If you need to make a cake to feed a crowd, this olive oil dark chocolate sheet cake with strawberries is the one to make. Ooey and gooey and oh so good! Find more olive oil cake recipes here.
We all have picnics, potlucks and parties that we partake in, and it seems like someone is always looking for a volunteer to bake a dessert for a small crowd. I always have family over, and after years of being room mom for my kids’ classrooms, I’ve made a lot of desserts!
This particular cake is known as a sheet cake. It is lovingly called a Texas sheet cake, cuz well, everything is BIG in Texas! And this chocolate sheet cake keeps the legend going.
What makes this recipe so great?
Now I was raised in Houston, Texas and I never heard of the Texas Sheet Cake. Boy, was I missing out! Over the years I came up with my own version.
I love baking with yogurt, so this cake uses yogurt instead of the usual buttermilk or sour cream that you find in more traditional recipes. I also use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, because well, I’m passionate about olive oil!
A sheet cake is not a super thick cake. It is baked on, you guessed it, an 18″ x 13″ rimmed baking pan. Most of these pans are about 1/2-inch deep, so your cake is going to be thin. To insure that your guests don’t make up for cutting a big slice, this cake is very rich and gooey.
My chocolate sheet cake is finished with an incredible chocolate icing and topped with some freeze dried strawberries. Such a delicious dessert to serve when you are feeding a crowd!
Ingredients you need
You can make a simple chocolate sheet cake or a gourmet one with just a few simple substitutions. I have listed these tips below:
- Cocoa powder: You need unsweetened cocoa powder. I chose to use dark chocolate cocoa powder, but feel free to use regular.
- Eggs: This recipe includes whole eggs as well as extra egg yolks. This helps create a moist sweet cake that won’t fall apart. And since we are making a thin sheet cake, keeping your slices sturdier is crucial.
- Greek yogurt: I love baking with yogurt. I always have some in the fridge and it yields such a moist cake. You can also use sour cream.
- Dark chocolate chips: Since I was using dark cocoa powder, I wanted more of a dark chocolate flavor in my sheet cake. You can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips if you are not a fan of the dark.
- Extra virgin olive oil: The main fat that I use in all of my cakes is extra virgin olive oil. You want a mild flavor oil, not a peppery one. Read this post to learn more about baking with olive oil.
- Butter: I do use some butter to help with melted chocolate we mix into the cake batter and for the delicious chocolate icing. Always use unsalted butter when baking.
- Heavy cream: This is essential for the chocolate icing. Do not substitute with regular milk.
- Dehydrated strawberries: I top my chocolate sheet cake with dehydrated strawberries. Real strawberries will get soggy and too wet. You can omit the strawberries altogether. Keep it plain or top with chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans. You can also use your favorite sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
- Sugars needed: granulated sugar, powdered sugar and corn syrup
- Other pantry staples needed: All purpose flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract
Recipe Step-by-Step Instructions
There are two parts to this recipe. First you will prepare and bake the sheet cake itself. A hand mixer is very helpful, but you can also get by with a whisk. You will also need to set up a double boiler to melt the chocolate and combine with the fats for the cake.
The second part of the recipe is to make the lip smacking delicious chocolate icing. You heat everything in a simple saucepan over the stove while the cake finishes baking and pour it over the warm cake.
As the cake cools, you are left with a nice iced top, a fudge-like layer where the icing and the hot cake have mixed together, and a bottom layer of moist and delicious chocolate cake.
1. Mix dry ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
2. Mix wet ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, egg yolks, 2 tsp vanilla and yogurt until just combined.
3. Double boiler: In a double boiler, over medium heat melt chocolate chips and 4 TBS butter with olive oil, water and 1/2 cup cocoa powder until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
4. Combine it all. Once the chocolate mixture is melty and smooth, whisk it into the flour mixture until incorporated. Then, whisk in the egg mixture into batter.
5. Bake. Pour the cake batter into a lightly greased 18″ x 13″ rimmed baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula and spread it out evenly, tapping it gently to the table to let out air bubbles. Bake at 350ºF until tooth pick inserted in center comes out, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
6. Start chocolate icing. About 5 minutes before cake is done, combine 8 TBS butter, heavy cream, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to remove the lumps.
7. Finish chocolate icing. Turn the heat off and whisk in powdered sugar and 1 TBS vanilla until silky smooth.
8. Ice the cake. Spread warm icing evenly over the hot cake. Coarsely chop the dehydrated strawberries and sprinkle evenly over the icing.
9. Cool the cake. Now comes the hard part, the wait. Let the cake cool to room temperature on a cooling rack for about 1 hour. Then refrigerate the cake until icing is set, about another hour.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQS
Sheet cakes like this one are easy to whip up and perfect for big crowds. The real key to success is to be patient and let it cool after you ice it.
- Generously grease your sheet pan well because you don’t want this baby to stick. You an also line it with parchment paper.
- Other toppings you can use instead of dried strawberries: chopped pecans or walnuts, or chocolate shavings
- For a richer chocolate flavor, use dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate
A sheet cake is basically a thin cake that is baked on a baking sheet or jelly roll pan. In this case, a chocolate cake baked on a large 13″x18″ baking sheet. You can finish it simply or decorate it elaborately.
Once the cake is baked, iced and cooled you can cut it into slices. Then wrap in plastic wrap and again with foil to freeze it. It can be frozen for a couple of months.
If you are keeping this on your counter, this chocolate sheet cake will last about 2-3 days. In the refrigerator, wrap with plastic wrap or in an air tight container for about 4-5 days.
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 8 oz dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup water
- 12 TBS unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 TBS light corn syrup
- 3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 1 oz dehydrated strawberries, coarsely chopped
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Grease one 18" x 13" rimmed baking sheet.
- In a medium-sized bowl mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, egg yolks, 2 tsp vanilla and yogurt.
- In a double boiler, over medium heat melt chocolate chips and 4 TBS butter with olive oil, water and 1/2 cup cocoa powder until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
- Whisk chocolate mixture into flour mixture until incorporated.
- Whisk egg mixture into batter.
- Pour batter into prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until tooth pick inserted in center comes out, 18-20 minutes.
- Transfer to a cooling rack.
- About 5 minutes before cake is done, heat in a small saucepan over medium heat 8 TBS butter, heavy cream, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and corn syrup, stirring occasionally until smooth.
- Turn heat off and stir in powdered sugar and 1 TBS vanilla until smooth.
- Spread warm icing evenly over hot cake.
- Sprinkle chopped dehydrated strawberries over the icing.
- Let cake cool to room temperature on a cooling rack, about 1 hour.
- Refrigerate until icing is set, about 1 hour.
- Cake can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Cut into 3" squares and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 63mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 3g
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