There are plenty of great chocolate cake recipes out there, but if you are a chocolate cake fan, you will know that chocolate cake recipes are not one-size-fits-all. Chocolate cakes can range from dense and fudgy cakes that aim to pack as much chocolate into every bite as possible to light and airy – and everything in between. This cake is one of the inbetween sorts of chocolate cakes and it is one of my favorites. My Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake is a chocolate cake that delivers plenty of chocolate flavor in a moist, tender and fluffy cake. For me, it’s the kind of chocolate cake that I can eat a big piece of – and while a small slice of ultra-rich cake can be nice, sometimes you just need a dessert that you can really sink your fork into.
The cake uses a combination of dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder to build its chocolate flavor. Chocolate chips can be used, but you’ll get a slightly deeper flavor if you opt for darker chocolate (somewhere in the neighborhood of 60% is a good choice). If you prefer a slightly more bittersweet note, even unsweetened chocolate can be used. Since it doesn’t require too much chocolate, this recipe is a great way to use up a partially opened bag/bar of chocolate you might have in your pantry. The wet and dry ingredients are whisked together, but the butter and chocolate aren’t added to the batter until the end. Adding the fat at the end of mixing is one of my favorite ways to produce a very tender cake.
The cake batter is fairly liquid and will rise substantially in the oven, though this cake has a relatively flat top (not a domed one) that is easy to frost when it has cooled. I topped my cake with a mocha buttercream, which really compliments the chocolate in the cake. Feel free to use a vanilla frosting or a chocolate buttercream, if you prefer. The cake can even be served with nothing more than a dusting of cocoa powder. The cake keeps very well when stored in an airtight container, too, so you can enjoy leftovers for a couple of days after baking.
This recipe will yield 15 (5×3) or 20 (5×4) sliced of cake. Since the cake has a light crumb, I usually opt for the larger slices. The beauty of a sheet cake is that it gives you the flexibility to easily cut any size piece you might want.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake with Mocha Frosting
3/4 cup butter
3 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch sheet pan. If desired, line pan with parchment paper (to make it possible to lift the whole cake out of the pan).
In a microwave-safe bowl or a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add dark chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in cocoa powder. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt until well-blended.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, milk and vanilla extract. Pour milk mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until completely combined. Pour in butter mixture and whisk until batter is smooth and uniform. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow cake to cool completely in the pan.
When cooled, frost as desired.
Makes 1 sheet cake; Serves 15-20.
2 7-oz containers marshmallow creme
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, beat together marshmallow creme, butter and cocoa powder until smooth.
In a small bowl, whisk together milk, instant coffee and vanilla until well-combined. Pour into marshmallow mixture and beat until frosting is smooth and uniform.
Spread onto cooled cake.
Makes frosting for 1 sheet cake or 1 8-inch layer cake.