Chocolate Sheet Cake with Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting.

Fudgy, beyond rich chocolate sheet cake topped with the creamiest peanut butter frosting. Feeds a crowd!

Fudgy, beyond rich chocolate sheet cake topped with the creamiest peanut butter frosting. Feeds a crowd! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Happiest of Fridays to you!

I saved a good one for today. I figured we can always use more peanut butter and chocolate on the weekend. Especially if that chocolate is rich beyond belief, that peanut butter is in the form of frosting, and that cake is the size of Texas.

And, of course, all those jazzy toppings.

TGIF.

Fudgy, beyond rich chocolate sheet cake topped with the creamiest peanut butter frosting. Feeds a crowd! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m so excited because I’ve never shared a chocolate sheet cake recipe on my blog before. But there IS a funfetti version on my blog, naturally.

I’ve made this chocolate sheet cake a handful of times for various parties and I remember making it for an office party back when I worked full time. And the entire thing disappeared in about .04 seconds. People flocked to it like it was a pot of shimmering gold under a rainbow or something (can we blame them?). Oh my gosh, that was 3 years ago! I’ve been calling myself a full time blogger and confusing people with my job title who continue to ask “so it’s just for fun, right? what is your real job?” for 3 whole years. Where does the time go!?!

I digress.

Let’s get right into this chocolate cake business. I posted this cake recipe over on Delish.com, but had to share it here as well. This chocolate sheet cake is actually a recipe I adapted from All Recipes back in the day. I sort of made it my own by changing up the method and adding more ingredients, using all butter and no shortening, reducing the sugar, using brown sugar where I could (surprised?), more cocoa powder, and completely switching up the frosting. It’s safe to say that this is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had, tasting almost identical to my popular chocolate layer cake recipe.

Have you tried that one yet?!

How to make the best chocolate sheet cake! Easy recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make the best chocolate sheet cake! Easy recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Some cake things you’ll need to know:

The first step we’ll do is melt down some butter with water and cocoa powder on the stovetop. This helps dissolve and hydrate the cocoa powder, which typically tends to dry cakes out. This also helps bring out the cocoa’s flavor. When mixed with a cup of butter, we have some seriously delicious chocolate liquid. Instead of water, you can use black coffee (like my triple chocolate layer cake!). It’s completely incredible and truly deepens that chocolate flavor.

Then we’ll mix it all with dry ingredients. The usual suspects like flour, baking soda, and salt. Baking soda because we’re using highly acidic natural unsweetened cocoa powder and buttermilk in this recipe. Remember what I taught you? In another bowl we’ll get those eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract whisked together. Combine all of these mentioned ingredients together, then whisk in some buttermilk. I highly advise against using any other milk besides buttermilk. The thickness, the acid, the taste brings so much to this cake! If anything, you can sour whole milk with a little vinegar or lemon juice to make a DIY buttermilk. See my recipe notes for more info.

Check out this chocolate batter. Taste testing is a dream.

How to make the best chocolate sheet cake! Easy recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

All of this chocolate magnificence goes into a half sheet pan, the one I told you to buy the other day. Not only used for sheet cakes though! I use these as my cookie sheets and whatever I bake on a baking sheet in the oven like roasting vegetables, baked potatoes, baking fish, chicken wings, french fries, you name it!

Since it’s a thin cake, it won’t take long at all in the oven. Which means it won’t take long to cool, either. Which obviously means that you can cut into this chocolate cake and fall immensely in love sooner. But before all that, let’s frost it with the most unbelievable peanut butter frosting on the planet. It’s my go-to peanut butter frosting recipe, just made larger because this cake is ginormous and requires 25 gallons of frosting. An intense amount of peanut butter goes into the peanut butter frosting– much more peanut butter than butter. Why? For F-L-A-V-O-R. Make sure you use a commercial brand peanut butter, none of those natural kinds. There’s a lot of separating and texture issues if you use an oily, natural peanut butter in this frosting. I like Jif or Skippy.

The BEST and creamiest peanut butter frosting!! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

↑ ↑ Best peanut butter frosting to ever grace this earth.

Fudgy, beyond rich chocolate sheet cake topped with the creamiest peanut butter frosting. Feeds a crowd! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

One bite = super moist, fudgy, tender, and decadent with a party of texture on top in the form of: peanut butter cups, melted peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles, peanut butter chips, and more. So I went a little overboard on the toppings but can you blame me? In the world of chocolate peanut butter cakes, we go big or we go home!

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

Yield: serves 25-30

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes (includes cooling)

Print Recipe

Fudgy, beyond rich chocolate sheet cake topped with the creamiest peanut butter frosting. Feeds a crowd! I encourage you to read the full recipe and the recipe notes before beginning so you're completely prepared.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large Eggland's Best eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature1

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (405g) creamy peanut butter (do not use natural style)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk2
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • toppings: ½ cup (135g) melted creamy peanut butter for drizzling, 1 cup chopped peanut butter cups, handful of mini chocolate chips or peanut butter chips, and/or chocolate sprinkles3

Special Equipment

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Generously grease a 12x17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan. Set aside.
  2. Heat the butter, water, and cocoa powder together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the butter has melted and everything is smooth and combined. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Pour the warm chocolate/butter mixture on top, then slowly whisk together until combined. It will be very thick.
  3. Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in a medium bowl. The mixture will be thick. Whisk in the vanilla until combined, then pour into the chocolate batter and whisk until combined. Finally, whisk in the buttermilk. Pour the chocolate batter into the sheet pan.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes. (Mine takes exactly 17 minutes.) Use a toothpick to test for doneness: stick it into the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, continue baking. Remove cake from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before frosting. The refrigerator helps speed things up, if you have room for the large pan!
  5. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat softened butter and peanut butter together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat on low speed for about 20 seconds, then gradually increase to high speed. Beat on high for 1 minute until combined and frosting is fluffy. Taste; add more salt if needed. To thicken, add more confectioners' sugar and to thin, add more cream.
  6. Spread frosting all over cooled cake, then top with toppings. Slice and serve. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It's so good cold!
  7. Make ahead tip: Cake can be made 1 day in advance, covered tightly at room temperature, and then frosted before serving. Frosting can also be made 1 day ahead of time-- cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator. Bring frosting to room temperature before spreading. Frosted cake can be frozen up to 2 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Additional Notes:

Room temperature ingredients: Here is why the ingredients must be at room temperature. The butter is melted and warm, so it's best the other ingredients are not cold.

  1. Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can sour milk to make a DIY version of buttermilk by measuring 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring glass. Add enough milk (whole milk is best) in the same measuring glass to reach 1/2 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The soured milk will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  2. A very thick cream or milk produces the BEST possible frosting. Heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk all work. For best taste and texture, do not use anything lower fat.
  3. So many toppings! Use what you like best. I also topped the cake with these Reese's peanut butter sprinkle ice cream topping (I found it near ice cream aisle)

Cake batter adapted from All Recipes

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Add this to your weekend plans.

Fudgy, beyond rich chocolate sheet cake topped with the creamiest peanut butter frosting. Feeds a crowd! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Eggland’s Best provided me with eggs to bring you this recipe. This post contains affiliate links.

Fudgy, beyond rich chocolate sheet cake topped with the creamiest peanut butter frosting. Feeds a crowd! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Fudgy, beyond rich chocolate sheet cake topped with the creamiest peanut butter frosting. Feeds a crowd! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
   

93 Responses to “Chocolate Sheet Cake with Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting.”

  1. #
    41
    Aliciaposted March 1, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Sally, What is your opinion on Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder which is a combo of natural and dutch process?    Can I use it in this recipe? (I already have it in my pantry).

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 1st, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      You can definitely use it in this recipe, yes. I love it!

      Reply

  2. #
    42
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress)posted March 1, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    *swoon* sooo chocolatey sooo peanut buttery! This is the ultimate sheet cake, in my opinion!

    Reply

  3. #
    43
    Kymraposted March 6, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Hello my name is Kymra and I’m a Sally’s Baking Addiction addict :). I made these as cupcakes last weekend. They came out great! I baked them for 17 minutes and they were nice and moist. Delicious!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 6th, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks for sharing that about the cupcakes! Happy you loved them.

      Reply

  4. #
    44
    Mariaposted March 6, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    How about your peanut butter carmel corn on top!!  Love all you make! you’ve brought So many smiles and second helpings to my family’s  table! Thank you..;) 

    Reply

  5. #
    45
    Lauraposted March 15, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I just made this cake and the texture is incredible! The frosting tastes just like your peanut butter fudge, which is definitely the best fudge I’ve ever tried!

    Reply

  6. #
    46
    Ariane Smithposted April 2, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Sally! I have always been a fan o‎f your recipes. I’ve made a few of them and my family are big fans of such delicious treats! I’m browsing on your cake recipes for our son’s First Communion next month and found this one, I think he would loooove this (PB and chocolate are his favorite thing in the world! Lol) btw, I’m wondering how to make the melted peanut butter for topping? I’ve never done that before and I don’t want to mess anything for the cake.. thank you! 🙂 

    Always your fan,
    Ariane‎

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 3rd, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      It’s so simple! Use commercial style peanut butter like Jif or Skippy and melt in the microwave for 30ish seconds. Then drizzle on top. Hope everyone loves it!

      Reply

      • ariane smithreplied on April 4th, 2016 at 10:19 am

        thanks for the reply! have a great week!

  7. #
    47
    Cassandraposted April 6, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I want to make this, but I have kids. Since I gave kids they will eat it and one has a Milk allergy. Is there any way to use coconut milk?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 6th, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      You can use coconut milk. See the recipe note to add a little lemon juice or white vinegar.

      Reply

  8. #
    48
    Candiceposted April 12, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Hey Sally!
    I really want to make this cake but my oven is kind of small and i don’t think a sheet pan that’s 12×17 will fit, if i were to make this in a nine inch round tin would that work? and also roughly how long would that take? Another option would be a 9×13 inch rectangle pan. Anyways thanks for taking the time to read this, absolutely love your recipes and would be happy to be able to try this one out! thanks 😀

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 12th, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Candice, a 9×13 would be best but the cake will be thicker. I’m unsure of the exact bake time, but it will be much longer because the cake is so thick.

      Reply

  9. #
    49
    Tiaposted April 13, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Hullo, Sally! 
    I’ve been using your website for ages to indulge in my slightly over-the-top baking addiction, and every single recipe of your’s that I have tried so far turned out beautifully. (Chocolate cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes or cake… Everything~)
    But this cake… Literally takes the cake. Everybody loved it, and I haven’t had a sheet cake that turned out more fudgy and chocolate-y.
    That mine is even more fudgy – or klitschig, as we say in Germany –  is of course because I often don’t have baking soda on hand and normally substitute buttermilk for sour cream. – so it doesn’t rise a lot and stays very, very fudgy.
    I love it, everybody else loved it, and just a side note: make two, put vanilla pudding in between, pour chocolate over it and you have yourself something you want to roll in. Or smash your face into, it’s so good!!! 
    So yeah, a big hello from a group of very happy chocolate-addicts in Germany!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 13th, 2016 at 9:47 am

      That vanilla pudding version is genius!!

      Reply

  10. #
    50
    Sharonposted April 20, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Hi Sally, I just made the PB frosting for some brownies & it is delicious, however it made a lot…can the leftover frosting be frozen for later use?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 20th, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      You can freeze the frosting. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before using again.

      Reply

  11. #
    51
    Lauraposted April 23, 2016 at 9:50 am

    I made this cake for a bridal shower and everyone raved over it. Even the servers and cooks wanted some, which they could because there was plenty! I was nervous making a cake for a big event, but your recipes ALWAYS come out perfectly, so I was confident. Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe. 

    Reply

  12. #
    52
    Amyposted May 6, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Hi, Sally!  My son has a peanut allergy – any of your icings that you would recommend to use instead that would generate enough icing to cover this gorgeous sheet cake?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on May 7th, 2016 at 10:28 am

      This fudge frosting. There will be plenty to use for this cake. Double chocolate! 🙂

      Reply

  13. #
    53
    Karenposted May 8, 2016 at 4:56 am

    This is the first chocolate sheet cake I have ever made and will be the only recipe I’ll ever need! If you’re looking for a super fudgey chocolate cake that everyone will love then there’s no point in searching for any other recipe – this is the one, I promise!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on May 9th, 2016 at 7:16 am

      Appreciate the comment, Karen, thanks!

      Reply

  14. #
    54
    Louposted May 16, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Could I make this in a bundt pan? 

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on May 16th, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      I can’t see why not!

      Reply

      • Loureplied on May 20th, 2016 at 11:48 am

        I made it 2 days ago and I’m currently making it again! Everyone loved it, it’s so fudgy and delicious! Thank you once again Sally for an amazing recipe. 

        P.s: I used the bundt pan and it took 30~35 minutes. 

  15. #
    55
    Anastasiaposted May 25, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Can i add marshmellow fluff to the frosting?

    Reply

  16. #
    56
    Louposted June 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Could I use regular brown sugar instead of the light brown? 

    Reply

  17. #
    57
    Vonnieposted June 10, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    I am planning to make this for my daughter-in-laws birthday. Theses are her favorite flavors- I don’t usually have heavy cream on hand or full fat milk-can you use can milk?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 11th, 2016 at 9:04 am

      If you don’t have heavy cream, whole milk or half-and-half is best for the frosting. You can use another milk, but it won’t be as creamy or rich. Cream makes a huge difference! And buttermilk is a must for the cake batter. See my notes for a sub– make sure you use the vinegar or lemon juice to sour.

      Reply

      • Vonniereplied on June 11th, 2016 at 1:21 pm

        That is how I make my buttermilk- sent hubby to store for heavy cream:) Thank you- I think it will be a yummy cake for my daughter-in-laws birthday!

  18. #
    58
    Meganposted June 19, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Sally!
    I’m baking a chocolate cake for my boyfriends birthday and he loves the chocolate peanut butter combo. I wanted to do a layer cake though, would you suggest using your chocolate layer cake recipe and doing this peanut butter frosting or can you make this cake into a layer one? 

    Thanks!

    Reply

  19. #
    59
    Meredithposted June 21, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Made this over the weekend for a birthday celebration. It was a huge hit. Thank you, Sally!

    Reply

  20. #
    60
    Bethposted July 23, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Sally! So I want to make this cake as a graduation cake, but the person I am baking for requested their cake be half vanilla, half chocolate. Do you have any suggestions on how I could do that? I thought if I cut this recipe in half, and then your vanilla sheet cake recipe in half, and put them on either side of the sheet pan to bake that might work, but they may run together. The other idea I had was to bake each separately on half sheet pans and then put them together in a sheet pan to frost….what would you suggest? I hope you can help, thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 24th, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      What a great question and you definitely have the right idea! Here’s what I would do– two separate cakes (half sheet pans) then put together and frost. It would be difficult to get a clean line separating the two flavors.

      Reply

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