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Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting

So there are recipes to change to your liking, and there are ones you need to make while paying careful attention to details. I accused my sister in law and sister of this recently – I said in taking people’s recipes and changing them you’re essentially being cocky, saying “I think my version will be better”. I’m in the same boat sometimes, but not with recipes like this cake. This was a straight up science experiment.

I didn’t change one thing from the write up/recipe in America’s Test Kitchen. I even weighed my ingredients, which is sometime I only do with cake. As I sliced into this gorgeous cake, I can tell you confidently that my wariness paid off, big time. It was cake perfection. Light and airy (but not dry), perfectly sweet but not cloyingly so, the crumb was tight but not spongy and the flavor balance with the frosting was absolutely divine.

The best part about it is that since I didn’t make the cake for any particular reason, it was the best ever “after school” snack” that I then froze (directions below) and when we had friends over that weekend, the kids all had a piece of cake after dinner without any added stress to my Saturday/entertaining cooking. It froze and thawed (frosted) really, really well. As I chatted with Jenna about the cake she said the following, which sums it up perfectly; “So it was a pain to make but not so much that you won’t make it again, especially with it being so good”. Yep.

Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting 

Makes 9×13


4 large eggs plus 2 large yolks

1/2 c. buttermilk

1 tbsp. vanilla

2 1/4 c. (9 oz) bleached cake flour

1 3/4 c. (12 1/4 oz) sugar

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1/2 c. vegetable oil


2 1/4 c. (9 oz) powdered sugar

1/2 c. (1 1/2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1/4 c. hot water

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. (2 oz. ) bittersweet chocolate

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Combine eggs, yolks, buttermilk and vanilla in glass measuring cup and whisk with fork till smooth.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl of standing mixer. Beat on low speed until combined, about 20 seconds.
  4. Add butter and oil and mix on low till combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat until lightened, about 1 minute.
  5. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, slowly add egg mixture. When fully incorporated, stoop mixer and scrape down bowl and paddle. Beat on medium high speed till batter is pale, smooth and thick, about three minutes. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Tap pan firmly on counter 5 times to release any large air bubbles, and place in middle of oven. Bake 28-32 minutes  or until set, then cool in pan on wire rack for two hours.
  6. For frosting, combine sugar, cocoa, butter, hot water and salt in bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment. Mix on low speed till combined, then increase speed to medium and beat another minute. Add melted chocolate and whip on low speed until incorporated. Let sit at room temp about 30 minutes to thicken, then frost cake.
  7. To freeze, cut into squares and freeze on waxed paper lined sheet pan for one hour. Combine squares in ziptop  bag and freeze.