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This is the easiest 9×13 chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made. Adjusted from my Best Chocolate Cake that everyone absolutely loves, I’ve now made the cake even easier and sized for a 9×13 sheet cake!
One of the recipes that I receive the most emails about is my Best Chocolate Cake Recipe. Generally, the emails are asking me if they can omit the espresso powder, if they can substitute this or that, or if it can be made into either a major multi-tiered confection for an upcoming wedding or something similar. But last week, I received an email asking if the cake could be made into a 9×13 recipe.
Rather than simply responding with a quick, “Yes” to the email, I headed to the kitchen to make it so that I could show you.
Best Chocolate Cake (9×13 Recipe)
Truth be told, I was actually craving chocolate and decided that making the chocolate cake sounded like just the way to answer the craving and that the scaled down version would be just perfectly sized, too! LOL!
To make it, I scaled both the recipe and the chocolate buttercream frosting to work perfectly in a 9×13 baking dish. The cake still rises nicely so that you have a nice, thick cake that you then top with a nice, generous amount of the fluffy chocolate buttercream.
Talk about heavenly!
I love this size cake for taking to pot lucks, tailgating, baking, taking to friends or neighbors, and just for making a quick and easy cake! It transports beautifully in the 9×13 baking dish and I love that I don’t have to worry about a cake slipping or sliding on a cake plate!
When you cut into the cake, you’ll notice that it has that moist tender crumb like my original Best Chocolate Cake Recipe. It is seriously amazing!
As with any 9×13 cake recipes, you can cut the pieces as generous or as conservatively as you please. You can cut the cake into 2- inch x 2-inch pieces for 24 servings or into 2- inch x 3- inch pieces for 18 servings.
How to Make It
To make the cake, you just need a large mixing bowl and a whisk!
It comes together so quickly and easily and bakes into a beautiful 9 x 13 cake that everyone just loves!
I put together a quick little video to show you just how easy the cake is to mix together. Seriously the easiest and most delicious cake ever, I think! 🙂
Here’s the 9×13 Chocolate Cake Recipe. I think you are going to just love how simple it is!
Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (9×13 Recipe)
Chocolate Cake Recipe (9×13 Recipe)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, whole milk, or coconut milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup boiling water
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (9×13 Recipe)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare one 9×13 baking dish by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large mixing bowl.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together until well combined. Carefully stir the boiling water into the cake batter and pour into the prepared 9×13 dish.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (9×13 Recipe)
- Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
- Add the butter and cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
- Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
- Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
- If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake. Cover and keep on the counter for up to 3 days for best taste.
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Made it on the spur of the moment – on Valentine’s Day – so happy I did! So simply delicious! Many thanks
Can I double This recipe to make a thicker cake ?
Catherine, you can double the recipe or use the full recipe for the Best Chocolate Cake Ever Recipe to make a thicker 9×13 cake.
I was wondering why you would have to change the measurements for a 9×13? I would have thought you would simply bake for a longer time. I was planning to make this today, reading your suggestions and compared the two recipes. I can understand making less icing but not cake. Just wondering your reasoning. Thanks
Debbie, as I explain in the post for this recipe I love this size cake for taking to pot lucks, tailgating, baking, taking to friends or neighbors, and just for making a quick and easy cake! It transports beautifully in the 9×13 baking dish and I love that I don’t have to worry about a cake slipping or sliding on a cake plate! I can top this fully frosted cake with a lid and the frosting remains beautiful while transporting. You can always use the full cake recipe for the 9×13 cake if you wish.
What a great recipe! I used 4x the recipe to get a 9×13 cake at 3 inches high. This was perfect for my needs
Hi Robyn! I plan to make this for my son’s birthday party tomorrow. Reading through both recipes and the comments, I realized I do not know how tall this cake will be with just the 1X ingredients listed. It will be staying in the glass, 9×13 baking dish and lightly decorated in this dish.
Tara, if you are wanting a thicker cake for the birthday party, I would bake the full recipe of the Best Chocolate Cake (Ever) Recipe.
I didn’t make this yet. Just wondering how only 1 cup of flour makes a 9×13 cake. Is that a mistake?
Sue, this amount is correct. I like the ratio of cake to frosting that you get with this recipe but if you want a thick 9×13 cake, make my full recipe of Best Chocolate Cake (Ever).
Hi, I was wondering if I could scale this cake down to make a 6″ cake with two or three layers. I’ve made the full two layer 9″ cake and it was delicious. With just two of us it would be nice to be able to make a smaller layer cake.
Mina, I haven’t made the chocolate cake as a 6-inch cake but several people have commented that they have. Some said they bake the full recipe Best Chocolate Cake (Ever) Recipe in 3 6-inch pans at 350º for about 30 – 35 minutes.
I’ve been making this recipe for years, sorry I’m just getting around to reviewing it! My husband calls this crack cake…. seriously. He hints once in a while, like he has for the past week and a half that he wants some crack cake, and I know exactly what cake he’s referring to. I hadn’t made it yet, because I was all out of espresso powder, and had to order more. Well it finally arrived, so here I am about to make his “crack cake”. 😂 Thank you for amazing recipes that we keep coming back to over and over again!
Thanks, Andrea. I’m so glad you and your husband have loved this cake for years. I appreciate you letting me know you love my recipes.
Doing the full receipe for the 9×13..what’s the adjusted baking time
If you are baking the full recipe in the 9×13 pan, it would need to bake at 350º F about 35-40 minutes. Hope you enjoy!