Super Easy Chocolate Cake



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Chocolate-Coconut Sheet Cake


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Everyone needs an unintimidating, foolproof cake like this one. A generous amount of coconut topping, poured over the moist cake while it’s still warm, provides richness and a deliciously gooey texture. The 12 generous slices can be cut smaller to feed a larger crowd.
Martha Stewart Living, February 2013

  • Prep Time30 minutes
  • Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
  • YieldServes 12
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  • Cake

    • Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dish
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
    • 3/4 cup warm strong brewed coffee
    • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Topping

    • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish
    • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 3 cups finely shredded dried unsweetened coconut
    • 2/3 cup warm strong brewed coffee
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • Whipped cream and toasted large-flake coconut, for serving


  1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; line bottom and 2 long sides with parchment, leaving an overhang. Butter parchment, and dust with cocoa powder. Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Gather flour mixture into a mound, and create a well in center. Pour eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla into well, and whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth. Pour batter into dish, and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

  2. Topping: Meanwhile, melt butter for topping in a small saucepan. Combine confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and coconut in a large bowl. Stir coffee and vanilla into butter, and pour over coconut mixture. Stir to combine, and immediately spread evenly over warm cake. Let cool completely on wire rack.

  3. To serve, use parchment to transfer cake to a cutting board. Cut into thirds lengthwise, then cut into quarters crosswise (you should have 12 pieces). Serve with whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Cook’s Note

Cake can be refrigerated in dish, wrapped in plastic wrap (do not let plastic touch cake), up to 3 days.



  • Dawn-R
    11 Feb, 2013

    Made this over the weekend and it is delicious. Very moist and not overly sweet. We all loved it.

  • elopezeliza
    28 Jan, 2013

    Made this for a party and everyone loved it!! Delicious!! Very moist.

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I also make this with just the following simple chocolate buttercream icing instead to.


1/2 cup- 1 stick butter softened

2 cups icing sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

2-3 T milk

1 t vanilla


Mix butter and remaining ingredients till smooth and fluffy. You can either put this on top of the cake while it is still warm and it will melt on and be sort of fudge like or wait till the cake is cold and put it on and it will be light and creamy- either way its great




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