Denver Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake is incredibly moist thanks to buttermilk and rich in flavor thanks to the addition of coffee. This basic sheet cake recipe is easy to make yet big on taste. A layer of chocolate bars tops a layer of chocolate frosting so this Hershey Bar Cake has milk chocolate flavor in every bite.
Every home cook must have a good chocolate cake recipe. When I make a chocolate cake, I want something light, moist and enough to feed a small crowd. This Denver chocolate sheet cake fits the bill and there is nothing like a cake topped with a traditional milk chocolate bar. There is also no such thing as too much chocolate!
What Is Denver Chocolate Sheet Cake?
Most everyone has heard of Texas sheet cake. But have you heard of Denver chocolate sheet cake? Texas sheet cake is known for it's large size (everything is bigger in Texas) and rich chocolate taste. The thin cake is baked in a half-sheet pan and is topped with fudgy chocolate frosting. Denver chocolate sheet cake is also perfect for feeding a crowd but it's baked in a 9x13 pan and is thicker, fluffier and incredibly moist. While the flavors are similar, Denver sheet cake is easier to make for most home cooks because you can bake it in a standard pan.
Hershey Bar Cake Ingredients
- Flour – Use regular all-purpose flour.
- Sugar – White sugar works well and won't overwhelm the flavor like raw or brown sugar.
- Cocoa Powder – Use dutch process cocoa for the best flavor and leavening in your cake.
- Salt – I prefer to use kosher salt. Salt brings out the flavor and sweetness of other ingredients.
- Baking Powder – Baking powder is a leavening agent and will help your cake to rise.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda will make your cake fluffy and tender.
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk adds both flavor and moisture to the cake. If you don't have buttermilk, see our tips for making your own buttermilk below.
- Coffee – This cake will not taste like coffee but the coffee will give it an incredible rich flavor.
- Canola Oil – You can substitute with your favorite light, neutral oil or you can even use applesauce.
- Eggs – Eggs help to bind all of the ingredients and create structure and stability in the batter.
- Unsalted Butter – Select unsalted butter and bring it to room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is finely ground white sugar. It can be added to frostings so you don't get a crunchy texture.
- Cocoa Powder – Use dutch process cocoa powder for the best flavor.
- Whipping Cream – Heavy whipping cream is used but you can substitute half and half or milk.
- Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract brings out all of the other flavors.
- Hershey Bars – Regular size Hershey bars add lots of chocolate and a fun look to the cake.
How To Make Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake
- Prepare the equipment. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray.
- Mix the batter. Combine the dry ingredients in a a large bowl. Mix in the buttermilk, coffee and oil until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until well mixed.
- Bake the cake. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
- Prepare the frosting. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, heavy whipping cream and vanilla until combined and fluffy. Set aside 1 cup of frosting in a piping bag.
- Frost the cake and add the chocolate bars. Frost the top of the cake and place the Hershey bars onto the top of the frosting in rows of 2. Pipe the reserved frosting in dollops around the edge of the cake. Slice into pieces before serving.
How To Make Your Own Buttermilk
Buttermilk is an incredible ingredient when it comes to baked goods. Buttermilk can add flavor, texture and moisture. It can also help the cake to rise to fluffy proportions. If you don't have buttermilk on hand it's easy to make a simple substitute. Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with milk to equal one cup. Stir and let the mixture sit for a few minutes until it thickens. Use just as you would buttermilk.
- Bring cold ingredients to room temperature before preparing the cake batter and the frosting.
- Measure properly, especially with flour. The "spoon and level" method is the best for getting accurate measurements.
- Don't overmix the ingredients. Also be sure not to undermix.
- Don't keep opening the oven as this can drop your oven temperature in a hurry. Follow the cooking times in the recipe and only check for doneness close to the suggested baking time.
- Cover the baked cake with foil until it has cooled completely. It will be incredibly moist.
This Hershey bar cake freezes very well. Begin by refrigerating the cake until the frosting has hardened. Alternately you can flash freeze the cake. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the cake in individual portions in freezer safe containers. Defrost the cake by setting it on the counter for a few hours.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge or at room temperature for 4-5 days.
More Incredible Chocolate Recipes
- Double Decker Chocolate Strawberry Fudge
- Salted Almond Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats
- Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake
- Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes from Margin Making Mom
- Chocolate French Silk Pie from Cooking with Mima
If you like this Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake, please leave a 5-star rating.
Chocolate Hershey Bar Buttermilk Sheet Cake
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup coffee, cooled
- ½ cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 chocolate Hershey bars (regular size)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray.
- In a a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in the buttermilk, coffee and oil until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until well mixed.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
- Using a standing mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, heavy whipping cream and vanilla until combined and fluffy.
- Scoop about 1 cup of the chocolate frosting into the piping bag and set aside. Scoop the remaining frosting onto the top of the cooled cake and spread evenly
- Unwrap the hershey chocolate bars and place them onto the top of the frosting in rows of 2 Using the frosting in the piping bag, pipe dollops around the edge of the cake. Slice into pieces before serving
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