Chocolate Sheet Cake

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This easy chocolate sheet cake is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. The batter comes together in minutes, the cake itself is super moist and flavorful, and the chocolate buttercream is light, fluffy, and totally to die for.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Fabulous texture. Although my recipe for the Best Chocolate Cake is undeniably the moistest ever, this one is a close runner-up. It’s moist and wonderfully tender. You won’t be able to keep your fork out of it.
  • Fluffy frosting. The frosting for this cake is so light and fluffy. It’s the perfect complement to the tender cake beneath it. Learn more about what makes this frosting so special in the section below titled “What Makes This Cake Different?”.
  • Easy to make. This is such a simple chocolate cake recipe. The mixing method for the batter is straightforward (no fancy creaming or anything like that) and comes together in minutes. Plus, it’s a sheet cake. So, you won’t need to worry about stacking, filling, and frosting any layers.
Overhead image of chocolate sheet cake with a couple of slices taken out of it.

What Makes This Cake Different?

I have a library of chocolate cake recipes on my site. You might be asking yourself, “What sets this one apart?”. I’ll tell ya.

  • One layer. This is a sheet cake which means that all of the batter goes into one baking pan. No fancy layers to stack. Just bake the cake, let it cool, and spread frosting over the top.
  • Fast baking. Most of my chocolate layer cake recipes bake at 300°F and need about 30 minutes in the oven when the batter is divided between 3 8-inch cake pans. This one bakes at 350°F in about the same amount of time but all of the batter is in one larger baking pan. Much more efficient.
  • A fluffier frosting. This is my usual chocolate frosting, but I beat it for a few minutes for this cake. This incorporates more air into the frosting, making it super light and fluffy.
  • Oil to milk ratio. Many of my chocolate cakes use equal parts oil and milk (or buttermilk). For this one, I went with 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1 cup milk. Oil adds great moisture to the cake, but too much makes it a bit of a firmer cake. Reducing it a touch and leaving more milk makes it a little lighter and softer.

Looking for more chocolate cake recipes? I have been obsessed with this German Chocolate Cake lately, but feel free to peruse all of my chocolate cake recipes. Let me know which is your favorite.

A slice of chocolate sheet cake on a plate with a bite taken out of it.

Ingredient Notes

Here’s what you’ll need to make this chocolate sheet cake recipe. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for precise measurements.

For the cake

  • All-purpose flour – A quality 1:1 gluten-free flour will also do the trick.
  • Sugar
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder – You could use Dutch-processed cocoa powder instead for a richer chocolate flavor.
  • Baking soda and baking powder – I used both to get the perfect rise.
  • Salt – The salt balances out the sweetness of the cake and adds depth to the flavor profile.
  • Milk – I suggest using whole milk. 2% will work in a pinch. So will a neutral plant-based milk if you are avoiding dairy.
  • Vegetable oil – I used vegetable oil instead of butter in this recipe. It makes the cake so wonderfully moist.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Hot water – The hot water helps the cocoa powder bloom, bringing out its full chocolaty flavor potential.

To make the frosting

  • Unsalted butter – The butter should be softened at room temperature before using. If it is too cold, your frosting will turn out lumpy. If it is melted, the frosting will be runny.
  • Powdered sugar – To add sweetness to the buttercream and also to stabilize it.
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder – Dutch-processed cocoa powder will also work if you want a richer chocolate flavor.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Heavy cream – You can use milk here. Your frosting just won’t be quite as rich.
  • Sprinkles – I decorated this cake with rainbow sprinkles. You can use any kind of sprinkles you’d like or leave them out entirely.
Overhead image of a slice of chocolate sheet cake on a plate.

Getting Your Frosting Just Right

This is essentially my Chocolate Buttercream Frosting except with a little less sugar and a little less vanilla. I also beat the frosting for an extra couple of minutes to incorporate more air. The result? The lightest, fluffiest chocolate buttercream ever. So don’t skimp on that 2-3 minutes of whipping the buttery, sugary, chocolate frosting into a frenzy.

As always, remember to start with room-temperature butter. If it is too cold, you’ll find yourself with lumpy frosting.

A fork taking a bit out of a slice of chocolate sheet cake.

More Tips for Success

Want to get this homemade chocolate cake right the first time around? Pay attention to these pro tips and tricks.

  • Don’t over-mix. When combining the wet and dry ingredients, do not over-mix. This can cause the glutens in the flour to overdevelop, resulting in a tough, overly dense cake.
  • Make sure the water is hot. You want the water to be piping hot. The heat helps the cocoa powder bloom, leaving you with a much more satisfying chocolate flavor.
  • Room temperature butter. Allow the butter for the frosting to soften at room temperature before using. If it is too cold, your frosting will turn out lumpy. If the butter is too melted, the frosting will turn out runny.
  • Let it cool. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it. If it is too warm, the frosting will melt and slide right off.
Chocolate sheet cake in a baking pan with a slice taken out of it.

How to Store This Cake

Cover any leftover chocolate sheet cake with a double layer of plastic wrap or arrange slices in a single layer in an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Chocolate sheet cake on a plate topped with sprinkles.

More Recipes to Try

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
A slice of chocolate sheet cake on a plate with a bite taken out of it.

Easy Moist Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 32 minutes
  • Total Time: 52 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 Servings
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This chocolate cake recipe is super easy to put together, moist and delicious! It’s almost as easy as a box mix, but even tastier.



  • 1 3/4 cups (228g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water


  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (345g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (57g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 45 tbsp (60-75ml) heavy cream
  • Sprinkles, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a 9×13 inch cake pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
  3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
  5. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool.
  8. To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
  9. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  10. Add the vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of cream and mix until smooth.
  11. Add remaining powdered sugar and cocoa and mix until smooth.
  12. Add remaining cream as needed and mix until smooth, keeping an eye on the consistency of the frosting so it doesn’t get too thin.
  13. Beat frosting on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until it has lightened in color and gotten fluffy.
  14. Spread frosting evenly onto the cake. Top with sprinkles, if desired.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 430
  • Sugar: 47.2 g
  • Sodium: 421.7 mg
  • Fat: 19.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 63 g
  • Protein: 5.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 27.3 mg


About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29