Denver Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe (2024)



out of 5


user ratings

Your rating

or to rate this recipe.

Have you cooked this?

or to mark this recipe as cooked.

Private Notes

Leave a Private Note on this recipe and see it here.

Cooking Notes


We grew up calling this Nebraska cake. Double (or triple) the cocoa in both the cake and frosting for a better result.

If you want a lower fat version, you can use 8 tablespoons of butter in the cake. Yes, you can definitely tell, but your waistline may thank you.

For an incredibly delicious variant, make raspberry sauce (frozen raspberries, sugar and cornstarch). Once the cake has cooled, frost with the raspberry sauce, then once the sauce is set, frost with the chocolate frosting.


I double the cocoa in both the cake and frosting and used 3/4 c. buttermilk in the cake. It was super flavorful and moist! Growing up, we called this cake Texas Sheet Cake and included a touch of cinnamon in the frosting, but here I kept it straight chocolate.


Great recipe. Combining some suggestions from comments here, I tripled the amount of cocoa in the cake and doubled it for the frosting (and yes, felt rather decadent as I did). I also used 3/4 cup buttermilk in the cake. The finished product was delicious - moist, chocolate-y, and a hit at the party at which it was served. Much obliged.


Our experience is, increasing the amount of cocoa requires an increase in amount of buttermilk. It wasn't mentioned in most of the comments, so we learned the hard way!


I have this exact recipe passed to me by my mother from a southern woman friend. She called it, "Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake". I'm making here in Oregon from the banks of the Columbia River. I see a new name in its future...


Why cut the fat? More fat makes for a more satisfying slice of cake, which means you will eat less of it. One is not meant to be eating multiple slices of this cake in one sitting.


Definitely needs extra cocoa in both cake and frosting. I dissolved 1 T instant expresso powder (you could use instant coffee - the flavor will be a little milder) in 1 T hot water and substituted it for 1 T of the buttermilk in the frosting for a mocha flavor. Or use mint extract in place of vanilla, or orange extract and add a bit of orange zest. Lots of ways to change up the frosting and/or the toppings.


I took Clare's suggestion by using dark cocoa and doubling the quantity. Same for the frosting to which I added cinnamon. Raves from all.


Also from Texas and knew this cake by sight! I can't believe it; this is our special family cake that has been made at every birthday and holiday for three generations. It holds such a special place in my heart! And everytime I bring it to someone who's never had it, they demand the recipe. I, however, never knew the origin so thanks for finally solving the mystery! Like Suzanne, we also add cinnamon.


Excellent recipe! A couple of comments; In Step 2, I cooled the mixture before adding dry ingredients. I also reduced the sugar amount in half in the cake recipe, and I used only a third of sugar amount for the frosting. I find that reducing sugar in recipes allows other ingredients to stand out, creating more depth of flavor.


One of my favorite FAST cakes for a crowd. My husband and I once had a bet, because we were running very late for an evening event and I swore I could knock this cake out in 30 minutes and be out the door. In fact, I did it with minutes to spare, having made it so many times (thank you, grandma) that I didn't even need the recipe. Just make the frosting while the cake bakes and be ready to run.

I implore you to invest in a quality dark cocoa, like Valrhona. It makes a world of difference!


Amen to calling it Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake. Growing up in Denison,Texas during 1940s, it was a family favorite. I use dark chocolate & 2% milk, & 1/2 cup sour cream, not buttermilk. It's my grandchildren's favorite.


Double the chocolate in both cake and icing. You will also want to add a tsp or 2 of instant coffee or espresso when you add the chocolate to each part.

When removing the cake from the oven when baked, use a toothpick to poke several holes in it. Heat a couple of tablespoons of raspberry jam with several tablespoons of water to make a syrup. Brush the syrup on the cake, and then frost as normal with the warm frosting. YUM!!

Safta Sue

Double the cocoa; use 3/4C buttermilk


16 tablespoons of butter? Why not say 1/2 cup? Or 3/4 cup? Seems lot easier to measure.


Lulu 13th bday Amsterdam. See notes: double cocoa in both cake and frosting. Increase buttermilk as well. Add espresso powder or coffee. I found frosting way too sweet. Use half powdered sugar? Also way too much frosting. Could halve?


What type of cocoa powder do you recommend for this cake?


What depth sheet cake pan do I use for this?


My favorite chocolate cake, so easy to make, so consistently good. Double the cocoa for extra chocolate goodness. Otherwise don’t change a thing

Name RebeccaW

I made this following some of the comments. Doubled the cocoa in the cake with 3/4 C buttermilk. I made a glaze from about a dozen strawberries and 1/2 C sugar. I seriously considered skipping the frosting altogether but ended up making half the recipe using the full amount of cocoa and 5 T of buttermilk. Drizzled it on the strawberry glaze. Amazing. Wonderful easy recipe.

Enter your name

Yield12 to 15 servings? How big are they? I halved the batch and made 12 regular muffin-size cupcakes... so I'm guessing a full batch would make 24 of these delicious puppies?! But then again, feels like a good excuse to eat 2 cupcakes at a time!


I've made this several times - it's a real winner. Now I'm preparing a large double layer cake for an event that requires white frosting. Thinking a standard buttercream, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts / suggestions.


Love this cake. BUT, I didn't have confectioner's sugar so used regular sugar as noted in the substitution guide, with adjusted amount. However, xxsugar would soak up more of the liquid. Regular sugar just made the frosting very loose and watery, making a mess. Should have gone shopping!

J Stephen

I found this to be too much with the frosting, however a magical accident with the cover resulted in some pieces losing the frosting in transit. I drizzled some home made strawberry preserves on top and THAT was fantastic. Next time, I’ll do that for the whole cake. Served alongside fresh blueberries as well, it was lovely.


I might’ve forgotten to add the water in step 2?


Definitely forgot to add the water on 1st attempt — 2nd one turned out much better, no missing ingredients this time. Delicious.


Should I use dutch processed or natural cocoa powder?


Everyone last night thought this the best chocolate cake they ever had, including my connoisseur brother in law!


Tripled the cocoa in the dough and icing. It was delicious. I was surprised that it used a baking pan, as I know this from my youth as a sheet cake…and that is how I will make it today, just ro see the difference. Probably a bit more brownie-like. But the cake was delicious. My German wife gave me a high-five and hid some of it from me so that she would get enough.


As suggested I doubled the cocoa powder in the cake and the frosting. It was very tasty but I wish I hadn’t cooked the cake quite as long as I did. The toothpick wasn’t totally clean after 30 min or 35 min but I took the cake out after about 38 min. Ended up being slightly drier than desired but still very good, especially with the thick frosting.

Private notes are only visible to you.

Denver Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Chrissy Homenick

Last Updated:

Views: 5867

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Chrissy Homenick

Birthday: 2001-10-22

Address: 611 Kuhn Oval, Feltonbury, NY 02783-3818

Phone: +96619177651654

Job: Mining Representative

Hobby: amateur radio, Sculling, Knife making, Gardening, Watching movies, Gunsmithing, Video gaming

Introduction: My name is Chrissy Homenick, I am a tender, funny, determined, tender, glorious, fancy, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.