Chocolate Sheet Cake with Chocolate Ganache

I have a chocolate cake recipe that I love. It's my go-to chocolate cake recipe for all occasions. The recipe is from the Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and I kid you not, it is amazing and fool-proof. I've made it so many times I've lost track and I've never had anything go wrong. I've been pretty committed to this cake recipe for around 7 years now. I've never thought about trying something new until last week I was having an 'I need some chocolate cake right now or my life will be over' type of pregnancy craving. I went to the fridge and discovered that we no longer had any eggs or milk on hand and because I was too lazy to go to the store I thought that I would try and make some sort of vegan chocolate cake if I had all of the ingredients.  

I did an internet search and found a sheet cake recipe from King Arthur Flour that seemed promising. I like that the recipe had a ton of options for substitutions, so if you had milk or cream, you could use instead of water for a richer version. Luckily, I had all of the ingredients to make a version of this cake, and I didn't have to leave the house. The recipe is so easy, with minimal ingredients, it seemed too good to be true. I was skeptical.  

I love the low stress associated with making a sheet cake. No need to worry if your layers will match up. No cutting, no fussing. I really dislike icing cakes, all the finicky bits,  so you can see why I was so excited about this cake. Once the cake was done baking and then left to cool, I drizzled it with chocolate ganache, and voila, a cake fit for a king. I honestly can't believe how easy and delicious this cake is. I can't promise that it will be my new go-to cake recipe over the John Scharffenberger cake, but it's definitely a runner-up. And the fact that it's so easy to make, might be a winning factor next time I have to choose. 


recipe adapted from

King Arthur Flour

serves 9

prep time: 10 minutes

cooking time: 30 minutes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp white vinegar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup cold water


1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan, and line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and combine.

In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and combine.

Add the wet to the dry and combine.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

To make the ganache, heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small sauce on low heat until melted. Whisk until smooth. Let the icing cool and then pour it over the cooled cake.

Cut into slices and serve. Can be stored in a tight fitting container for 3-4 days.