Grandma Shoaf’s Quick and Easy Chocolate Sheet Cake

This chocolate sheet cake recipe with easy-to-make homemade icing is the tastiest dessert ever! If you’re celebrating a birthday any time soon, this cake is a perfect option.

You can easily make a birthday cake (or any celebration cake) with this semi-homemade recipe that is seriously divine!

This chocolate sheet cake recipe with easy-to-make homemade icing is the tastiest dessert ever! If you're celebrating a birthday any time soon, this cake is a perfect option. You can easily make a birthday cake (or any celebration cake) with this semi-homemade recipe that is seriously divine! #sheetcake #chocolatesheetcake #homemadecake #cake #chocolatecake #cakerecipe #sheetcakerecipe #easycakerecipe #homemadeicing #chocolateicing

Simplest Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

My Grandma Shoaf’s famous chocolate sheet cake is absolutely unreal, and sneaky-easy to make thanks to box cake with a seriously divine homemade icing. This is one of Thomas’ very favorite desserts, and something I’ve been making for years and years.

My grandma raised 13 kids, which means she has a ton of grandkids, too. She loves making this chocolate sheet cake because it’s delicious, but it also feeds a lot of people… A must in our family. It’s a perfect candidate for parties, picnics, and reunions all throughout the year! Not to brag, but I’ve gotten it down to an art and can make this beauty in just under 30 minutes, start to finish. (Okay, okay, it’s actually not bragging because it’s really just an easy cake that anyone can make in a half-hour or less.)

It’s also great the next day, if not better, and it travels really well. Put this on your to-make list next time you have an event to attend because it’s pretty perfect. The best part is you cheat a little thanks to the box of cake mix for the cake! And yep, my Grandma uses the cake mix, too! She’s the one who let me in on her time-saving tip. A foolproof homemade icing and some sprinkles seal the deal, and you are done!

This chocolate sheet cake recipe with easy-to-make homemade icing is the tastiest dessert ever! If you're celebrating a birthday any time soon, this cake is a perfect option. You can easily make a birthday cake (or any celebration cake) with this semi-homemade recipe that is seriously divine! #sheetcake #chocolatesheetcake #homemadecake #cake #chocolatecake #cakerecipe #sheetcakerecipe #easycakerecipe #homemadeicing #chocolateicing

How do I make my icing smooth?

I have made this chocolate sheet cake no less than a million times. Most sheet cake recipes just have you add the powdered sugar to the melted butter and go. I don’t do this because more often than not, the powdered sugar gets lumpy and looks ugly on the cake. The secret to smooth icing here is to add the hot melted butter mixture to powdered sugar while stirring, and not the other way around. Pro tip for sure.

Can I use a different box mix?

I use the Betty Crocker Devil’s Food mix because it is my favorite chocolate cake that is rich and moist. However there are tons of chocolate cake mixes out there! Everything from fudge to triple chocolate, and all make a good sheet cake. Pick whatever sounds tastiest to you.

Why do I add the icing while the cake is still warm?

Many other cake recipes say to ice your cake after the cake has cooled, but this recipe doesn’t! It is great when you add the icing while the cake is warm because it makes the icing easier to spread and the icing melts slightly so that is soaks in to the cake a little. It’s great and makes for an awesome and easy icing process.

This chocolate sheet cake recipe with easy-to-make homemade icing is the tastiest dessert ever! If you're celebrating a birthday any time soon, this cake is a perfect option. You can easily make a birthday cake (or any celebration cake) with this semi-homemade recipe that is seriously divine! #sheetcake #chocolatesheetcake #homemadecake #cake #chocolatecake #cakerecipe #sheetcakerecipe #easycakerecipe #homemadeicing #chocolateicing

This chocolate sheet cake recipe with easy-to-make homemade icing is the tastiest dessert ever! If you're celebrating a birthday any time soon, this cake is a perfect option. You can easily make a birthday cake (or any celebration cake) with this semi-homemade recipe that is seriously divine! #sheetcake #chocolatesheetcake #homemadecake #cake #chocolatecake #cakerecipe #sheetcakerecipe #easycakerecipe #homemadeicing #chocolateicing

Print

Grandma Shoaf’s Quick and Easy Chocolate Sheet Cake


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 50 min
  • Yield: 30 1x

Description

This chocolate sheet cake recipe with easy-to-make homemade icing is the tastiest dessert ever! If you’re celebrating a birthday any time soon, this cake is a perfect option.


Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake Mix (plus ingredients called for on the box)

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I like the dark dutch-processed kind, and my family prefers normal Hershey’s kind)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • As many sprinkles as your heart desires! The more the better.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the cake batter according to the package directions, and spread it evenly into a large, rimmed sheet cake pan that’s been greased well (also called a Jelly Roll pan — should measure about 17.5×13 inches).
  2. Bake until the cake is cooked through. You’ll start to smell the cake, and the cake will spring back when touched lightly, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. While the cake is cooking, in a small saucepan heat the butter, milk, and cocoa over medium heat until the butter melts, stirring often. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the powdered sugar to a large bowl (you can also use a stand mixer here), and slowly whisk the melted butter mixture into the powdered sugar. Stir until well combined and no lumps remain. Add the vanilla, and stir to combine.
  5. While the cake is still warm (let it sit for maybe 5 to 7 minutes — you want it hot but not pipping hot), drizzle the icing over the warm cake, and then use a spatula to spread it to the edges. If you try to spread too much or go over the same place again and again, you are going to pull up the top of the cake and get crumbs in your icing. The goal is to quickly spread it out and move on. Too much fussing will just make a mess. Add the sprinkles while the icing is still warm. The sprinkles will also cover any messes you made if you tried to spread the icing too much.
  6. The cake is great warm, at room temperature, and even the next day. No need to refrigerate overnight — sugar is an excellent preservative. I have a plastic lid that fits my sheet cake pan and makes traveling a breeze. I highly recommend a lid for your pan.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: how to make chocolate sheet cake, how to make sheet cake, chocolate sheet cake, homemade sheet cake, easy sheet cake recipe, homemade sheet cake recipe, sheet cake recipe, birthday cake recipe, birthday cakes

This chocolate sheet cake recipe with easy-to-make homemade icing is the tastiest dessert ever! If you're celebrating a birthday any time soon, this cake is a perfect option. You can easily make a birthday cake (or any celebration cake) with this semi-homemade recipe that is seriously divine! #sheetcake #chocolatesheetcake #homemadecake #cake #chocolatecake #cakerecipe #sheetcakerecipe #easycakerecipe #homemadeicing #chocolateicing This chocolate sheet cake recipe with easy-to-make homemade icing is the tastiest dessert ever! If you're celebrating a birthday any time soon, this cake is a perfect option. You can easily make a birthday cake (or any celebration cake) with this semi-homemade recipe that is seriously divine! #sheetcake #chocolatesheetcake #homemadecake #cake #chocolatecake #cakerecipe #sheetcakerecipe #easycakerecipe #homemadeicing #chocolateicing

More Easy Dessert Recipes:

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated in October 2019.

Grandma’s easy chocolate sheet cake is deliciously sweet and one of the simplest recipes for chocolate cake out there. Looks like you need to make some soon!

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Subscribers get access to Dinner Made Easy meal plans, exclusive recipes, giveaways, and behind-the-scenes updates​! Sign up for my newsletter or get a new recipe every day.


Subscribe Now
38 Recipes for Busy Moms
8 Responses
  1. Hey Melissa, I was blog hopping and found your blog- I was like- hey i remember that girl from a ward at BYU! your blog is gorgeous- you’ll have to give me some starter tips 🙂 your kids are adorable.

    1. Alia!!! How are you?! With a last name like Cherry it’s hard to forget you 🙂 Your blog is lovely! My only tip is to keep at it… the more content you get on there (and pin your own stuff!) the more things people can find you for. You have a great layout and your writing is perfect. Congrats on being fancy! M.

      1. Yes, im learning quickly that wordpress seems like the place to be. I’m not too invested in my blog quite yet but long term it looks like i’ll have to move over there and get my own domain and all that complicated stuff! How do you find time to do all this? Amazing. Anyway, i’ll have to keep tabs on your blog now and all the yummy things you have to make. Thanks Melissa!

        1. I’ve just been doing it for so long and it’s kind of part of the routine now which is fun. And when you start making a little money from it your husband complains less about the dishes not getting done and you on the computer at night instead. LOL

Leave a Reply

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

Dinner Ideas for Busy Moms