This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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: 458 kcal

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

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes and access them on any device! You can keep track of your favorite recipes and generate a shopping list for recipes in your collections.

Register & Save

Already Registered? Login Now

Ingredients

Chocolate Icing

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

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.
View Recipe Comments
Retro-Style Chocolate Sheet Cake | halfbakedharvest.com

You May Also Like

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am gluten free so I was very happy to find this recipe. I made it to take to my son’s house for Mother’s Day dinner. I couldn’t go empty handed. 😄 This turned out so good! It is very rich and delicious. It melts in your mouth. It is rich but also light and just the right amount of sweetness. I cut the cake into smaller squares thinking people could always go back for another slice. I loved it! I can see why it is one of your mother’s favorites.

    1. Hey Judy,
      Awesome!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for your comment and sharing your feedback! xxT

    1. Hey Chanel,
      Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xxT

  2. 5 stars
    Wow. I made this cake over the weekend for my brothers, and they descended upon it like a pack of wolves. It was so popular that I received “you took the cake?! I searched the whole house, where is the leftover cake??” texts the next day. This never happens when I bake, so I would say this recipe was a slam dunk! Thank you.

    1. Hey Libby,
      Thanks so much for your feedback! LOL I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it! xTieghan

  3. Something happened, cake did not rise while baking, finished as flat thin sheet and with crumbly texture. Thought it was a failure. Placed in fridge, added icing. Scrumptious! Friends and families declared Yummy! Any advice on possible missteps?

    1. Hey Lilly,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! I am so glad it was enjoyed. Sorry to hear you add some issues at first, it sounds like your baking soda may have been expired, I would check the expiration day! Have a great week! 🌺xxT

    1. Hi Jamie,
      Yes, you can use an equal amount of all purpose flour. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

        1. Hey Chanel,
          Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xxT

    1. Hey Makena,
      Happy Friday!! LOL Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xx

  4. This sounds like a more healthy version of the old Texas Brownies I’ve made for years. Can”t wait to try it!

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for trying it out! ☀️xx

  5. This cake was a hit with my fam…it is amazing and simply delish.
    Easy to eat, light and a perfect chocolate taste.
    Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Sofia,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for trying it out! ☀️xx

  6. Hi! I would love to make this cake but I can’t use the milk. What would you use as a substitute? I can’t use regular, almond, soy, rice, or oat as substitutes. Any ideas on what I can replace the 1/2 cup of milk with? Also, what’s an easy substitute for maple syrup?

    1. Hi Leah,
      Is there anything kind of milk that you can use? I would use that, you could also try water although I haven’t tested that. You can use regular sugar in place of the maple syrup. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xx

      1. Hi Sue,
        Yes, you can use an equal amount of all purpose flour and an equal amount of sugar to maple syrup. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

      2. I used half a cup of brown sugar..didn’t think the batter tasted sweet but glad I didn’t add more…the icing takes care of it! This is worth making for the icing!

        1. Hey Lauren,
          Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am glad to hear that it was enjoyed! 💐xxT