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Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake. I’m taking us back a bit in time with this delicious fudgy chocolate sheet cake. Picture a flavorful, light, and fluffy chocolate sheet cake with rich chocolate flavor. Then add the most delectable, roll your eyes back good, chocolate frosting that’s sweet and fudgy. This cake is naturally gluten-free and takes so little effort to make. It’s extra chocolatey and every last bite is truly delicious.

Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake |

I’ve always wanted to make a simple chocolate sheet cake. But that was just it, it felt too simple and basic to share with you all. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I like to share more unique recipes with you guys. My hopes are that I will inspire you to create something fun to cook up for dinner or dessert.

To this day, I haven’t shared a super classic chocolate sheet cake. Maybe someday I will, but honestly, I love this cake even more. It’s classic…but better.

Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake |

I’ve been thinking back to the recipes our moms and grandmas would bake up and the sweets we enjoyed as kids. Rich chocolate peanut butter bars and sweet sheet cakes for birthday parties. To me, the peanut bars were delicious, but the sheet cakes always lacked a bit in flavor. Probably because most of them were store bought or box cakes.

Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake |

I got to thinking about how I could still make a retro-inspired sheet cake, but still improve upon it a bit. I wanted to give the cake more flavor, make it less sweet, and figure out a better frosting that didn’t just taste like lots of sugar.

So then I played around with this cake, using almond flour, and maple to sweet things. And adding coffee to really pull out and highlight the chocolate. It ended up being so wonderful, and I love that it’s a bit more wholesome too.

Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake |

The cake details

Nothing fancy here, just mix the wet ingredients with the dry and simply bake the cake in a baking dish. One bowl – nothing complicated. As mentioned, I used almond flour for this cake, so it’s naturally gluten-free.

And then, I used maple syrup as the sweetener, which I really love. Cakes are, of course, delicious, but I hate the “sugar” headache you can get when they’re overly sweet. Don’t worry though, this is still plenty sweet!

Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake |

The frosting

While the cake itself is on the more wholesome side, the frosting is a tried and true retro-style classic.

The frosting needed to be thick and fudgy, but yet soft and almost runny. Think of a just set top that has glazed over and stiffened, but underneath is fudgy, loose frosting.

Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake |

Very old school, very vintage, which is exactly what I was going for. Just like the kind of frosting your grandma would make.

Once the cake has cooled, simply spread the frosting over top and that’s it, easy.

You can let the frosting set up or just cut in and enjoy!

Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake |

Looking for easy old-school-style desserts? Here are a few ideas: 

Crinkle Top Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Blondies

Giant Salted Espresso Hot Fudge Cookies

Lunchroom Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Lastly, if you make this Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories Per Serving: 569 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Chocolate Icing


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil, milk, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla. Add the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined, then slowly beat in the coffee until combined. It will be thin. If using, stir in mini-chocolate chips.
    3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is just set and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool completely before frosting
    4. To make the frosting. Add the butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and 1/4 cup warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until smooth, adding additional warm milk until the frosting becomes thicker, but still drizzly. Taste, adding more sugar if needed. Spread the frosting over the cake. Let sit for 1-ish hour to set. Slice and enjoy!


Storing: this cake will keep well for 3-4 days at room temperature or in the fridge. 
To Bring Eggs to Room Temperature: place the eggs in a bowl and fill with warm water. Let sit 5 minutes.
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Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake |

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  1. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious! I loved the trick on how to bring the eggs to room temperature too. A couple notes I had from my own experience that may be helpful to other bakers! Melt your coconut oil on the stove, I did not completely melt mine in the microwave and had to restart the wet ingredients. *Face plant* Live and learn! I also used espresso for the brewed coffee element (all I had on hand) and I think it made it a tiny bit bitter, with the amazing frosting it was almost not noticeable, but for next time I will probably skip the coffee and do water as you suggested. Thank you for such a fun, delicious, and easy recipe!

    1. Hi Alyssa,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! Have a great weekend:)

  2. 5 stars
    This is really easy and definitely delicious! I baked it this weekend and Everyone loved it. Thanks Tieghan!
    You are amazing 🤩

    1. Hey Mitra,
      Happy Monday!!☃️ Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was a winner! xx

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Sure, that would work well for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hey Brittney,
      Happy Sunday!!⛄️ I truly appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xxT

    1. Hey Kristin,
      I used a 9×13, but a sheet cake pan should also work well for you! Please let me know if you give this cake a try, I hope you love it! xT

      1. Hi Sandra,
        I’ve never tested coconut flour, but it might be okay for you to use! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Sure, any non-dairy milk that you enjoy will work well for you! I hope this recipe turns out tasty, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for a family gathering. My bonus mom said she liked it better than her own mother’s chocolate cake, and that’s saying a lot. My dad hid the leftover piece so no one else could have it. So good! I used the optional chocolate chips and substituted a stick of butter for the coconut oil since my local store doesn’t carry it. 5 starts! Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes with us.

    1. Hey Maddie,
      You can use water in place of the coffee! I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  4. Can i substitute the frosting warm milk with maybe can coconut milk? making for someone who can’t have milk ? looks delicious!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Sure, coconut milk or another non dairy milk will work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

    1. Hi Jordin,
      Yes, that would be just fine for you to use! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

    1. Hey Kelsi,
      Yes, I think that will work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you! xx

        1. Hey Gabby,
          I’ve not tested that with this recipe, but you can certainly give it a try! Let me know how it turns out! xx

    1. Hi Ave,
      You don’t, the parchment paper will allow you to lift the cake out of the pan for serving:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  5. Hi Tieghan, does the parchment paper need to line the sides of the baking dish as well, or just the bottom?

    1. Hey Leah,
      Just the bottom is great:) I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  6. 5 stars
    The was exactly what I’ve been craving & missing in chocolate sheet cake. The frosting is so good! I made it for a birthday celebration this weekend & we loved it.

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      Fantastic! Thanks for your comment and trying the recipe:) I am so glad it was enjoyed! xxT

  7. The ingredients do not list baking powder but the instructions say to add baking powder with the dry ingredients (along with baking soda).
    Does it need to include baking powder?

    1. Hey Cynthia,
      The instructions do not list baking powder, there is no baking powder in this recipe, just baking soda:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan