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Moist Chocolate Sheet Cake with Baileys Frosting

This chocolate sheet cake is so moist, tender and fluffy, each bite is another piece of heaven. It is one of the easiest chocolate cakes you can make, and it is really easy to freeze what you don’t need right now. In this recipe I will also show you how you can make it in a smaller pan, as cupcakes or a layer cake! 

 

Several square chocolate cake slices with different toppings.

 

The frosting is also super hard to resist. A buttery, tangy cream cheese frosting with chocolate, Baileys and coffee, or just leave them out if you want to make the perfect children’s party chocolate cake! This is a typical cake Norwegians serve their kids at birthday parties, because it is

 

  1. easy,
  2. feeds a crowd,
  3. incredibly, incredibly mega delish. 

 

Chocolate cake topped with pink Smarties.

 

Addictive frosting

 

This frosting is ridiculously addicting. There is something so dreamy about cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar as the base. From there you have a ton of options, but it shouldn’t be too much liquid or else it will separate (read more about that in my brown butter buttercream frosting). 

 

This frosting has just a tablespoon of Baileys and 4 teaspoons of strong coffee. It’s only a hint of these flavors in the background, enhancing the chocolate flavor. It’s like you can’t really pinpoint WHY the frosting is so good. That is why it is also perfect for kids. They won’t even know about these subtleties. 

 

Three square slices of chocolate cake on white vintage plates.

 

Top their cake with fun things like Smarties, jelly candy, unsweetened shredded coconut or sprinkles and I guarantee you they will love it. And you will love it too, with or without toppings.

 

Several bowls with various toppings for cake decoration.

 

Why eggs in frosting

 

Eggs are a little secret ingredient to add to frostings to make them extra creamy and rich. It also removes most of the grittiness from the powdered sugar. Because we are melting chocolate and butter in a water bath, then mixing it with the egg, we are actually kind of cooking the egg so you won’t even eat raw eggs here.

 

If you are concerned, however, make sure to buy pasteurized eggs or just leave them out. The frosting will still be delicious, but not as smooth and creamy.  

 

To make the frosting, add butter and chopped chocolate into a large glass bowl and put on top of a small saucepan with a little simmering water (known as bain-marie or double boiler). Stir on low heat until it is smooth, then mix in one egg and 3/4 of the powdered sugar. Add the cream cheese, Baileys and coffee if using and add another cup of powdered sugar if you find it necessary.

 

Slice of chocolate cake with shredded coconut as topping.

 

What makes this cake so moist

 

The ratio of wet to dry ingredients determines how moist the cake turns out. Just trust the recipe magic! Yes, it has a lot of sugar, sour cream and butter, but – news flash – that is also why it is the best chocolate cake EVER. Sour cream is one of my favorite ingredients to avoid dry cakes, that tangy fatty cream is absolutely perfect for a moist and tender cake crumb. 

 

It is also important to not over-bake it! In a large half sheet pan, but it still doesn’t need more than around 40 minutes. However, it will vary slightly depending on your oven. You should test the cake 5 minutes before the 40 minutes are up if you know your oven is running a little hot. 

 

I love to test a cake’s doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake and check whether the toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Then it’s ready! However, that strategy doesn’t work for super fudgy brownies obviously. 

 

Square slice of chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. White background.

 

Difference between chocolate sheet cake and Texas sheet cake

 

When googling chocolate sheet cake, you will be bombarded with a ton of Texas sheet cake recipes. They are not exactly the same but the essential parts of the Texas sheet cake is quite similar to this cake. They are rich and chocolatey like brownies, but unlike brownies they have a tender cake crumb that is not fudgy. 

 

A Texas sheet cake is often made in a 1 inch tall jelly roll sheet pan, making it a rather flat cake. My chocolate sheet cake is taller and needs to be made in a regular half sheet pan (or other pans as you will see below). A Texas sheet cake is also topped with pecans, I personally don’t like the added texture of the nuts on cakes, but if you want you can of course add pecans to this cake as well! 

 

Chocolate cake in a large sheet pan.

 

How to alter this recipe to the pans you have got

 

I realize not everyone has a regular half sheet pan, but still may want to make this delicious cake! In Norway, this half sheet pan is what we call a langpanne and langpannekaker (long pan cakes) are very common. However, there are actually quite a few options and they are all good. It depends on how many you want to serve and how easy you want to make it for yourself really. 

 

In the US, when people talk about sheet cakes, they talk about the quarter pan, which is 9×13 inches (23×33 cm). It is possible to make this cake with that pan, but you will need to make 2 cakes. Which should be no problem, as they are easy to freeze. Or you can make 1 9×13 inch cake and the rest as 12 cupcakes!

 

Infographic on how to alter the recipe to other pans.

As you can see in the infographic, this batter also makes 3×8 inch cakes. In order to avoid any form of cutting, you can just use these three cakes on top of each other and use the frosting in-between.

 

But if you want my pro-tip and a perfect cake-to-frosting ratio, use only 2 of the cakes and cut them in half so you have 4 thinner cakes and fill them with the chocolate frosting. Reserve 1/2 cup of the frosting, whip 1/3 cup heavy cream and fold together. Add to a piping bag with a star tip and decorate the top of the cake as pictured. I also use mocha beans (mokkabønner) as decoration here, but you can use whatever. 

 

Layer chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.

 

A layer cake usually requires more frosting than a sheet cake when frosting the outsides and filling the insides. The full batch of frosting is perfect for this smaller layer cake. 

 

You can freeze the last of the three cakes, unfrosted. 

 

The best way to freeze cakes

 

I prefer to freeze cakes without frosting. That way, all you have to do is to cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Don’t forget to write the name and date on the foil, you won’t believe how easy it is to forget what you have in your freezer! It is also a good idea to cut the cake into smaller pieces so that all you thaw is all you are going to eat in 1-2 days. 

 

Cakes are great for about 9 months to a year in the freezer, but they remain safe after that. I even thawed a 2 year old cake the other day and I couldn’t tell the difference (it was this lemon ricotta cake). 

 

Let it thaw in the foil on the counter and once it is thawed, you can add whatever frosting you are vibing today. It could be this chocolate Baileys frosting, or this coffee Baileys frosting, chocolate orange buttercream, brown butter buttercream, or even just nothing!

 

You can freeze cakes with frosting as well, but covering it with aluminum foil will make it a little more messy. When I’m thawing it, I like to remove the alumimum foil when the frosting is still frozen, but when it is pliable. 

 

Marble table with several vintage plates with square slices of chocolate cake.

 

How to make this cake

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 fahrenheit (175 celcius) and line a half sheet pan (18×13 inches or 45×33 centimeters and it should be 2 inches or 4-5 centimeters tall) with parchment paper. If you want to use other sized pans, please read the above paragraph on pan sizes.

 

In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt (1). In a saucepan, combine water, unsweetened cocoa powder and butter. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Stir together so there are no lumps. Let cool 5 minutes (2-4).

 

Steps to make chocolate butter mixture. Steps to make chocolate cake batter. Steps to make Baileys buttercream frosting.

 

Quickly whip the eggs until frothy (5). Add the cocoa butter mixture, eggs, sour cream and pure vanilla extract into the dry ingredients and stir until it is a smooth batter (6-7). Pour into sheet pan (8).

 

Bake on the middle rack for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack (11). Once cool, spread the frosting (see above + images 9-10) on top (12)

 

In Norway it is customary to decorate the cake with Smarties (Non-Stop), jelly candy (Seigmenn), unsweetened shredded coconut or sprinkles for kids’ birthday parties.

 

Just a thought! Enjoy this cake with a cold glass of milk, tea or coffee. 

 

Fork with a bite of chocolate cake.

 

Did you like this recipe? Here are more chocolate cakes I think you would like:

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

In order to keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.

 

Square slice of chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. White background.

Moist Chocolate Sheet Cake with Baileys Frosting

Yield: 40
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This chocolate sheet cake is so moist and fluffy, with a decadent frosting, each bite is another piece of heaven. And it is SO easy to make!

Ingredients

Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (600 grams)*
  • 4 1/4 cup granulated sugar (850 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cup water (400 milliliters)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (80 grams)
  • 1 3/4 cup butter (400 grams)
  • 5 eggs, slightly whipped together
  • 1 1/3 cup sour cream (300 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean sugar with the dry ingredients)

Chocolate Baileys Frosting

  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons butter (100 grams)
  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate (200 grams)
  • 1 egg**
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (500 grams)
  • 10 1/2 oz cream cheese (300 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon Baileys (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons strong coffee (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 fahrenheit (175 celcius) and line a half sheet pan (18x13 inches or 45x33 centimeters and it should be 2 inches or 4-5 centimeters tall) with parchment paper. If you want to use other sized pans, please refer to the blog post.
  2. In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a saucepan, combine water, unsweetened cocoa powder and butter. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Stir together so there are no lumps. Let cool 5 minutes. Stir together again.
  4. Add the cocoa butter mixture, slightly whipped eggs, sour cream and pure vanilla extract into the dry ingredients and stir until it is a smooth batter. Pour into sheet pan.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack.
  6. For the frosting: add butter and chopped chocolate into a large glass bowl and put on top of a small saucepan with a little simmering water (known as bain-marie or double boiler). Stir on low heat until it is smooth, then mix in one egg and 3/4 of the powdered sugar. Add the cream cheese, Baileys and coffee if using and add another cup of powdered sugar if you find it necessary. Spread on top of the cooled cake.
  7. In Norway it is customary to decorate the cake with Smarties (Non-Stop), jelly candy (Seigmenn), unsweetened shredded coconut or sprinkles for children's birthday parties but nothing is also perfect!

Notes

* I always recommend using a kitchen scale when baking.

** The egg makes the frosting creamier and richer, and we are heating up the egg so you don't have to worry about eating raw eggs. If it is a concern, make sure you buy pasteurized eggs or just omit it.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1 square
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 223mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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Natalia

Saturday 9th of October 2021

Made this last weekend and it was delicious! One of my favourite desserts of yours so far, even though we have loved everything! Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Sunday 10th of October 2021

I'm glad you liked this! It is my very favorite chocolate cake - hence the size!

Amy Liu Dong

Saturday 9th of October 2021

Oh my goodness, this is so delicious. Seeing this makes my mouthwatering!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Sunday 10th of October 2021

Thank you so much!

Jere Cassidy

Friday 8th of October 2021

That frosting looks amazing and with the addition of Bailey, it just has to have so much flavor. I also use eggs in my frosting and they do make a difference. Honestly, there is nothing better than a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Sunday 10th of October 2021

And nothing wrong with eggs in frostings either, right? Thank you so much!

Natalia

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

These look completely decadent! If I made these for the holidays how long do you think I could store them (assuming I have the willpower to not devour them all myself)?

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Sunday 10th of October 2021

Thank you! It keeps pretty well for 4 days in a coldish part of your home. However, it keeps for about a year in the freezer, just divide it into smaller pieces!

Petro

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Yum! This looks incredible, so moist and chocolatey, mouth watering!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Sunday 10th of October 2021

Thank you very much!

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