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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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Thank you so much for this! It is our favorite chocolate cake ever, and this just made it that much easier!!!
I’m so glad you love the cake and hope that you enjoy this version! xo
Thanx for the recipe…I love ure site and keep coming back to it for lots more of the recipes..its so easy and quick..keep giving us good ones!
I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipes, Zara! xo
Well, can I omit the espresso powder?
You sure can!
Mam can I use sunflower oil ?
Looks delish , Can i substiture boiling water with milk.?
It will change the texture of the cake, Betty. I really recommend using the boiling water.
Can I use instant coffee instead of espresso powder? If so how much
1/2 cup? of unsweetened cocoa
Yes, unsweetened. I hope you enjoy it!
My cake cake out pretty thin (didn’t rise much) and dry (took it out at 25 mins and it was already overcooked). Any ideas what went wrong? If the original recipe makes two 9″ circle pans then wouldn’t this recipe fit one 9″ circle not 9×13? The icing turned out delicious though!!!
Mam , made this cake twice for my husbands birthday and everyone just loved it .both the times it came out awesome … thank u so much for this recipe and keep going ??? God bless u
This cake definitely looks like the best chocolate cake! Saved 🙂
My family is coming over this Sunday to celebrate my sister and brother’s birthday. This is definitely going to be the birthday desert! YUM!
What is expresso powder and where do I find it?
Thanks for the recipe… I adjusted the sugar a little bit, I’ve made this so many times & it always turned out perfect, everyone loves it…so for this 9×13 size, what’s the height of the cake?
This is sort of an urgent question as I need to bake a chocolate adult birthday cake for this Friday. There will be 20 people at the party. In this recipe, the 9×13 version, the ingredients indicate a 1/2 cup cocoa for the cake. Is that unsweetened cocoa?
Also, I am still debating whether I should do the original Best Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe, that is, the 9″ round version. Do you think that if the pieces are sliced thin, it would be enough for 20 people?
Your response is greatly appreciated!
Yes, the cocoa is unsweetened cocoa powder. I think you’d have great results using the original cake (9-inch round, layered version) for that number of people. I hope you enjoy it! xo
Thank you for this recipe which was made this afternoon as I had all the ingredients but vegetable oil in the pantry which I substituted with Almond Oil (which I did have). The cake and the chocolate frosting turned out brilliantly; all was eaten by my husband and I. A super cake.
Would this recipe be suitable to
Make a 2 tiered layer cake? If not could you please recommend a chocolate cake recipe that would be
I would recommend using the original Best Chocolate Cake recipe as it is already written for a 2-tiered layer cake like you are needing. I hope that helps! xo
One of my absolute favorites!!
This is urgent as I need to make a birthday cake tomorrow. I have a square 9 inch by 9 inch cake tin. It’s about 3 inches deep. Would this tin be best for this 9×13 recipe? Or should I do your 9 inch round recipe twice (since I have 1 tin) and layer the two cakes with frosting in the middle?
I don’t think that your 9×9 is going to be large enough for the full 9×13 recipe. So you could either make the 9×13 recipe and partially fill the 9×9 pan, careful not to get it too full so it doesn’t run out, and save the remainder. Or you could make the Best Chocolate Cake recipe in your round cake pans.
I hope you enjoy it. Thanks so much!
Do you have recommendations for baking this cake at high altitude?
Looks great. Thank you! 2 questions:
1. If I make the cake ahead of time and the frosting the day of, what is the best way to store the cake? Does the cake need to be refrigerated once I add the frosting because of the milk?
2. Do I need to sift the dry ingredients?
1. There is no need to refrigerate the cake and I actually discourage it as it tends to dry out the cake. I would just recommend covering tightly with wrap and storing in a cool place in your kitchen.
2. I tend to run a whisk through my dry ingredients, but you do not have to sift the dry ingredients.
I hope you enjoy the cake! It is scrumptious!!! xo
Thank you! 🙂
Hi! Would I be able to bake this in a standard bundt pan? I’m making a caramel chocolate cake for a co-worker’s retirement party Wednesday.
Hi Amanda –
I’ve not made this recipe in a bundt pan. Thanks!
Haven’t been able to find the expresso powder….am looking in baking section. ..is that correct? Any suggestions. ..was wanting to make this for Thursday evening small group
I actually save out some coffee in the morning and boil it to add when mixing. Works great. Love these cakes!
Thank you so much, Shayne! So glad you enjoy them! xo
I found it at quality foods In the coffee section
Cant wait to try your chocolate cake! Sorry if I sound dense. I just started to bake and not sure on the instructions. In the frosting ingredients it says 1/2 cocoa. What half is that? A teaspoon or tablespoon or half of the cocoa mentioned in the 1/2 cup in cake ingredients? I don’t want to assume anything.
Thank you so much, Bobbi – you actually found an error! It should read, “1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa” and I have it corrected now. I really appreciate you asking this so that I could fix it!
I hope enjoy the cake and I truly appreciate you very much! xo
Hi, Robyn! I just wanted to tell you how much I love this cake. (I’m sure you get that all the time!) This has become my go-to recipe for my sister’s kiddos’ birthday cakes for the past two years. They all love it so much, and always beg for this to be their birthday present from me. I’ve always made the original recipe in a round pan, but this Christmas, some coworkers asked me to bake them a rectangular sheet cake for a gathering. Of course I was going to use this recipe… and when I saw you had scaled it for a 9X13″ pan, well… this has been perfect for me. It’s as though you read my mind! Thank you so much for all you do! You are as amazing as your delicious recipes. Happy holidays, and thanks again!
Hi Berk – I’m so happy you enjoy the cakes! Thank you so very much! Have a wonderful new year!!! xo
I just made this cake and it is delicious. But, it is so flat! It is only about 1/2 inch thick. I was concerned when I poured it into the 9×13 pan (double checked the measurements) as it seemed pretty scant. I then searched other 9×13 recipes and they all called for double the ingredients for that size pan. Am I missing something? This seems to fit the 9×9 pan recipes that I have. It’s a good cake but I will need to bake another one to have enough for the birthday!
The cake should have risen to result in a nice, thick 9×13 cake. I’m sure they were, but one thing to double check is that your baking soda is less than six months old and that your baking powder is fresh and active so that it makes the cake rise properly.
I had the same experience, with fresh leavening ingredients, too. Great tasting cake, but I’m going to try it in a 9×9 next time.
Hi Elizabeth –
I’m very glad you enjoyed the cake! I’m not sure why it didn’t rise as it should for the 9×13 because it should be a full, thick cake in that size pan. Thanks so much!
Hi Robyn, your recipe is really amazing, I tried it it and it tasted lovely and looked like the picture. I look forward to trying the rest of your recipes and I can’t emphasize more on how delicious it was!
Thanks so much, Tina! So happy you enjoyed it and hope you like all my other recipes as well! xo
I just pulled this out of the oven — smells divine! My cake is also only about half an inch deep, all fresh rising ingredients. Thinking I’ll just make the layer cake recipe and bake it in the 13×9. Thanks — made vanilla buttercream and just waiting for it to cool!
I attempted making this cake and it was absolutely delicious! However, I had a hard time taking cut pieces out of the pan without them breaking apart. It ended up being delicious crumbly messes in our plate and we enjoyed it nonetheless but I’d like to improve on it. Any ideas why that may have happened?
Hi Mariam –
I’ve not had that happen, so I can’t be certain what it was. Is it possible that your baking powder or baking soda was a little older – maybe over 6 months old?
I am happy you enjoyed the cake though! Thanks so much! xo
I was not very impressed. Very dry, flat and livery sweet.
I’m sorry your cake was dry Holly! I’m not sure what went wrong, but something must have – this is an extremely moist cake and should rise to a nice size cake for this pan.
Wow! ! Delicious cake! I made some adjustments for our higher altitude – slightly reduced sugar, slightly more liquid and higher temp fan oven for shorter time. I also didn’t have espresso powder so just dissolved good quality instant coffee in the boiling water and added it to the milk for the icing. Complete winner! Thank you so much x
So happy you liked it, Lara! Thanks so much! xo
The cake was good, but the frosting is amazing! Thanks for a quick and easy recipe. BTW – My cake was a bit flat too but my baking soda could stand to be replaced.
Made this cake last night for company I did not have instant expresso But didnt matter everyone had 2 servings was delish! My boys are not big on cake and frosting and they had seconds also This will be my new go to cake recipe can’t wait to make it again and will try with instant espresso!
Great, Marcelle! So happy you all liked it! Thanks so much!
We love love this chocolate cake! And we are chocolate freaks!
Oh I’m so glad you love it! Thanks so much! xo
I’ve made the original recipe several times now and love it. For a birthday party this weekend, I wanted to make a 9×13 version of the cake so I checked this out to see if there were any changes for baking temp/time. When I read this recipe, I was confused by the fact that it’s written to make only half as much batter (and that some of the ratios were changed). I can see why there are so many comments about the cake turning out flat!! It’s not because of old ingredients, but because there is only half as much batter in this recipe as there should be. Two 9″ round pans together only hold slightly more volume than a 9×13″ pan (less than 10% difference). (Comparing the surface areas gives you about 127 sq inches for the two round pans, and 117 sq inches for the rectangular one.) Pretty close!
So instead of using this recipe, I just made the original cake recipe as written for 2 round pans, and poured the batter into my greased 9×13″ pan. Baked it at 350 for about 35 minutes. Turned out perfect! Easy peasy.
Thought I would share in case that’s helpful for anyone! You can safely go ahead and just use the original recipe. 🙂
I wish I had read this before putting mine in the oven! 🙁 so flat!
Hi Liserb –
I’m sorry yours turned out flat – it should not have been. I make this often and don’t have that problem. I can’t be sure what happened, but could it be possible that the baking powder or baking soda were not fresh? Sometimes that can keep a cake from rising as it should.
Thanks, this really helped. I was having the same doubt as I wanted to make one 9X13 for a big group and didn’t understand whether to make the original recipe or the scaled down version.
I hope you enjoy the cake! You can see the thickness of my recipe in my video and in my pictures. I prefer it this thickness, but if you like it thicker, you can certainly make more batter as discussed here.
Either way, it is a delicious cake and I hope you like it!
Thanks so much! xo
I tried the recipe for the 9×13 and it was flat. It was Not because of old ingredients. I made it again using the original cake recipe and baked it in a 9×13 pan. It turned out perfectly. I used the icing recipe for the scaled down version. This is the correct balance of cake and icing.
I made this cake for my daughter’s bday ( round 9 inch) and it was amazing. everyone loved it and asked for the recipe.
I need to make this for a larger group now. Can you please tell me the adjustments I need to make for a half sheet cake?
Thanks for this lovely recipe.
I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake for your daughter’s birthday. Look at the recipe Best Chocolate Cake with Fudge Icing for instructions on how to make this cake in a half sheet pan. xo
This really was a great cake and frosting. I had just had two bakery cakes brought home to me (made the cake before I knew they were coming) and this one out-shined them both.
Thanks so much Shaylinn! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it! xo
Hi Robyn! 🙂
I was wondering if I could use this recipe for a 9 inch round pan, since I only have round pans and just want to make a single layer cake.
Hello Robyn,I want to make your cake today for my neighbour,he was diagnosed yesterday with Motor Neurones Decease and asked me to make him a chocolate cake, I have chosen your chocolate cake recipe but would like to make it in a 2lb loaf tin,for ease of cutting etc for him,could you give me some idea of cooking times etc,
Thank you regards Delia
Hi Delia –
Please give my best regards to your neighbor – I am sorry he is not well and hope he is ok.
I’ve not made this particular cake in a loaf tin, so I can’t advise how to change the recipe. I have, however, written this cake recipe for my Best Chocolate Cake 9×13 Pan in case this would work better for you.
I’ve read both the round cake recipe and the 9×13 and I’m just wondering why you don’t use the mixer for the 9×13?
We absolutely loved this! And thought the sizing was perfect for a 9×13 pan. Thanks so much for a great recipe!
I have a question about the espresso powder! I will be making this for kids – best for me to leave it out, what do you think? It would certainly alter the flavour though…
You can omit the espresso powder if you’d like.
Holy Cow, this is addictive. i made this last night in prep for a big east coast snowstorm. ( just ensuring we
had the “essentials” in case of power outage) ! . It was super easy and turned out exactly as stated..Nice to just whisk everything together without dragging out the mixer. It has that deep chocolate flavor that I’m always looking for and buttercream is sooo creamy and delish. We’ll have this polished off in a day. Additionally, I love how this is a thinner cake.. more like a snack cake size with great frosting to cake ratio. Will be making again…and again.. Thanks for posting ( along with the other choco cake variations that i’ll
try in future).
Chocolate cake is so important in those power outages, right?! 😉
I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it! And I enjoy the depth of this cake too – love the amount of frosting with cake!
Thank you so very much! xo
Can I use half coffee and half water (hot of course). Thanks.
OK, after reading all the comments, I’m going to make this cake for my Mom’s 85th birthday celebration. She has a classic chocolate cake recipe with broiled coconut icing that is our family’s standard for chocolate cake, but Tuesday, everyone is going to get this cake! I gave it 5 stars in anticipation — I’ll let you know how it turns out!
This looks so delish!! I have a 9×13 glass pan. How can I modify the recipe to adjust for that?
No need to modify. The recipe is for a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. It doesn’t matter if it’s glass. Still 9 by 13. 🙂
If i dnt have baking soda what can i do? Is it ok to add 2 tsp of baking powder for that? I did like that. But my cake didnt rise. What can b wrong with me?
Both the baking soda and baking powder are essential in this cake for it to rise. It’s important to use the ingredients and the instructions in the recipe for the desired results.
I hope you try this again and that you enjoy it! It’s a really delicious cake.
Thanks so much!
Hi! I want to use this recipe as a basis for a kids birthday cake. Will it work ok to bake in a pan and then take it out to cool on a rack so I can put icing all over it? Is there a different recipe I should use? Thanks!
Could you please tell me approximately how high this rises? I need to make a layer cake this size, and would prefer to make one and cut it horizontally. Cheers.
Sounds really good! Can one steam this cake like a pudding? Thanks alot.
This is hands-down the best homemade chocolate cake EVER. It tastes like one of those delicious masterpieces you get in a bakery that makes you think, ‘Wow, I’d love to be able to bake this at home’, but you never can- until now! This is so moist and delicious, and the size is perfect! I’d argue that it’s best on the second day, funnily enough, so restraining one’s self is well rewarded…
Oh thank you so very much, Eve! I’m so happy you enjoy it! I’m making one today as we speak! Thanks! xo
I’m making this for a kids birthday. Can I flip cake out of the pan and put on a cookie sheet so frost the whole cake top and sides?
With one cup of flour and one cup of sugar this cake turned out VERY short. I think the recipe should be doubled for a 13 x 9
I agree, I just made it (it’s cooling) and it’s quite thin ☹️. So, either double the recipe or use a 9” pan.
Greetings from Hungary!
I made this cake last weekend and it turned out perfect! I didn’t use baking soda, only baking powder and it rose as tall as in your photos. When I poured the rather thin mixture into my 9X13 pan, I was skeptical because it came up about 1/3 of an inch in it, but it rose beautifully and after about 40-45 minutes it was ready.
(Since I am an editor, and cannot help noticing and mentioning errors, I want to let you know that the “Ingredients” for the frosting do not have cream whereas the “Instructions” do, so it is not clear what exactly has to be done. I improvised (I did not start baking yesterday 🙂 ) and the frosting was also heavenly. I do hope you don’t mind this comment.)
I have also made your strawberry cobbler, and it was so good, it was gone in 15 minutes. I will make sure to leave a comment there, also 🙂 .
Thank you for this recipe! I will keep returning to your site for more ideas, that is for sure.
I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake and the frosting! I love that strawberry cobbler as well – it doesn’t last long when I serve it either! 😉
I do appreciate your input and I am sorry that part of the instructions were not clear. I used “cream” as a cooking term and not an ingredient, so I will correct to make that read more clearly.
I’m honored to have you visit the site for recipes and love hearing from you! I hope you enjoy all the other recipes you try!
Thanks so much! xo
Is the cocoa unsweetened?
Yes, it is unsweetened cocoa. Enjoy! Thanks!
Do you have any advice if I don’t have espresso powder on hand? Will it be flavorful without it or should I put in some instant coffee?
Marie i always make my choc cake with 1 cup of hot coffee and omit the cup of boiling water. I love how amazing it turns out. Making it right now as a matter of fact. ☺
I just made this cake followed directions precisely and it didn’t rise as I expected it would have…should have (only about 1/2 the size of the pan) disappointed as I needed this for a potluck tomorrow.
I have never made a cake before, and I decided to try this out for Father’s Day (my dad is a big chocolate fan). Followed the recipe exactly as written, and it was perfect! Everyone loved it! Absolutely delicious and the perfect cake-to-frosting ratio. Thank you, thank you!! This will now be made for future special occasions!
Thanks so much, DC! I’m so honored that this was your FIRST cake!!! Thrilled that everyone loved it!
So glad to hear that you like the cake to frosting ratio as well!
Thanks so much! xo
Not good for a reg 9×13- my cake literally turned out to be 1/2″ thick- and I followed the recipe to a T. Way too small- would literally feed 4 people maybe- are the baking soda/baking power measurements correct? Cant I just do the reg choc cake recipe and put the batter in a 9×13? Going to try that now- why would this cake not rise 2″ like pictured? Baking soda & powders are nowhere neat the expiration date-
I’ve used the regular recipe for a 9×13 twice and it turned out fine. I just tooth-pick tested it a few times to make sure it was done.
I made this cake for my dad’s birthday and it turned out amazing! I doubled it and put a second 9/13 layer on top with the buttercream filling in the middle. The espresso powder definitely makes this a keeper! So moist and yummy my kids devoured it which is a tell all for how delicious it is! Thank you for the great cake recipe it’s a keeper for sure!!!!
I hope your dad had a wonderful birthday, Courtney! I appreciate you letting me know how much you all enjoyed this cake!
Thanks so much! xo
Made this yesterday to take to a friend for after lunch. I poured it into a bundt pan and cooked for 30min. It worked and tasted great. Very happy as it was my first chocolate cake from scratch. Thanks for the recipe ??
I’m so happy this worked out for you Kim! I’m glad to know that amount of time worked in a bundt pan. Thanks so much! xo
Can I freeze this? I am not a regular baker but am making this for my son’s birthday. I am making two of them and icing in between to make it higher. I appreciate any advice you have!
HI Robyn, I really would like to know the answer for the above question too.
In addition, is the cake stable enough to be covered with fondant (after layering and ganached)?
Thanks for your advice in advanced 🙂
Can I use this recipe for 6-inch round pan?
I’ve not made this in a 6 inch pan. Thanks!
You need to double this for 13×9 pan unless you want a very thin cake.
It’s never seemed too thin for my family and friends when I make it, but I’m sorry it was too thin for you. Thanks!
Had a similar problem – it turned out to be about 1/2″ thick. I ended up making two and layering them.
Many like the cake to frosting ratio of this recipe but others like a different thickness of the cake.
I’ve added a note to use my full Best Chocolate Cake recipe if you like a thicker cake.
Thanks so much for your input! xo
I found the cake too thin too. Is the one cup flour a mistake?
It’s not a mistake. Many like this thickness for the cake with the cake to frosting ratio it has. I’ve added a note to the recipe to use my full Best Chocolate Cake recipe if you like a thicker cake. Thanks!
I love you for considering everyone’s individual pan size. It instills confidence in the novice. Many thanks for the recipe and the chatter surrounding you.
Brave to put yourself out there, amazing how we all need to share our opinions these days. (Myself included.) Purpose of this post? Since I have not tried the cake, it is to sing your praises for your attitude and your efforts. I am sure we will love the cake as well. Our best to you, and thanks again.
What a kind comment, Candace! I appreciate this very much and hope you enjoy the cake if you give it a try sometime! Nice to hear from you – thanks so much! xo
I’ve tried this recipe a few times, and it seems that it comes out too moist. I take it out of the pan to cool completely but it sticks to the pan. I leave it in the pan to cool completely, and it sticks to the pan. Do you have any suggestions to maybe fix my issue?
Since this is a sheet cake, I frost this cake in the pan after it has cooled and serve from the same pan.
If you are planning to remove the cake from the pan, you will want to prepare the cake pan by spraying 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 for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire cake rack.
I hope this helps you. Thanks!
This is the perfect recipe for a cake on the fly. My coworker is celebrating her Birthday tomorrow, I got home pretty late, so the ease and speed of this recipe from start to finish is a winner! Chocolate sheet cake is the best 🙂
Yay, Denise – I’m so happy you liked this! Thanks so much for letting me know! xo
Heyy OMG I love this cake. This gives even better results than the Betty Crocker cake mix…and Im like an ardent fan of choco cakes and chocolate anything. And my random midnight cake cravings always get lost due to the complexities of cake baking. This recipe is super! I baked this cake for a group study session for my friends, and it came out perfect. Only thing I used Choco Ganache topping rather than buttercream coz Im a ganache lover, and this sheet cake recipe gave perfect 2inch high cake for an 11x7inch dish. So I guess all those complaining about it being too thin, either double the recipe(i.e.follow the original) or use a smaller size dish.
Thank you. Will be using this recipe like….EVERYDAY!!!! <3 😀
I’m so glad you love it, Mehreen! xo
I don’t understand the ratios here either. Your regular best chocolate cake says it feeds 12. This one basically is a half recipe and it says it feeds 24. I’ve doubled it now after realising how thin it was.I think I may have to make another double batch and layer it with icing in the middle to feed enough people (I’m making a kids birthday cake). cause if it is really as delicious as everybody is saying and as delicious as the batter was when I accidentally licked the spoon, then it would be sacrilege not to have leftovers.
So, I’ve just made this cake now. It is absolutely divine. Sooo moist and soft and springy. I absolutely love the texture. And the crumb and colour also look beautiful. I made a couple of changes. I doubled the recipe because in a 9×11 pan, this would have been way too thin. I baked it at a slightly lower heat but fan forced and for 50 minutes to allow the higher cake to cook through. As I said, absolutely perfect. As filling I made a swiss meringue buttercream that has 2 ounces of pureed raspberries folded through. The contrast of the rich and chocolatey cake and the bright and zingy raspberry buttercream is out of this world. This way it will please the chocolate lovers and also those who are not all that into too much chocolate. I can’t stop eating the offcuts!
Well that raspberry buttercream sounds divine! I will need to try that!
Robyn, you’ve truely outdone yourself with this recipe! I made it last night (at around 10pm) and by morning there was only half left 🙂
The cake was perfect – super decadent and rose wonderfully in my slightly smaller baking pan. Was a little skeptical about how soupy the mix was, but it was fine once cooked. I used unsweetened almond milk as a replacement which wasn’t strong in flavour at all, brown sugar instead of white, and I made up half a cup of hot coffee because I didn’t have espresso powder. Worked a treat! I also mixed in some unsweetened blackberry jam into my chocolate icing which was pretty delicious too. I would highly recommend this excellent recipe to all!
Please help How do I change your 9×13 chocolate cake to a vanilla one Please and if I needed to convert chocolate cake and vanilla cake to 8x 13 rectangular, 13 x 8 rectangular (not sure what way it goes), What would be the recipe PLEASE, I HAVE SEARCH EVERY WHERE.
I love this cake recipe. It has been a hit at family Birthday parties!
I don’t see an answer about making it ahead and freezing? I’ve heard of wrapping cakes in plastic wrap then foil to freeze. What do you think.
I’m so glad you love this cake. It is one of our absolute favorites as well!
To freeze, I do recommend letting it cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap, followed by foil as you mention. Then, you should be able to freeze for up to 3 months. To serve it, just remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for frosting.
I’m so glad you love the cake! Yes – it does freeze well. Just let it cool, wrap it in freezer safe wrap, store in airtight container. I hope this helps! Thanks Mary! xo
I’ve used the full Best Chocolate Cake recipe with great success, That recipe calls for the batter to be poured into two 9-inch round pans. If I want to use the full Best Chocolate Cake recipe for a 9 x 13 cake, do I put all the batter into TWO 9 x13 pans and create two layers — or should ONE 9 x 13 pan and pour all the batter into that? Will a single pan create a cake that’s too thick and undercooked? Will two pans yield cakes that are too thin and overcooked?
You can pour the full batter into one 9×13. It does fill the cake pan, but still leaves enough room for a thick, yummy layer of frosting! 🙂
I knew this chocolate cake would be a winner because your white cake recipe KILLS every time. This cake was super moist and yummy- made extra special with mexican chocolate buttercream frosting. (I used your Nutella frosting recipe but used the Trader Joe’s almond/chocolate spread and added cinnamon.Delicious!) Thanks for your amazing recipes!
Oh wow, Krista, now you’ve made me have a chocolate – nutella craving like no other! 🙂
I am so excited you enjoy the White Cake and this cake too! Thank you so much! xo
Amazing! I’ve tried the original and this one. Perfect size.
So glad you enjoyed them both, Michelle! Thanks! xo
My 8 year old daughter selected your recipe for her birthday cake, she just googled it, read me the ingredients and I told her I have everything we need, lets do this.. And the cake turned out awesome.. I had to switch the espresso powder to espresso instant coffee both in the cake and frosting. I reduced the frosting ingredients as I was not too keen to have so much butter and sugar but still awesome!! Thank you for making my girl’s day fabulous with this easy no fuss recipe.. And the cake was ready in 30mins :))
Thank you again. Tasneem xo
I’m so excited that she picked my recipe for her birthday cake, Tasneem! So happy that you all enjoyed it too! I hope she had a wonderful birthday – give her my best birthday wishes!!!
Should I use a pan or glass dish? Is one better than the other? Would I have to adjust the temperature?
Decided to pick up baking again, and made this cake for a group of friends. No espresso powder, not something I’ve seen in this country, but I might order some online for the future.
Cake turned out fantastic though. I came home empty handed.
So happy you and your friends liked it, Zelda! xo
Disappointed ???? unfortunately the cake was super dry and I made it for a birthday party so embarrassing as well. The frosting was wonderful!, Everyone ate the frosting and tossed the cake. Not sure why, all ingredients were fresh, followed directions exactly as always, oven temp spot on and cooking time, batter tasted awesome and it looked wonderful out of the oven. However dry as a new sponge~. Could this be a result of being over cooked?
I’m sorry your cake didn’t turn out well, Melissa. I have never had a problem with this cake and it’s never been dry. I don’t know what could have happened as it is always such a moist cake. I am glad you liked the frosting though. xo
Robyn – I am making the chocolate cake in 9×13 for my twins birthday. They have a severe egg allergy. How much apple sauce do I use in this one? Will it come out of the pan ok if I grease & flour with the apple sauce substitute? Thanks!
I’ve emailed you a response. Have a fun party for the twins!!! Thanks! xo
HUGE success. Made a three-tiered birthday cake with choc hazelnut buttercream, and covered with dark choc ganache. Got plenty of praise from some critical aunts! Super easy to make, subbed cocoa for cacao. Highly recommended!!
Thanks Vi! xo
I made this cake for a celebration at my granddaughter’s Brownie Advancement ceremony and everyone loved it… I loved it so much that I meant to pin in to my favourites file in Pinterest but couldn’t find it again. I kind of forgot about it until today, Father’s Day. I searched high and low, Googled all kinds of things I remembered from having read it a few weeks ago, then stumbled on it again! Hallelujah! I knew it was the right one when I read through the comments and remembered the one about it having the perfect cake-to- frosting ratio (it truly does, by the way). Best. Cake. Ever.!
I am so glad you enjoyed it as well! I am a fan of the cake to frosting ratio and happy to hear you are as well! (And I’m so glad you found me after your search!) 🙂
Thanks so much Lesley! xo
Did I mention the buttercream is to die for? Well, it is!
Could I use this cake and buttercream and then cover in fondant? I want to use the shortcake as a base for a football pitch cake.
Is the buttercream stiff enough?
I tried the normal chocolate cake recipe about a month ago and they almost ate the plates too:)
Thank you very much indeed!!
How many cupcakes can this make?
Have you tried using a loaf pan? I do not have a cake pan so I am hoping to use the one that I have here. I am still learning how to bake. Thus, not much equipment and tools here.. I’m wondering what would be the baking time if using a loaf pan..
This is for a 9×9 cake Not a 13 x 9. It made a Very thin cake and was very disappointing for a birthday cake. I purposely searched for 13×9. You need to double your recipe if you are making this. Cake tastes fine, but should be in smaller pan.
I’m sorry you didn’t like the thickness of the cake. I really wish you had noticed the Recipe Notes. This recipe is for a 9×13 and is Not for a 9×9 like you mention. I wrote the recipe this way for the frosting to cake ratio. Many people like it like this, with more frosting-to-cake, but for those who want a thicker cake, I tell how to make it thicker in the Notes at the bottom of the Recipe. I hope this helps. Thanks so much.
Do you think it would be possible to bake this recipe in a standard bread pan for more of a bar cake? If so, what modifications would you suggest in baking time?
Perfect every time
This cake is absolutely amazing! I keep getting requests for this cake for events. It is simple to throw together, but tastes like it took hours to create!
I found this recipe this summer while looking for a chocolate cake recipe for my son’s birthday. It was a big hit with him, as well as the rest of the family. I have since made it for a potluck, and I received several compliments as well. The espresso is what really sets this cake apart from other chocolate cake recipes. Delicious!!
Thanks so much Sarah! xo
Hi. I was planning to make this cake for my son’s 3rd birthday. He is obsessed with pirates, and I wondered if it would be strong enough for me to layer a couple of 9x13s and carve it into a pirate ship shape?
What a sweet age! I know you will have fun enjoying his birthday!
I’ve not carved this cake into shapes before. It is a moist cake. Have you by chance found any pans in a pirate shape?
If you do give the pirate ship a try, I always advise giving anything different than the shared recipe a “test” ahead of the big day. You can always freeze the “test cake” for later.
Best of luck to you with this – I’d love to hear about it if you make the pirate ship! Thanks!
I just made this recipe and it turned out great. I didn’t make the frosting because I was looking for something closer to brownies but more like cake so that I could slice it and eat it by hand. I used a loaf pan and made the cake batter into Chocolate Cake Bread. It’s great. It’s moist and very tasty. The only thing I did differently was add a little orange extract because I’m not using frosting. It is a small amount in this halved recipe but that’s ok because I can’t eat but so much by myself. I would use the full cake recipe if I were trying to make a big cake but this is excellent for something I can finish in a few days without it drying out before I eat it. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a moist batter.
I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying it D.W.! Thanks!
This is our favourite chocolate cake recipe now. I love that it’s easy enough to make with the kids. I can make it without getting confused half-way though with all the ‘help’ I am getting :)-
Thank you for sharing!
Isn’t that “help” the best, Heather?! I’m so happy you enjoy it! xo
I also found this way to thin. Im thinking 1 cup of flour isn’t adequate for a 9×13 pan?
If you’d like a thicker cake, you can use the entire recipe for the Best Chocolate Cake Ever.
This is included as a Note at the end of my recipe for those who want a thicker cake. My family enjoys the cake to frosting ratio of this recipe as is, so that is why I tell how to make both options. Thanks so much!
Really is the best chocolate cake! I made this for my boyfriend’s birthday and it was amazing! I have never been very into chocolate cake, but this recipe changed my mind. He wanted an ice cream cake with actual chocolate cake instead of all ice cream, so I made this recipe, with hot espresso instead of the water and espresso powder, and added chocolate chips. Instead of icing I mixed chopped fresh raspberries with chocolate ice cream, cut the cake slices in half horizontally, and made individual ice cream sandwich cakes topped with more raspberries. It didn’t look like enough batter in the pan, but it rose perfectly. I’m going to make it again for a party next week, and try your icing recipe next time!
I’m glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed it, Cat! I can’t wait for you to try the Buttercream Frosting too! The ice cream cake sounds AMAZING with this!!! Thanks! xo
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
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
Can I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of whole milk?
You can use almond milk in this recipe, Tiya.
Proportions are all wrong!! A 9x 13 pan is 117 square inches. Each 9 inch round pan is 63 square inches, or 126 square inches total for 2 pans. The ingredients in this recipe is about half of of the round recipe so the cake is less than an inch tall. Took it out in 20 minutes and was already way over cooked. Please fix this one!!
Mary, 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.
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!
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. 🙂
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 🥳
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
Hey so , I’ve noticed that there’s no butter added to the chocolate cake recipe is it really not a problem?
The recipe is delicious as written in my experience, Danya. I hope you enjoy it! xo
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!
So glad to hear that you enjoyed it, James! Thanks!
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.
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!
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!!!
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?
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?
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!
Wonderful cake. I followed the instructions and it was delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe. It made my son happy.
So happy that your you and your son enjoyed it! Thanks so much! 🙂
Can I bake 2 of these and use for a 2 layer cake? Thanks in advance! I use the original recipe for the 9 inch pan often and I love it !!
Casey, 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. Once the cakes have cooled the 10 minutes, place a wire cake rack on top of the cake pan and turn the cake upside down onto the rack. Take a second rack and place over the bottom of the cake and, similar to a sandwich, turn the racks so that the bottom of the cake layer is resting on the rack. Remove the rack from the top of the cake and let the cake cool completely. Hope this helps!
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?
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?
I certainly do, Amanda! I’m so happy you enjoy this cake! Actually, my Best Chocolate Cake is the original and then I created the 9×13 from it. Enjoy! xo
What if you don’t have espresso powder? Is there a substitute?
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
Can i use glass tray?
A glass 9×13 pan should work fine. Hope you enjoy it!
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!
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
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!
It sounds like you love this cake about as much as I do! It never lasts Long at my house either. So glad you enjoy this cake! Thanks!
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
Yes, they both are unsweetened cocoa powder. Hope you like the cake!
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.
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!
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!!!
Thanks, Melinda. I appreciate hearing how much you like my recipe. xo
Surprise! It only fills the pan half way up. Was this meant for a 9 x 9?
No, this cake was meant for a 9×13 pan. In the Notes section of the recipe, I state that if you want a thicker cake to use the full recipe for the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Ever). My family likes the ratio of the cake to frosting that is in the 9×13 recipe. Hope this answers your question.
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!
Thank you so much. I’m so happy you redeemed yourself with the buttercream frosting! I hope you and your daughter find many more recipes here that you like.
What can I use in substitute for baking soda?
I haven’t tried making this cake with a substitute for baking soda but as a general rule, you add 3 times the amount of baking powder for the amount of baking soda in a recipe. So for this recipe, you would add an extra 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
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?
Thank you, Meliza. So happy you loved it. You might try my Best Vanilla Cake or my Best White Cake recipes.
I made this and added just a bit of chocolate pudding mix and used a different frosting because I was feeling lazy and OMG was it amazing. The cake was just the right amount of moist and fluffy and chocolatey. It took some serious restraint to just eat one piece!!! GREAT recipe!!
One thing I forgot to mention was it was done in about 20 mins rather than 30, but that might just be my oven.
Thanks, Molly. I’m so glad you liked the cake.
Awesome recipe 👌 cake was light and fluffy. Will try with frosting next time.
I made this cake and frosting using this recipe. It was very good! The 9×13, though didn’t rise much. It would be better in a 9×9 square pan, as several others have pointed out. The frosting layer was nice and thick. A great recipe that can be made in one bowl without a lot of effort. My oven isn’t that great, but I do use a thermometer to adjust temp to 350. I set the timer for 30 minutes and it was probably a bit overdone, maybe by 5 minutes. I will definitely be making this again!
I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake. As I stated in the Notes section, if you want a thicker 9×13 cake, use the full recipe of my Best Chocolate Cake (Ever). My family just prefers the ratio of the cake and the frosting in this recipe.
This chocolate cake was absolutely amazing! First time baking a chocolate cake from scratch too.
That’s great, Elle! Don’t you just love it when your first try for something is a success? Enjoy!
Will this recipe be enough for two 7 inch rounds?
If I use coconut milk, will the cake taste like coconut? My fam is dairy free, and not a fan of coconut. Thanks!
I haven’t been able to taste coconut when I’ve used it in this cake. You can always almond milk instead. Hope you enjoy!
How can I make this cake on a 16 inch round pan?
Hi! Made the 9 by 13. It was awesome. Did a 9 by 9 too. Also great. My nephew wants these as cupcakes. What would the baking time be?
Thanks, Beth. I’m so glad you love the cake. You might want to try my Best Chocolate Cupcakes recipe based on my chocolate cake recipe. Hope your nephew enjoys them.
Hi Beth, May I ask how long you baked it when you made 9×9 version? That’s what I’m planning to do. Thanks!
Should I use Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa or the natural type?
I use natural unsweetened cocoa powder, Megan. Hope you enjoy.
Thank you for this!!! I was about to start baking this cake but was looking at the round one, but I live in Chile and apparently they have never heard of round plastic portable cake containers so I googled how long to bake a 9×13 cake and this came up for the exact recipe I was about to bake! Yay!
I’m so glad you found this recipe, Karen. Hope you love the cake!
My family loved this cake. I didn’t have espresso powder so I omitted it, but I used everything else as listed and it came out delicious. Mine only took 25 minutes to bake. I will definitely be making this again.
Aren’t you thrilled when you bake something and your family loves it? Sometime try the cake with the espresso. It just adds more rich chocolate flavor. Thanks, Kristine. xo
This recipe was SO simple to throw together and turned out SO delicious! I used to make boxed cake mixes because I thought it took too much time/trouble to make one from scratch, but never again…THANK YOU for sharing such a wonderful recipe!
Thank you, Brittany. I love how easy this cake is to make. It’s even easier than a box cake to me. I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe
The frosting directions day to also add “cream”, but it doesn’t say cream in the ingreduents. Can you advise?
You don’t add cream, Betsy. The instructions say to cream together the butter and cocoa powder until well combined. Cream in this instance is a baking term for mixing the ingredients.
Hi Robyn …. from another country, so being a little awkward but which version (best ever or 9×13) should I make to cook in a 23cm circle (I guess thats 9in ? ) cake pan ? So no square pan and I don’t want to cook two cakes and layer, just one cake in a 23cm diameter cake pan. thanks 🙂
Claire, you could halve the Best Chocolate Cake (Ever) Recipe and bake one layer but my suggestion is to use the full recipe and bake in 2 23cm pans and freeze one layer for later. Hope this helps.
I’ve made this several times and it’s perfect! At high altitude, I just omit the baking soda and bake for 30 minutes. The recipe also works for a cheesecake pan (I’m going to cut the cake in half to make an ice cream cake with ice cream in the middle).
Thanks for your tips, Elizabeth. Your ice cream cake sounds delicious. Wish I had a slice tonight! xo
I just tried making this cake and it was perfect! Moist and chocolatey! I used a simpler frosting made of condensed milk and cacao only since I don’t have enough butter, but the cake itself was wonderful 😊
Thank you. Your frosting sounds delicious.
I want to make this for my sons birthday. Can I bake this same recipe in a 9inch square pan? Or should I use The best chocolate cake ever recipe? Thank you!
Several people have said they use this recipe to make a 9×9 square cake.
Thank you! Will try it.
Hi thanks! Just made and kept in the oven. How long do you think it will be for 9*9 pan?
Kamala, it will take about 5 to 10 minutes longer for the cake to bake in the 9×9 pan than the 9×13.
can I use this chocolate base for making blackforest cake ??
I haven’t made a black forest cake using this recipe but others have commented that they have succesfully.
Is this a thick or thin 9 by 13 inch cake?
I like the ratio of cake and frosting you get with this recipe. However, some people think it is too thin. As I state in my notes, if you want a thick cake, use the full recipe of my Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Ever).
Excellent recipe. Perfect size (the tin I used was slightly smaller than suggested). I omitted the cocoa in the icing to make it suit our taste.
I’m so glad you liked the cake, Sarah! Thanks.
Made this a few times now. IT IS HEAVENLY. My go-to recipe for any occasion (or no occasion!).
Thanks, Jody. I make this cake for no occasion sometimes, too.
This was soooo good!!!! It was a total hit at home. So much better than boxed cakes or those from the grocery store. It was moist and not too sweet.
Thanks, Marlene. So glad you loved the cake.
I love this cake recipe! Can you make a 12 x 16 version?
Charlotte, my Best Chocolate Cake With Fudge Icing is a 12×16 sheet cake version of this cake. Hope you enjoy!
I just made this cake and was a little sceptical as to whether it would turn out moist and chocolatey. But I have just had two pieces. It is fantastic!! Much better than a packet cake. I am not the world’s best cook so if I could make it anyone can. I will be making this and sharing at my next dinner party.
Saw the notes on to make it thicker use the full recipe, how long would it bake for in a 9×13 pan?
I usually start checking to see if it is done between 35 – 40 minutes. Hope you enjoy the cake.
The cake tastes good, but the proportions are entirely wrong. After making the batter, I realized that it was way way too little batter for a 9×13 pan. I put the batter in a 9×9 pan and baked it (it was done in 20 minutes). The cake was still thinner than I would like (only about an inch or so high) in a 9×9 pan!
Rachel, 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.
If I use the Best Chocolate Cake Ever recipe for a thicker cake in the 9×13, do I need to cook it for longer? Been trying to search for that answer, but didn’t see anything mentioned. Thank you!!
You will need to bake the cake longer if you use the Best Chocolate Ever recipe in the 9×13 pan, Saori, because you will have more batter in the pan. I usually start checking to see if it is done between 35 – 40 minutes. Hope you enjoy the cake.
put the 9 X 13 recipe in a 9″ square pan. It was done in 30 minutes. This is a delicious cake and so easy.
This is my husband’s FAVORITE dessert recipe. He is always asking me to make it. This weekend we are going to dinner at a friends one night and then having family over the next. Can this recipe be made in two 8 x 8 pans? So I have once for each night.
Thanks in advance for your help!!!
Suzanne, you can make this recipe using 2 8×8-inch pans.
Very easy. Very moist. Keeper.
I was wondering if you had a recommendation if my family wants more of a cream cheese frosting.
Can I substitute 8 oz of butter for 8 oz of cream cheese? Thanks!
Mary Ellen, if you are wanting a cream cheese frosting, you might want to try my Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe. Hope you and your family enjoy!
I put this together and poured it in my 9×13 and it was extremely thin. And when fully baked it only raised a 1/2 inch. Not sure, but I think you might have the ingredient proportions wrong here?! I had the intuition before I started and prob should have just followed the original amounts for the chocolate cake and put that in the 9×13. I might just make another and put it on top for a two layered sheet cake!
Molly, I’m sorry the cake was not as thick as you wanted. These are the proportions of frosting to cake my family likes in the 9×13 cake. That’s why I stated in the NOTES section:
If you like a thicker cake, use the full recipe for The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Ever).
I had the same problem, Molly! I agree the portions are off somehow. I don’t like too much frosting so I actually made half the recipe of what is in the 9×13 recipe. Thank goodness I did! If I did not, the frosting would have been thicker than the cake!
Quyen, if you want a thicker cake, follow the instructions I give under NOTES section of the recipe and make the full recipe of my Best Chocolate Cake (Ever) Recipe.
Very easy cake recipe and no chemical aftertaste like boxed mixes. I subbed in instant coffee dissolved in a little liquid for espresso powder and reduced sugar to 3/4 cup – Which was perfectly sweet for us. The frosting was too much in quantity so did 2/3 recipe.
I have made your cupcakes and your recipe for 2 x 9 inch. Delicous! Do you have ingredients measurements for 3 layers x 8 inches?
YOu can make 3 8-inch layers with the full recipe of the Best Chocolate Cake Ever but the layers will be a little thinner than in the 9-inch pans. If you make 1 1/2 times the recipe, you will have thicker layers. Just be careful you don’t over fill the pans.
Excellent home made chocolate cake! very moist and flavorful…I used 1/2 cup coffee instead of espresso powder and boiling water and frosted it with German chocolate frosting! Delicious!!
Thanks, Betty. I love this cake with German chocolate frosting, too.
Is gluten feee version close to as incredible as your original greatest cake ever?
Michael, many have commented that the gluten free version tastes just as great as the original. Hope you enjoy!
Absolutely the best chocolate sheet cake recipe! I won’t use any other recipe now, delicious!
I wish I could show you how perfect my cake turned out! Recipe was spot on, cake rose just how it was supposed to and plenty of room for icing and decorate 🙂 the taste is very good as well
I’m glad the cake turned out so well for you, Theah.
Hey Robyn , I getting back with you in regards to the flan cake. I did the flan as usual and did about 1/4 of the hot water and added an extra egg. When adding the flan mixture on top of the cake mixture, I noticed it went directly into the cake instead of Laying on top . I figured it’s probably because a typical box cake is thicker. When I inverted the cake the flan color was darker. I must say the taste was fantastic though.
Thanks for letting me know how it turned out, Jenny. At least, you loved the flavor. I was afraid the flan would just mix in with the cake batter since it is so thin.
Hi Robyn, may I use a dutch-processed cocoa powder? Or do I have to use the natural one?
Jess, I haven’t made this cake with Dutch Process cocoa, Maria, so I can’t tell you how it will work.
Hi Jess, looks like I’m a bit late, but I did use Dutch processed cocoa and it turned out great. In fact, I used Dutch processed that had a ‘best buy’ date of June 2020 and it was still fine! Lol, whoops. I did sift it in through a seive FYI. Good luck, and definitely make this cake. It is perfection.
Wow, absolutely perfect chocolate cake (I am not even a big chocolate fan but I couldn’t stop eating it until the pan was licked clean!). Recipe couldn’t have been easier, and the crumb was perfection: moist, tender, delicious, not too sweet, didn’t fall apart. The only problem is, you’ve now ruined store-bought cake for us and my son declined my offer to buy him a bakery cake for his birthday party as he only wants me to make THIS one for him again!
Modifications: I didn’t have espresso powder, and I swapped cake flour for AP.
Frosting recipe was simple and delicious as well. Spreads & pipes perfectly. Though I could’ve also eaten it with a spoon.
Thank you so much for making this novice baker momma a hero! I will never buy a boxed mix again, that’s for sure
Thanks, Tiffany. I’m thrilled you and your son loved this cake and frosting. Don’t you just love it when you make a recipe that your children think is awesome?
I have made this amazingly delish cake in layers so was happy to find it for a 9×13…sadly, I followed the recipe exactly and my cake is only about one inch high! 🤪
Elizabeth, my family likes the ratio of cake to frosting with this cake but as I state in the Notes section, if you want a thicker cake, next time, use the full Best Chocolate Cake Ever Recipe.
What about for 11×15 size??
Amy, I haven’t made this cake in an 11×15 pan. I also don’t know the depth of your pans. You usually will need to double a recipe for a 2-layer 9-inch cake for an 11x15x2-inch pan. You would need to use my Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Ever) for that cake.
Love your recipes this cake is awesome ❤
Thanks so much, Sylvie.
Hi there, would it be okay if I used 2% milk with this recipe?
Kay, I normally use whole milk when I make the cake but you can use 2% if you prefer. Hope you enjoy the cake.
Hello! I made this recipe 3 times already and everyone loves it. I added a tablespoon of white vinegar in the cake recipe though. And used custard as frosting. I’m wondering if I can use Greek yogurt instead of vegetable oil. Or if I can add chocolate chips. Let me know. Thanks for this amazing chocolate cake recipe!!
I’m happy everyone loves the cake. I haven’t tried making this cake with Greek yogurt, Eliza. When I added chocolate chips, they just sank to the bottom of the pan even after they were coated with flour.
This is very good. Best ever? Best so far and definitely will make again. Moist. A nice balance of true chocolate flavor and sweetness. Neither overpowering the other. I followed it exactly. No subs. Thank you for posting the recipe.
I’m thinking of making x2 this cake in 2 9×13 tin.
My question is an odd one 🙂 (I’m not a cake maker!) – should I cook both tins in the oven at the same time or cook one first and then the second?
If your oven is big enough to bake both of the 9×13 pans at once, you can bake both at one time. If not, I would make one recipe at a time. I hope you enjoy your cakes.
this will be my go to chocolate cake how wonderfully moist and full of chocolate YUM
I wanted leave you a post so I could tell you how my cake came out. First let me tell you this cake was a wow cake. by that I mean, when that first piece was cut, everyone and I mean everyone went WOW!! I am an avid baker and always bake for our family’s birthdays. My grandson gets so excited because I let him pick out the theme every year. Well this year I wanted a more professional looking cake for his party, so I bought a deep straight sided 9 x 13 pan, cardboard cake bases and cake boxes for a 13 x 9 cake. Well, I wanted the cake to be tall so I doubled the recipe. Well, when I came back onto this site to leave my comment, I realized I accidentally quadrupled the recipe!! OMG, no wonder that cake was that high. But I will tell you, that cake was gorgeous and to die for. SOO chocolatey, so moist. No wonder it took over an hour to bake.. I also had no espresso powder, so I brewed 2 cups of STRONG coffee. This cake knocked the socks off people, believe me. I frosted it with a white butter cream frosting which I doubled for 5 cups. It covered the cake perfectly with none left over. I just used a can frosting to dye red and decorate with his name and a little frosting stars around the border. I wish a had a pic to show you, but I never had a chance to take a good one, Thanks so much. I just had to share my experience with you. Cakes can be beautiful but taste like saw dust. This was both. Beautiful and tasty. Needless to say, this recipe is inside my new cake pan. Great tasting cake. Happy baking. Debby
Your cake sounds amazing, Debby. I hope your grandson had a great birthday and loved his cake!
If I want to make the full recipe in a 9 x 13 pan (for a thicker cake), how long would I bake it?
Carey, when you make this full recipe in a 9×13 pan, it would need to bake about 35-40 minutes. Hope you enjoy!
I’m about to bake my first ever cake and am so excited to try your recipe! As a complete newbie to baking, should
I place this cake on the top rack or bottom in the oven? Thanks!
Nisha, the best place for a cake is in the middle of the oven. Place the rack as close to the center of the oven as possible and the pan in the middle of the rack. Good luck with your first cake.
Would it be okay to use an immersion hand mixer to mix together the ingredients for the frosting?
I haven’t tried an immersion blender with the frosting, Nisha, but it probably would work.
Ate this cake a few mo than ago at a party and HAD to have the recipe! About to make it now for a group. What changes do I need to make for high elevation?
Emery, I live at 1000 feet so haven’t made it at a high elevation. The best site for baking at high elevations that has been recommended to me is the Colorado State University Extension. I hope that helps.
I want to use my 6“ pans. Will this recipe work? Thanks!
Kathy, 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. The 9×13 Recipe uses half the ingredients of the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe.
Robyn, I don’t usually write reviews, but this cake is AMAZING in all its shapes and sizes. Light, tender, moist and delectable! Had to thank you for sharing 😊 💕
Oh, thanks so much, Tamara. I’m so glad you love this cake!
Mighty Fine! Glad you included the 9×13 as I have only a toaster oven & it came out perfectly. I did this cake for my son’s 30th birthday & it didn’t disappoint. So good, in fact, I’m making another for my daughter’s 28th!
I love that you are making this cake for 2 birthdays, Sherry. I’m thrilled everyone loved it.
I must be missing something… for the frosting, step 8 says to “add the cream”… I don’t see cream on the ingredients list anywhere. How much do I use?
Denise, Step 8: Add the butter and cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined. This does not mean add the ingredient cream. It is a baking term meant to mix the butter and cocoa powder well until is creamy and well combined. Hope this helps.
Hi Robyn, thank you for sharing the recipe. Looks like everyone tried it loved it! I’m going to make my first-ever cake. Your notes read “• Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake. Cover and keep on the counter for up to 3 days for best taste.” I assume “keep for 3 days” is for frosting not the cake? Thank you very much.
Gnaf, I meant you can store the frosted cake on the counter at room temperature under a covered dome for a few days. You do not refrigerate the cake. I hope this helps.
Sorry Robyn, it’s me again. I kind of confused myself by that “keep on the counter for up to three days for best taste”. Do you mean we should keep the frosting for three days to get the best taste or should use it within three days (like “best before“)?
Also, for the ingredient boiling water, is it boiling water like 100℃ or cool boiled water?
Sorry for the questions bombarding. Thank you very much.
Gnaf, it is boiling water. Do not cool the water after you boil it. The boiling water helps the chocolate to bloom and creates aa very moist cake.
I’ve made this cake several times and love it!! But as I’m serving to kids I don’t include the espresso powder.
Can you think of anything kid-safe/caffeine free that would give the cake similar “little bit of extra” as the espresso powder? Still making’ the cake without it, am just curious 😊
Just omit the espresso powder, Larissa. I don’t know anything else that would give the same effect as the espresso powder. The cake is still delicious.
Omit the espresso powder but for the 1/2 cup of boiling water use 1/2 cup of decaf coffee instead.
Can I Use yogurt instead of milk?
I haven’t made this cake with yogurt, Susan.
Can you make this recipe into cupcakes? If so, how long do you bake for? Would you change anything to the recipe?
Meg Grace, you can make this recipe into cupcakes. Use my Best Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe for the baking time and temperature. It uses the same amount of ingredients as the 9×13 recipe. It makes 12 cupcakes. Hope you enjoy!
Made it this, and while it was delicious, it came out very thin and didn’t rise much. I followed the recipe exactly, and used a 9×13. We ended up cutting it into squares & frosting them like brownies. Any idea what could’ve gone wrong?
Denise, I make this cake so I can frost it in the pan and then cover it and carry it like I describe in the post. In the Notes section, I state if you want a thicker cake, make the full Best Chocolate Cake Ever Recipe in the 9×13 pan. It sounds like you want the full thickness of the full cake recipe.
hello! I’m wondering if organic sugar will affect the texture of the icing?
If the organic sugar you have is not an organic powdered sugar, the texture would be different, Amanda.
Hi, I am planning on making this cake this week. Has anyone used Oat milk in this recipe? I only keep oat milk around so I am planning on using that.
Katie, many people have commented that they used oat milk in this recipe and loved the cake. I hope you enjoy!
Making this tomorrow for my granny’s birthday!
Can I use Dutch process unsweetened cocoa?
Several people have commented here that they use Dutch process unsweetened cocoa and the cake turns out great. I hope your grandmother has a very happy birthday.
Can you freeze the cake in the 9×13 pan?
Marlene, you could freeze the cake in the pan if you wish. Just let the cake cool completely, wrap securely in plastic wrap, then in foil or place in an airtight freezer-safe container. Make sure your 9×13 pan is freezer safe.
Made this tonight just as stated in the recipe, no changes to ingredients or method. This is PERFECT! I’m usually a lousy dessert maker, but this one I will proudly serve to family and friends. Yummo!
What is the baking time if I use the full recipe for best chocolate cake ever and use the 9×13 pan rather than layer cake pans? I never have any luck with layer cakes
Shelley, 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!
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.