Simple Chocolate Sheet Cake with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Updated: Feb 20
Holy sheet. This sheet cake is the bomb. And Valentine's Day is here. Whether you've planned to have a casual dinner in or a wild night out, this sheet cake is something you should strongly consider coming home to...
It's super simple, requires just a few dishes, and you can whip it up in under an hour, easy. I'm not kidding you, this chocolate cake is BEYOND what I ever expected it to taste like. I've had a family recipe for what I still consider to be the best chocolate cake ever (that I'm still too attached to ever share publicly - 😬). And this recipe is a close second, like, super close.
It's great too because you don't need to worry about layers of cake or piles of frosting you need to dig through. It's the perfect little hunk of rich chocolate balanced out by just a little strawberry swiss meringue buttercream. Ah, I'm drooling... Make it now! Srsly.
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder (I love using Camino Fair Trade Baking Chocolate!) 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp milk 1 Tbsp vinegar 2.5 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 egg, at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream (adapted from Natasha's Kitchen) 3 large egg whites 1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt 1/3 cup strawberry preserve
Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Prepare and grease an 8x8 glass baking dish (could be metal as well) and line with a sheet of parchment paper for easy cake removal. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together milk and vinegar and let sit for a minute or two until it begins to slightly curdle (don't panic, this is good). In a separate large bowl, mix together sugar, milk/vinegar mixture, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract until evenly combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just combined (a wooden spoon works great too if you want to keep it easy)! Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for ~20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Let cool completely. While cooling, make the swiss meringue buttercream. I know I've said this before, but this is so much nicer than American Buttercream. American buttercream is typically super thick, rich, and way too sweet - in my opinion. It tends to melt and 'sweat' much more easily, not my fav :) Swiss Meringue Buttercream is worth the extra effort! It's light and fluffy and is super stable. Perfect for almost any recipe. Swiss Meringue Buttercream Bring a pot filled with 1 inch of water to a boil. Using a heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg whites and sugar. Place bowl on top of boiling water until completely dissolved. You should not be able to feel any sugar granules between your fingers when you rub them together. Once completely dissolved and mixture reaches 160 degrees F, remove from heat and move to a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat for 15 minutes until the bowl is cool to the touch and stiff peaks form. Cut butter into cubes and slowly add one by one to the egg white mixture and whip for another few minutes until light and fluffy. The mixture might begin to look liquid-y but don't panic, keep whipping and the mixture will come back to a thick whipped state. Add in the strawberry preserve and add more depending on taste + preferred consistency. Spread the buttercream onto cooled sheet cake. Remove from pan and cut into slices when ready to serve. Enjoy!