Oh hey there! Now I know that sometimes you don't want to fuss with layered cakes (most of the time probably...), and you definitely don't want to fuss with a million dirty dishes and complicated instructions. I know this. You know this. Everyone knows this.
So here's the solution. A no-fuss, one bowl, sheet cake. It's the easiest cake in the world, and turns out perfectly every time. It's actually the first cake that I learned how to bake by myself, and always my go-to cake for any occasion. It's not heavy, and it's always moist. Seriously the best, and so so fast to whip up. Pair that with the ease of a sheet cake, and this makes for a perfect, no stress dessert time.
Oh...and also, I put heart sprinkle on it because it's February. But you do you. Ha!
This is the cake I use for 99% of the layered cakes I make, and then I play around with icing flavours. I hadn't made a sheet cake in forever, and I have to say....why haven't I been doing this more?! Very little effort for a very big pay off. I'm thinking you'll be seeing a few more sheet cakes from me in the future!
one bowl chocolate sheet cake
(adapted from Our Treasured Recipes by Central Heights MB Church)
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 TBSP vinegar
3/4 cup oil
2 cups warm water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 sheet pan and set aside.
Mix together all dry ingredients; then pour all wet ingredients over top and mix until moist. That's it!
Pour batter into 9x13 pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes for cake, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes, and then gently invert it onto the cooling rack. (*I often tip it onto a cookie sheet, and then flip back onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and then slide the parchment off the cookie sheet with the cake on it onto the cooling rack since it can be hard to handle without breaking).
Allow to cool completely before icing. Add sprinkles, topping as desired. Pop iced cake in the fridge 15 minutes before cutting for a clean cut.
Store in an airtight container. Freezes very well.
chocolate butter cream
yields: icing for one 9x13 cake
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons cream
In a medium bowl, mix together butter and icing sugar until smooth and fluffy. Mix in melted chocolate, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of cream, and beat on medium until nice and smooth. You want the icing to be light and easily spreadable. Add additional cream if needed.
*Make this icing directly before icing cake. You can keep in the fridge as well, but it will need to be very carefully warmed up before using again, as butter and chocolate within the icing will have helped the icing set firm.
Happy sheet cake baking!