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!

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (9x13 Recipe) - This is the easiest 9x13 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 9x13 sheet cake! // addapinch.com

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!

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (9x13 Recipe) - This is the easiest 9x13 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 9x13 sheet cake! // addapinch.com

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!

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (9x13 Recipe) - This is the easiest 9x13 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 9x13 sheet cake! // addapinch.com

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.

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (9x13 Recipe) - This is the easiest 9x13 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 9x13 sheet cake! // addapinch.com

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 (9x13 Recipe) - This is the easiest 9x13 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 9x13 sheet cake! // addapinch.com

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (9x13 Recipe)

My Best Chocolate Cake that everyone absolutely loves, made even easier and sized for a 9x13 sheet cake! It's so easy, delicious and perfect to make anytime!
4.64 from 44 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake Recipe (9x13 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 (9x13 Recipe)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare one 9x13 baking dish by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  • For the cake:
  • Whisk together add 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 9x13 dish.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (9x13 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.

Notes

If you like a thicker cake, use the full recipe for The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Ever).
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (9x13 Recipe) - This is the easiest 9x13 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 9x13 sheet cake! // addapinch.com

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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214 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Can I make your nine inch chocolate cake in a 11x14x2 inch sheet pan.  I need to feed about 40 people. Is it the same amount of batter or should I make one extra nine inch round ? Thanks 

    1. Hi Diane,
      I have the baking directions for a Large Sheet Cake size using my Best Chocolate Cake recipe. It’s one recipe worth, but baking instructions are for the sheet cake size.
      However, you say you need enough to feed 40 people – I’m not sure the 11×14 is enough to that many. I cut generous sized slices and get 12 servings for this size cake. You know more about what you need than I do, but I just wanted to mention that for your consideration.
      I hope this helps and that your father in law has a wonderful birthday! xo

  2. Hey again Robin! How thick is this cake? I’m planning to make it for new year’s eve and would really appreciate it if you replied. Thanks!

    1. I made it 2 years ago in a large angel food pan (I love the look with the hole in the center) for my youngest gal’s 3rd birthday, and it was nice and thick! I am making it again today for my middle gal’s NYE 7th birthday. I will be using a Wilton dinosaur cake pan. 🙂 

  3. It’s New Year’s Eve and I hope this cake is going to make it wonderful ❤️. I will insta you on how it turns out ❤️!! Happy New year 🥳 

    1. I hope you enjoy it, Danya! Make sure you read the notes about what to do if you desire a thicker cake. I like it as is because I like the frosting to cake ratio, but I’ve left a note in case you want a thicker cake. Thanks! xo

  4. In the kitchen, baking is my weakest skill set…but this recipe was terrific! Moist cake, not too sweet and that touch of espresso is right on point! THANK YOU!

  5. I followed the recipe as written, used a 9×13 pan, and my cake only rose to about an inch high… Is that expected? From the pictures, I was expecting something more like 1.5, 2 inches thick. I made sure to watch it like a hawk in the oven based on how shallow the batter was, and took it out after only 20 mins. Passed the toothpick test.

    1. Hi Emily,
      I’ve included a note in the recipe. I made the recipe as written for the 9×13 cake as I like the frosting ratio as pictured. But if you wish for a thicker cake, you can adjust as mentioned in the recipe notes. I hope this helps and that you enjoy it! Thanks!

  6. This was fantastic! I used a half a cup of brewed coffee instead of water and espresso powder because I didn’t have any. Also substituted some sour cream for milk in the icing. Will make again and again! Thank you!!!

  7. I love this recipe, its the one I use for my partner’s work colleagues occasionally because sometimes cake makes a rough day less tough. My question is though, do you use a ceramic baking dish or a metal baking tray to cook the cake. Because your photo looks like it’s in ceramic. Is there a difference in the cake? Would the cooking time be different? 

    1. Hello, I followed the recipe and the cake in the 9×13 pan is less than an inch. Is this expected? If I double the recipe for this size, will it be double the thickness?

      1. Hi Sara,
        As I state in my post, my family likes the ratio of the cake and the frosting for this size cake. In the recipe Notes, I state that if you like a thicker cake, use the full recipe for the Best Chocolate Cake Ever Recipe. Hope you this answers your questions and you enjoy your cake. Thanks!

  8. Wonderful cake. I followed the instructions and it was delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe. It made my son happy. 

  9. This is one yummy recipe! I’ve made the 9 inch cake pan recipe and it was a hit. I would like to know that if I want to half the 9×13 recipe to make 12 proportions, what size cake pan should I use?

  10. I’ve made this cake many times. Everyone loves it. I’ve always made it in a 9×13 pan. Can this cake recipe be used to make 2 round cakes for a double layer cake?

    1. Hi Diane,
      I don’t use a substitute for the espresso powder, but you can omit it if you wish. You can also make your own Espresso Powder for baking.
      (Also, for this cake, be sure to read the note at the end of the recipe about making a thicker cake if you desire.)
      Enjoy – it’s delicious! xo

  11. The cake is absolutely delicious. I baked it for 30 minutes but by that point the cake was overdone. I will bake it for a shorter length of time on my next go around. I live in Colorado so maybe the altitude had something to do with it? Nonetheless! The cake was teriffic, the frosting sure gave the cake the moisture it lacked. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I’m happy you enjoyed the cake! However, I do think the altitude may have caused an issue with it getting a bit overdone. Also, this cake is usually incredibly moist. Make sure you add the boiling water…if you did, again it may the need for an altitude adjustment. Thanks! xo

  12. So…. I’ve made this chocolate sheet cake 5 times in the last three weeks. It’s incredible and doesn’t last more than two days in our house! I’m using a different frosting recipe, but this will forever be my go to chocolate cake recipe. The only change I made was a substitution of the espresso powder for a dark roast Starbucks Via instant coffee packet.

    Pro Tip: adding sprinkles is an aesthetic must, and obviously makes the cake taste like an 11/10!

  13. Hello Robyn,

    I was looking at your recipe. In the cake portion you have a 1/2 cup of cocoa. Is this the same as the unsweetened cocoa in the frosting or is it something different? Thanks

  14. Can this be flipped out of the pan when cooled? Can I layer 2 9×13 cakes? I don’t have round pans and would like to make a layered cake for birthday cake. 

    1. Yes, Melissa, you can make a layer cake out of the 9×13 cakes. Since you will be making a 9×13 layer cake, I would suggest you use the full recipe for the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever! for each of the layers and bake in the 9×13 pans. The layers would be thicker than the 9×13 recipe cake. You will want to prepare the cake pans by spraying well with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring prior to pouring in the cake batter. Then after baking, remove cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Carefully turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting. Hope this helps!

  15. This is the BEST recipe for chocolate cake!!!! Thank you so much for creating this recipe and making it available for everyone. I have made all sizes of this cake and this is my fav, it is so easy!!!

  16. Thanks so much for this wonderful variation of your beyond amazing Best Chocolate Cake! My daughter and I made your original recipe and can honestly say it’s the BEST cake and frosting recipe I’ve ever had!!! It’s incredibly easy too, and the frosting is the best I’ve ever made, all thanks to you! (My family never liked the various buttercream recipes I’ve tried in the past, so you helped me redeem myself too!). I can’t thank you enough and am looking forward to trying out more of your recipes soon!

  17. Robyn Robyn Robyn this chocolate cake was out of this world. It was moist, light and fluffy! Thank you for sharing. This will be my go to chocolate cake recipe. Do you have a vanilla Cake recipe?

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