Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

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I started making this Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe when I was in high school. It always came in handy when I needed a dessert to take to school sports banquets or when my friends were coming over. It has been one of my “go to” cakes for years. I usually make a chocolate frosting, but I recently switched things up and made a creamy peanut butter frosting to top the cake. Β Best decision ever! This Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting is my new favorite cake.

I made this cake because we were having friends over for dessert. It is the perfect cake for entertaining and sharing. It is so easy to make-you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now. Hint, hint-as soon as you finish reading this post, you better get baking:) The cake is rich, chocolaty, and incredibly moist. Everything you’ve dreamed about in a chocolate cake.

The peanut butter frosting really is the icing on the cake:) I like to frost the cake when it is still warm so the frosting spreads easily and melts over the chocolate cake. I also like to chop up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and sprinkle them generously over the peanut butter frosting. The candy adds decoration with almost no effort and ties the chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting together.

Our friends loved this Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. I sent pieces of cake home with them, but we still had some cake leftover. It is a big cake! I was forced to eat the rest of the cake all by myself since Josh is allergic to peanut butter. Every time I walked by the sheet pan I had to have a bite. I couldn’t let the cake go to waste. Sometimes it is rough taking one for the team:)

Make this Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting…and be prepared to share! It feeds a crowd! Or you can just let the cake sit on the counter and it will magically disappear. I bet you can’t walk by without taking a bite, or two, or a gigantic piece. It is so good!

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Rich chocolate sheet cake with peanut butter frosting. This easy and decadent cake will feed a crowd.
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
18 minutes

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Sheet Cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup hot water

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups chopped-optional

Instructions

  1. To make the sheet cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a sheet pan with cooking spray and set aside. I use an 11 x 17 jelly roll pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and hot water. Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the egg mixture and mix until ingredients are combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and tap on the counter a few times to distribute the cake batter evenly. Bake the cake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
  5. While the cake is baking, make the peanut butter frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sifted powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Beat with the beater blade until smooth. Frost the chocolate sheet cake after the cake has cooled. Sprinkle chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups over the frosting, if desired. Let the frosted cake cool to room temperature. Cut into squares and serve.

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Maria

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. How did you know that I have been searching all over the place for “the perfect” chocolate cake recipe the past few weeks. I have read so many. Everyone has a different version; buttermilk, cream, coffee, butter, oil, cocoa powder, melted choc chips, etc. Thanks for sharing YOUR go-to cake that you’ve had since h.s.!

  2. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the PB&C combination! I’m pretty sure I’m going to make this one today! Lucky for me, my husband isn’t a real big cake eater…I guess I’ll have to take one for the team too! πŸ˜‰

  3. This looks yummy! I love this cake recipe and who can resist pb frosting.
    One question regarding pan size -is 11×7 correct or were you referring to 11×17?
    Thank you!

  4. Maria, what a perfect perfect party/entertaining recipe! It’s easy and practically thoughtless. I love go-to recipes like that. Ones that you can ALWAYS count on. Oh and ones that you can’t stop taking little bites out of! Way to take one for the team on the leftovers. πŸ™‚

  5. Yum! This cake looks amazing. The only ingredient I’m missing is buttermilk, but I guess I could whip up my own πŸ™‚ The peanut butter cups on top look like the ones from Trader Joe’s! Those are soooo good. Salt Lake doesn’t have a TJ’s but they’re getting one this fall!

  6. I love that you’ve been making this cake for so long! I’m sure it holds a very special place in your heart. The icing looks ridiculous awesome. I want to come over for dinner…ok…just for dessert πŸ™‚

  7. Hi there—-Beautiful recipes and I love to cook—-“BUT !”–I can’t figure out how to print this recipe without printing all the comments below it— as well as the pictures—- it takes up a lot of ink and paper–Most recipes will have a spot that says “Print Recipe Only” and click on that and that’s all that gets printed–just the recipe –no pictures and no comments——Pls. advise if there’s a way of printing the recipe only—-Thank you

    1. Hi-thank you for your kind comment. We do have a print option. On the recipe, right below the little photo, there is a printer icon. Click on that. I hope that helps!

  8. This cake looks delicious! Do you have the recipe for the chocolate frosting that you have used in the past for this cake? My sister’s birthday is coming up and she loves tofee. I think this cake with chocolate icing and chopped up Heath bars would make her very happy!!!!

  9. Maria & Josh—I just wanted to let you know that I made this today for a family gathering and it was a hit!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!!! Stacey

  10. I have also made a chocolate sheet cake for years. Always a favorite everywhere I take it. I have never thought to make a peanut butter frosting. What a great idea. Can’t wait to try it!

  11. This was soo good! I made it in 2-11 x 7 inch pans as I wanted to bring a pan to work, and save one for my husband and kids at home. Everyone loved it! The peanut butter frosting was out of this world good! Definitely will make this one again.

  12. I made this cake last night and it was fantastic! I brought some into my coworkers and they have all been raving about it. I did top mine with Reese Cups but used the Dark Chocolate ones instead of regular. Next time I would probably make some more frosting for the top, but otherwise the combination of chocolate and peanut butter was great, plus this was quick and easy to make! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  13. With a few simple substitutions I was able to make this for my daughter with dairy allergies. This was the first recipe that I have found that tastes amazing with the substitutions (I made it both ways). I now have a recipe that I can make for her birthday-THANK YOU!!!

  14. I’m getting ready to try this recipe. Can I use a 12 x 17 pan instead of the 11 x 17 or will I need to add more ingredients. if so how much. Thanks

  15. Last weekend I was trying to find something ‘creative’ to bake. I made a choclate cake and chocolate buttercream frosting, cut the cake in half to fill it with the frosting, put it in the freezer for about an hour to firm up the frosting, then poured Smuckers Caramel sauce over the center of the cake and put the top on, froze it again for about an hour to firm up the caramel then frosted the entire cake with the rest of the chocolate buttercream frosting. DELICIOUS!! In continuing my search for the ‘perfect’ cake, I baked another chocolate cake and made more chocolate buttercream frosting, cut it in half, whipped up a cheesecake and poured that over the bottom half and then poured strawberry preserves over the cheesecake, put the top on and frosted the entire cake with a chocolate mousse frosting. OUTSTANDING!! Well then I wanted to try something w/peanut butter so I baked another chocolate cake, cut it in half and layered the bottom half with peanut butter straight from the jar and poured hot fudge straight from the jar over the peanut butter (I didn’t heat the fudge, just poured it from the jar straight from the fridge). The feedback wasn’t as good in that everyone said all you can taste is the peanut butter and an after taste of the fudge and they needed 1/2 glass of milk to wash down one bite. I thought…back to the drawing board. So I did a little research and badda bing…badda boom…here you are!! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m looking forward to trying your recipe!!

  16. THANK YOU! I made this cake over the weekend and got rave reviews from indulging friends. I couldn’t believe such a simple icing recipe could put out so much flavor! Just a tip in case you let your cake cool before applying the icing: If you microwave the icing for about a minute and stir, it’ll be soft enough pour over the cake without ruining the consistency or flavor. Also, as much as I stand by “from scratch” recipes, subbing with a chocolate cake mix can cut prep time significantly if you need dessert with little time to make it.

  17. I made this for my boyfriend’s birthday and he absolutely loves it!! Thank you so much. This one is going in my recipe book for sure(:

  18. Haven’t made the cake yet, but we did make the frosting! Best peanut butter frosting that I may have EVER had. Definitely a go to!! To die for! Thanks for sharing this!

  19. I made this exactly as you wrote… IT WAS AMAZINGLY GOOD! Thank you for sharing it! It took me all day though, but worth it. I had featured u in the post of Here Are Seven New Ways To Make Romantic Chocolate Cakes For Fathers on AllFreshRecipes.Except ur more Eats!

  20. It’s my son’s 50th Birthday and I have been making him cakes for his Birthday every year. I know he will love this cake!

  21. This looks so yummy! I may make this for my husband for Father’s Day. What do you do with your leftover buttermilk? I don’t use it on a regular basis, so it’s tough to justify needing only half a cup and not using the rest of the container. Thanks!

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