Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting

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Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting is an easy kid friendly birthday cake! Rich, fudgy chocolate frosting and classic yellow cake recipe from scratch!

A layered Yellow Cake is an easy to make Cake Recipe for any occasion. This sheet pan yellow cake is even easier, with no layering, and you can serve it right out of the pan!

Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting slice on plate


From Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake to this delicious yellow cake version, is there any easier way to make a cake for a birthday party or potluck? Just whip up an easy batter from common pantry ingredients, pour it into a 9×13 inch baking pan, and in less than 45 minutes you have a dessert to feed a crowd.

A Yellow Sheet Cake is the ultimate old-fashioned birthday cake! Ever since they’ve been selling boxed cake mix and canned chocolate frosting, this cake has shown up at parties for kids young and old. As good as the store-bought cake mix version is, you can’t beat a great recipe like this Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting, 100 percent made from scratch.

Without artificial ingredients, this Yellow Sheet Cake recipe is full buttery flavor and a super moist and soft crumb. The Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is melt-in-your-mouth smooth and delicious. Make extra chocolate buttercream to keep on hand for everything from cookies to donuts to pancakes. It can be stored in the fridge for up to a month!

If this is your first time making a Yellow Sheet Cake from scratch, you’ll love how much easy and affordable this recipe is. You likely have most of the ingredients on hand so this yellow cake recipe costs a fraction of store-bought cake mix and frosting. Plus there’s no complicated steps or cake layers to worry about toppling, this is a go-to cake for anyone to make!

Tips for Making Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting

  • If you want to frost your cake out of the pan, line your baking pan with parchment paper before greasing. Once cooled, turn your cake upside down on a serving platter and add frosting.
  • This yellow cake calls for cake flour for a lighter, softer crumb. If you don’t have cake flour on hand, measure 2 cups all-purpose flour and remove 4 tablespoons flour. Sift flour with 4 tablespoons cornstarch and use in this recipe.
  • Speaking of flour, make sure to measure your flour properly. Spoon cake flour into a measuring cup, careful not to pack down, then run a flat side of a knife across the top to remove excess.
  • Bring all dairy ingredients and eggs to room temperature before making your yellow cake batter. Room temperature butter should be still cool to the touch and not warm or so soft it’s caving.
  • Creaming the butter and sugar is important for the moistness and softness of yellow cake. Don’t rush this step, you want the butter-sugar mixture to be light and fluffy.
  • You can top this Yellow Sheet Cake with any frosting you like! Instead of chocolate buttercream, try a Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (just add cocoa powder) or glaze with a Chocolate Ganache.


Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting in baking pan

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  • Decorations: Decorate the chocolate frosting with mini chocolate chips, M&Ms, chopped walnuts or pecans, sprinkles, or mini marshmallows.
  • Birthday Sheet Cake: Fold in a 1 cup rainbow sprinkles (rainbow jimmies, not the non-pareils) to the cake batter and top the frosting with another 1/2 cup for a fun, colorful birthday cake!  
  • Sour Cream: Add sour cream to the cake batter and/or the frosting for a tangy, extra moist cake. Use 1/2 cup sour cream and reduce milk to 3/4 cup in the batter. For the frosting, reduce butter to 4 tablespoons and use 2/3 cup sour cream.
  • Buttermilk: You can also replace the milk with buttermilk or full fat yogurt for a melt-in-your-mouth soft Yellow Sheet Cake.
  • Raspberry: After yellow cake has cooled, spread a thin layer of raspberry jam (or other jam) and place in freezer 20 minutes to set. Top with chocolate frosting.
  • Cupcakes: Use this yellow cake batter to make cupcakes. Spray or line a 12 cup muffin tin. Divide batter evenly and bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Jelly Roll Pan: Make a larger, thinner Yellow Sheet Cake in a jelly roll pan. Line pan with parchment paper and spread batter evenly. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-22 minutes.



  • Serve: Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting can be at room temperature up to 2 days frosted and 4 days unfrosted. Cover tightly with saran wrap before storing in a cool, dry place.
  • Store: Cover the cake pan tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate Yellow Sheet Cake for up to 1 week. Leave on the counter for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  • Freeze: Freeze Yellow Sheet Cake frosted or unfrosted for up to 1 month. Cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or cake pan lid. Defrost at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting cross-section in baking pan

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Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting

5 from 3 votes
  • Yield: 24 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting is an easy kid friendly birthday cake! Rich, fudgy chocolate frosting and classic yellow cake recipe from scratch!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking pan with baking spray.

  2. To stand mixer, add butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.

  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

  4. Add in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, then add the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternate adding in the milk and the flour mixture, until just combined.
  6. Spread into baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through.

  7. In a clean stand mixer cream together butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla.

  8. Mix on the lowest setting until just mixed together, then raise speed to medium high until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

  9. Wait until cake has cooled before frosting.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 24 servings, Amount per serving: 287 calories, Calories: 287g, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 38mg, Potassium: 73mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 533g, Calcium: 32g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting collage

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  1. Hello Sabrina,
    I’m a newbie to baking/cooking so I don’t know a lot yet. In this recipe it says to use a 9 by 13 baking pan. I don’t have any cake pans or baking pans–I only have a 9 by 13 glass baking dish. Would that work too?
    Also, in general baking, when a recipe mentions a “9 by 13 baking pan” or “9 by 13 cake pan”, could I use my 9 by 13 glass baking dish?
    Thank you so much for your help!
    Love your website! Alina

  2. Why do we always think making a cake from scratch is so hard? This is wonderfully easy and delicious! Classic American yellow cake with chocolate frosting…who doesn’t love that?

  3. I would like to make this yellow cake in a larger size pan (11×15). Do you recommend using the recipe above plus a half recipe more to accommodate the larger pan? And would the baking time be increased a few minutes longer? Thanks for your help!

    1. That might be too much. I’d recommend adding about 25% more because an 13×9 is 117 sq inch and 11×15 is 165 sq in. It will probably take about the same time bake since it’s spread out in a larger pan. Good luck!