Denver Chocolate Sheet Cake

By Jennifer Webb, Active Member

For July’s “From the Pages,” I turned to a recipe from the Junior League of Denver’s The Junior League at Home, also featured by the New York Times. According to the Times, the recipe came to their attention in 2003. Described as being a “basic sheet-cake of tremendous moistness” and “very easy to make,” I decided to give it a go. (When I first saw the recipe last year, we were not seeing people and we could not eat a 9×13” pan by ourselves!)

Check-out the recipe.

Making the cake

After preheating the oven, I started on the cake.

Two sticks of butter, cocoa, and water are cooked over medium low-heat until “smooth, glossy and bubbling around the edge.”

Could I tell if it was “glossy”? 

No, but it did seem to be smooth and bubbling so I moved on and folded the chocolate “slurry” (my word here) into the dry ingredients, then added the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.

Then you pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. And it did look glossy when it came out of the oven.

The cake needs to cool completely before you make the frosting.


The frosting

The frosting has a lot of the same ingredients and follows much the same process as the cake.

This time, however, the frosting slurry of butter, cocoa and buttermilk is ready when it is “smooth and bubbling around the edges”. This slurry actually looked more glossy than the one for the cake but who knows! (Clearly there are bakers who could tell the difference between these instructions but I am not one of them!)


Then you mix the slurry in with the dry ingredients (yes—a pound of confectioners’ sugar and nuts) and beat. Then pour it straight on the cake and let sit. The frosting gets viscous pretty quickly so I recommend doing this step fairly quickly.

Final thoughts

This cake is easy to make and I can’t wait to see if it is as moist as described. I also got chocolate everywhere while making it and the whole house smelled like chocolate!


Thanks Junior League of Denver!