helps the cocoa powder fully incorporate and dissolve. After mixing with powdered sugar and vanilla, you get a velvety smooth icing.

It’s easy to pour on to the baked chocolate cake and spread evenly with a spatula. NO fancy cake decorating skills needed to make this chocolate sheet cake look as good as it tastes!

Questions and Answers

What kind of pan do I need for chocolate sheet cake? My sheet pan is 11.5 x 17.25 inches. If using a smaller pan, you will need to add a bit more baking time.

What kind of nuts do you put on sheet cake? Both chopped walnuts and pecans are delicious on this cake! Or go ahead and serve it without nuts. It’ll taste great either way.

How do you store chocolate sheet cake? Store leftovers tightly covered at room temperature. Enjoy within 3 days for best taste.

Can you freeze sheet cake? Yes, but I would freeze the cake unfrosted. You can wrap the cake in the (freezer safe) sheet pan in plastic wrap, then foil. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, let the cake thaw and add frosting before serving.

More Recipes You’ll Love

Can’t get enough chocolate? These other easy desserts are sure to win you over too!

Click to pin & save recipe.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips (such as Guittard®)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (Optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.

Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.

Beat butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat eggs and vanilla into butter mixture until smooth. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread cookie batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the cake springs back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool before cutting into 2-inch squares.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

I am super excited for this post today. September marks the 1 year anniversary for the #chocolateparty. To help celebrate, Roxana has lots of great stuff up for grabs. Like seriously, you need to read the bottom of this post and enter the giveaways. Kind of wish I wasn’t participating this month, so I could enter.

To celebrate the first anniversary Roxana as that some of share our families favorite chocolate recipes. She made them all too, and has been sharing them all month long. There have been some amazing chocolate desserts that are now on my list of must tries! Like this Nutella Gooey Butter Cake, holy cow does it look good.

For the party I made my families Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe. We have been making this since I was a little girl. It was a staple at many birthday parties and often times just a treat on the weekend. This was my first time actually making the cake. Usually my mom makes it, and I just get to eat it! This time, I turned the tables and made it for my family when they were here visiting. I have to say, it tasted just like my moms.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

In a bowl, mix crumbs and butter to blend thoroughly. Press evenly onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Arrange strawberry halves around the pan side-by-side, pointed ends up, with cut sides against the side of pan set aside.

Place chocolate chips in blender container. Pour water and corn syrup into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Immediately pour over chocolate chips and blend until smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl and cool to room temperature.

While chocolate cools, whip 1 1/2 cups of the cream to form stiff peaks. Use a rubber spatula or large whisk to fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until mixture is thoroughly blended. Transfer the mousse into the prepared pan and smooth the top. The points of the strawberries might extend about the chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.

Up to 2 hours before serving, in a medium mixing bowl, beat remaining 1/2 cup of cream to form soft peaks. Add sugar. Beat to form stiff peaks. Remove the side of the springform pan and place the cake on a serving plate. Pipe or dollop whipped cream onto top of cake. Arrange remaining halved strawberries on whipped cream. To serve, cut into wedges with thin knife, wiping blade between cuts.

10 Popular kinds of Chocolate Cake:

  1. Chocolate Layer Cake: This is a classic, round 2 or three layer cake separated by layers of frosting and the whole cake covered in frosting too.

2. Chocolate Sheet Cake: A sheet cake is a snack cake made in a sheet pan or a 13×9-inch pan. The frosting is spread on top of the cake.

3. Chocolate Swiss Cake Roll: A very thin layer of cake is baked and then rolled with whipped cream filling to create a cake roll.

4. Chocolate Cupcakes: These are simply the cupcake version of classic chocolate cake.

5. German Chocolate Cake: Having nothing at all to do with Germany, the name comes from Sam German- the inventor of German chocolate. This type of cake is characterized by having a creamy pecan and coconut icing between layers of chocolate cake.

6. Flourless Chocolate Cake: A good, naturally gluten-free option, this cake is made without any flour- resulting in a very rich and decadent cake.

7. Black Forest Cake: This is a chocolate sponge cake with a rich cherry filling.

8. Devil&rsquos Food Cake: A moist, rich chocolate layer cake. This is a richer, darker chocolate cake- usually made with squares of melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder.

9. Molten Chocolate Cake: Also known as Chocolate Lava Cake, this cake combines cake with soufflé. When the cake is cut into, a liquid chocolate center oozes out.

10. Chocolate Decadence Cake: This is a silky, rich, flourless cake made popular in the 80&rsquos. It usually has a whole pound of chocolate in the cake.


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