chocolate espresso cake, chocolate cake, chocolate sheet cake, sheet cake, chocolate fudge buttercream frosting

Cakes & Cupcakes Chocolate

Chocolate Espresso Sheet Cake

July 3, 2018

Like most of you reading this blog, I am many things….a wife, mamma of three, chauffeur, short order cook, a […]

chocolate espresso cake, chocolate cake, chocolate sheet cake, sheet cake, chocolate fudge buttercream frosting

Like most of you reading this blog, I am many things….a wife, mamma of three, chauffeur, short order cook, a runner, a baker, a blogger, a photographer {in training}, ex toffee maker, and a former biz owner. Just to name a few. Not on that list…cake decorator extraordinaire.  In my next life I plan to crush the competition and win the big bucks on Cake Wars Championship Edition but for now I’ll stick to making great tasting cakes with fewer decorating skills required. I do love a classic layer cake decorated modestly with fresh flowers or a simple drip. And don’t get me started on naked cakes. With their perfectly imperfect frosted layers and no fuss presentation, naked cakes are my jam. Whoever “invented” the naked cake deserves a prize. But my favorite cake of all is a sheet cake. Sheet cake is the answer to a lazy baker’s dreams because you get all the goodness of, well…cake, and none of the hassle. It’s a win-win if you ask me!

chocolate espresso cake, chocolate cake, chocolate sheet cake, sheet cake, chocolate fudge buttercream frosting

This Chocolate Espresso Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Buttercream is made in with bowl, one pan and zero decorating skills are required. It’s the epitome of hassle-free cake. And it might just be your next best friend. This cake can be made in under an hour, transports well and will win over all the chocolate lovers in your life. As if that weren’t enough – – frosting that chocolate buttercream into thick, deep, heavenly swirls is like therapy. And a whole lot cheaper. I see a lot of sheet cakes in your future.

This recipe needs no further introduction so let’s get right to it. This is a rich chocolate cake and while there is espresso in the batter, do not despair if you are not a coffee lover. The espresso merely enhances the flavor of the chocolate resulting in a crazy delicious crumb. A little help from a bit of plain yogurt makes for a super moist cake that holds up well under a heaping pile of frosting. And yes, this frosting is soooo good you’ll want to lay it on thick!

chocolate espresso cake, chocolate cake, chocolate sheet cake, sheet cake, chocolate fudge buttercream frosting

I top my sheet cake with some roughly chopped chunks of dark chocolate for a bit of flair and that’s the extent of my decorating skills {or lack thereof, I should say} on this easy peasy slab of a cake. Just slice and serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream or as I do, with a tall glass of almond milk. What are you waiting for….this sheet cake is calling your name bakers. Enjoy and I’ll see you back here next week with a new recipe that you can enjoy A-L-L summa long!

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chocolate espresso cake, chocolate cake, chocolate sheet cake, sheet cake, chocolate fudge buttercream frosting

Chocolate Espresso Sheet Cake

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  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 1 cake 1x


This rich chocolate sheet cake is a no-fuss dessert for every baker’s recipe book. Using one bowl, one pan and no fancy decorating skills required, this one layer winner will be your new go-to cake for all your chocolate cravings.



For Cake

  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP hot espresso
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)

For Frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 TBSP heavy whipping cream


For Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, line with parchment and then spray with cooking spray
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, yogurt, canola oil and vanilla until smooth
  4. Add flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  5. Mix until no large bits of flour remain
  6. Add the hot espresso and mix to combine
  7. Do not overmix. Batter will be thin enough to pour
  8. Add in chocolate chips if desired
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes, until top is set
  10. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack before frosting

For Frosting

  1. Add butter and powdered sugar to bowl of stand mixer or use a hand-held mixer in same bowl used for cake batter
  2. Beat butter and powdered sugar until the butter is light and fluffy, almost 5 minutes
  3. Add the melted semisweet or dark chocolate and vanilla and beat 2 minutes, scraping sides as needed
  4. Add heavy cream gradually and whip the frosting for 3-4 more minutes or until light and fluffy
  5. Frost cake with large swirls and decorate as desired with chocolate or sprinkles



  • Reply
    May 15, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    If I really want an espresso taste, is there a way I can add espresso flavor to the frosting for a bit more of a coffee bite?

  • Reply
    March 26, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Very neat blog article.Thanks Again. Great.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      March 27, 2020 at 5:26 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    this cake was no where near done at 25 min. could that be a typo? i tested at 30 min and the toothpick was very covered with batter.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      November 15, 2019 at 9:21 am

      Hi! So sorry you had trouble with this cake. It should be done baking between 25 and 30 minutes depending on your oven. Did you double check that your oven was set at the correct temperature? I know my oven runs a bit hot and all ovens do run differently. I’ve made this cake many times and it’s always baked to perfection at right about 28 minutes.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Can you leave out the espresso for a more simple chocolate cake/cupcake?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 28, 2019 at 8:44 am

      Hi Zay! Yes, you can omit the espresso if you prefer. You can also substitute hot coffee if that’s easier for you to use. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it!! Beautiful. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      June 14, 2019 at 3:28 am

      Thank you so much!! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    administratie breda
    May 4, 2019 at 9:18 am

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content
    so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1
    or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      May 15, 2019 at 5:01 am

      Thanks for the feedback. I always try to include at least 4-5 images with my text but I’ll make note that you think my layout could be improved. Thanks for following.

  • Reply
    Harrison Erebia
    March 3, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Awesome post. I am a normal visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a frequent visitor for a long time.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      March 4, 2019 at 7:11 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Can we use the hersheys special dark cocoa or will that be overkill?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      March 1, 2019 at 8:06 pm

      You absolutely can!!

  • Reply
    Rachel Richardson
    December 1, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Hi. Looks amazing!! What do you mean when you say hot espresso though? If you need a machine for that, any substitution if I don’t have an espresso machine?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      December 3, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Hi Rachel,
      I use a Nespresso machine to make the espresso for this cake. You could also use expresso powder or very strong coffee if you do not have access to hot espresso. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Would love to try this for my daughter’s birthday . How long would you cook this for cupcakes and how many will it yield?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      November 28, 2018 at 5:46 am

      This recipe should make 12 cupcakes and they bake for 18-20 minutes. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

  • Reply
    Karlee Flores
    July 10, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    These photos are just beautiful. And I’m always up for a little chocolate flair on my desserts too 🙂 Love it!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      July 10, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you so much Karlee! xo

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