Stupid-Easy Recipe for One-Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream (#1 Top-Rated)


The classic chocolate cake with vanilla frosting gets an easy sheet-cake makeover, but it’s still over-the-top rich and decadent, with a moist crumb, subtle coffee flavor, and loads of fluffy, buttery frosting. Birthday cakes don’t get any better, but why wait? Is it cake o’clock yet?

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy-to-make recipe for One-Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream.

Info for One-Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

  • Cook Time: 1 hr 25 min
  • Total Time: 1 hr 25 min
  • Servings: 16
  • Calories: 637.11 kcal

Ingredients for One-Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

  • Cooking oil spray (or softened butter)
  • All-purpose flour (optional, for pan)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (for cake)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt (for cake)
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 6 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (for frosting)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (room temperature)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (for frosting)
  • Sparkling sugar (for sprinkling, optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper or dust with flour, shaking out excess. Set pan aside.
  3. Place the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl. Blend with the paddle attachment (or hand mixer) on medium speed to combine, scraping bowl as needed.
  4. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, blending after each addition and scraping bowl as needed. Add the sour cream and then milk to batter and beat to blend.
  5. Measure the boiling water, then whisk the espresso powder and cocoa directly into the measuring cup until smooth.
  6. Set a sheet of parchment paper (or a plate) on a work surface and sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto it, using a fine strainer or sifter. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour half of dry ingredients into wet. Blend in half of the cocoa mixture on low speed. Then repeat with remaining dry ingredients and cocoa mixture, beating on low speed just to blend. Increase speed to medium and mix until dry ingredients are incorporated.
  7. Thoroughly scrape batter into the prepared pan. Batter will be thin.
  8. Bake the cake on middle rack of oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Rotate pan and continue baking until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a moist crumb or two, 20-25 minutes.
  10. Check to see that the cake is done. Remove from oven or add time as needed.
  11. Let cake stand on a cooling rack until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around cake to loosen it from sides of pan, then carefully invert onto a serving platter or baking sheet to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the frosting.
  12. Place the butter in stand mixer bowl. Mix on medium speed smooth, 1-2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
  13. Set a large sheet of parchment paper or a plate on a work surface and sift the confectioners sugar and salt onto it. Use paper to pour dry ingredients into the whipped butter a little at a time, alternating with a little cream and mixing on low speed to incorporate between each addition, until frosting is creamy and smooth.
  14. Add the vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Cover bowl and set frosting aside until cake is cool.
  15. Tuck strips of parchment paper or waxed paper under cake to keep platter clean while you frost. Generously spread cooled cake with frosting, leaving sides bare if desired, and sprinkling with sparkling sugar if you want. Carefully pull out strips of parchment.
  16. Cut cake into slices and serve. Store leftovers at room temperature loosely wrapped in plastic wrap or draped in parchment paper for up to 3 days.

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