Classic Chocolate Sheet Cake

I love dipping into recipes from the past to feed a crowd or celebrate a special occasion.  There is nothing more nostalgic than the chocolate sheet cake.  This chocolate sheet cake or a similar recipe has graced the dessert table at nearly every family reunion or funeral.  It’s also a favorite birthday cake in my husband’s family.

Each of my grandmothers and my mother-in-law had this recipe stashed away.  Making it now, conjures up special memories. Below is my mother-in-law’s recipe, written in her hand….. a priceless heirloom to our family.  I love that it’s well used and marked with splatters from previous happy occasions.

Okay enough reminiscing... let's talk cake. This cake is easy to make, has simple ingredients, bakes fast and can feed a crowd. That's a winning combination in my book. Here's how to make it step by step.

Okay enough reminiscing… let’s talk cake.
This cake is easy to make, has simple ingredients, bakes fast and can feed a crowd. That’s a winning combination in my book. Here’s how to make it step by step.

Step 1: Mix 2 cups of granulated sugar and 2 cups of flour in a bowl.

Step 1:
Mix 2 cups of granulated sugar and 2 cups of flour in a bowl.

Step 2: Boil water in a tea kettle for one cup of hot water. In a sauce pan, melt 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup of shortening (or simply 2 sticks of butter), 4 Tbsp. of cocoa and one cup of boiling water. Mix well and bring to a boil.

Step 2:
Boil water in a tea kettle for one cup of hot water. In a sauce pan, melt 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup of shortening (or simply 2 sticks of butter), 4 Tbsp. of cocoa and one cup of boiling water. Mix well and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Pour the hot chocolate mixture over the sugar and flour mixture. Mix well.

Step 3:
Pour the hot chocolate mixture over the sugar and flour mixture. Mix well.

Step 5: Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and then pour the batter in. (Note: Baking sheets differ in size. I use a 16"x12" pan for this cake.) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Step 5:
Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and then pour the batter in. (Note: Baking sheets differ in size. I use a 16″x12″ pan for this cake.) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Step 5: Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and then pour the batter in. (Note: Baking sheets differ in size. I use a 16"x12" pan for this cake.) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Step 5:
Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and then pour the batter in. (Note: Baking sheets differ in size. I use a 16″x12″ pan for this cake.) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Step 6: While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In a sauce pan, melt 2 sticks of butter, add 5 Tbsp. of cocoa and mix well. Remove from heat and add 6 Tbsp. of milk, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract and 5 cups of powdered sugar slowly (I like to sift the powdered sugar to remove lumps for a smother frosting, because I don't always use nuts to hide the flaws.) You may have to heat it a little again to help keep it smooth and ready to pour. (Optional) Add 1 cup chopped pecans and incorporate well.

Step 6:
While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In a sauce pan, melt 2 sticks of butter, add 5 Tbsp. of cocoa and mix well. Remove from heat and add 6 Tbsp. of milk, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract and 5 cups of powdered sugar slowly (I like to sift the powdered sugar to remove lumps for a smother frosting, because I don’t always use nuts to hide the flaws.) You may have to heat it a little again to help keep it smooth and ready to pour. (Optional) Add 1 cup chopped pecans and incorporate well.

Pour frosting immediately over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Pour frosting immediately over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.

This cake only has frosting without nuts on one side and with pecans on the other. Just trying to keep everyone happy. Note: The pecans hide any flaws in the pour.

This cake only has frosting without nuts on one side and with pecans on the other. Just trying to keep everyone happy. Note: The pecans hide any flaws in the pour.

Classic Chocolate Sheet Cake
Serves 20
A nostalgic sheet cake perfect for feeding a crowd. It's simple goodness has made it a crowd favorite for decades.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
379 calories
62 g
32 g
14 g
3 g
5 g
109 g
81 g
50 g
1 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
109g
Servings
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 379
Calories from Fat 125
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
22%
Saturated Fat 5g
25%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 32mg
11%
Sodium 81mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 62g
21%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 50g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
3%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Cake
  1. 2 cups granulated sugar
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1 stick butter
  4. 1/2 cup of shortening (or substitute with 1 stick of butter)
  5. 1 cup of boiling water
  6. 4 Tbsp. Cocoa
  7. 2 eggs, beaten
  8. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 tsp. baking soda
  10. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  11. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Frosting
  1. 2 sticks margarine
  2. 4 Tbsp. Cocoa
  3. 6 Tbsp. milk
  4. 5 cups of Powdered sugar
  5. 1 cup pecan, chopped or diced
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. For Cake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 1. Mix sugar and flour in large bowl. Set aside.
  3. 2. Boil water- for one cup water.
  4. 3. Melt butter in a sauce pan, add cocoa bring to a boil, add boiling water, mix well. Remove from heat.
  5. 4. Pour hot chocolate mixture over the sugar mixture and mix well.
  6. 5. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine beaten eggs, 1/2 cup of buttermilk, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla.
  7. 6. Pour buttermilk mixture into batter and mix well.
  8. 7. Grease a baking sheet (I use a 16"x12" pan). Pour and level out batter into sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
For Frosting
  1. Melt butter in sauce pan and add cocoa, mix well and remove from heat. Add milk, vanilla extract and slowly add powdered sugar (I like to sift it.) Stir often. Add pecans. Mix well.
  2. Pour frosting on cake once it's out of the oven while it is still warm.
beta
calories
379
fat
14g
protein
3g
carbs
62g
more
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