This Chocolate Sheet Cake is my new favorite easy cake recipe! No one will know it’s is paleo friendly. Made with coconut flour, refined sugar free and nut-free too! It’s a delicious healthier chocolate sheet cake everyone will love.
This post is sponsored in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me bring you new recipes!
CHOCOLATE. Sheet. CAKE.
Sheet cakes always remind me of graduation / open house season… Maybe because my aunt made a giant texas sheet cake for my party. And by giant I mean like the full (cookie) sheet size, it not larger.
Or was it larger than a cookie sheet? I can’t remember… that was over 10 years ago.
Anyways, this chocolate sheet cake recipe uses a quarter size sheet pan – it’s essentially the size of a 9×13 cake pan. But because it’s a rimmed baking sheet, it’s perfect for small batch sheet cakes and lower sitting cakes. Also very easy to cut pieces and serve.
If you don’t have a quarter sized sheet pan, they’re really versatile and I highly recommend getting one.
Grain Free Chocolate Sheet Cake
Okay friends, seriously though YOU NEED THIS. I mean, who doesn’t need a go-to chocolate cake recipe in their baking arsenal?
Not to mention, this is an EASY chocolate cake that only requires one layer of frosting.
Nothing against layered cakes by any means, but they are much more intimidating, ya know?
Ingredients needed for a paleo friendly chocolate sheet cake
- coconut flour
- cocoa powder
- tapioca flour (see notes in recipe card)
- baking soda, baking soda & salt
- instant coffee or espresso powder (adds to chocolate flavor)
- honey, maple syrup or agave
- applesauce (or even pumpkin puree) – keeps this recipe oil-free too.
- sunflower seed butter, or cashew butter if not nut-free
- eggs (no flaxseed sub here, because coconut flour can be tricky)
- non-dairy milk (i.e. oat milk or your milk of choice)
I’ll be honest with you and say that even I am surprised that this list of ingredients can create such an awesome chocolate cake!
We’re using Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour, which makes this recipe grain-free and gluten-free, also paleo friendly.
I cannot recommend Bob’s Red Mill products enough. They have a large selection of high quality flours, ranging from conventional wheat based to grain-free and gluten-free blends. Their flours never fail me!
Also I’ve met Bob in person and he’s just the cutest.
For this paleo chocolate cake we’re not using a ton of added sugar, and what we are using is unrefined (honey or maple syrup). Plus we’re using applesauce along with nut/seed butter in place of the oil.
Note: Coconut flour is very absorbent, and there are five eggs needed for this chocolate cake recipe. Just trust me – you need them. I can’t recommend a good sub here if you’re egg-free.
How to make paleo chocolate sheet cake
- First start by mixing together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. This will ensure the leavening agents are evenly mixed in. Set this bowl aside.
- Then in a mixing bowl (preferably with an electric mixer) begin mixing together the applesauce and maple syrup. Add in the nut or seed butter, mixing until smooth. Add in vanilla and the eggs two at a time.
- Next you’ll add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, start to slowly stir then add in the milk and stir well until everything is combined. The batter will be fairly thin.
- Immediately pour the batter into a greased or parchment lined quarter sheet pan, and bake for about 25 minutes.
Now you can’t make a chocolate sheet cake without some kind of frosting…
I’ll share what I made here below, as well as give you some other options depending on what type of frosting you’re looking for…
Dairy-Free Chocolate Frosting
All you need for the chocolate frosting shown here is: organic vegetable shortening (palm fruit oil), cocoa powder, organic powdered sugar (or powdered coconut sugar), vanilla and a little milk or cream for it to come together.
You’ll need an electric mixer to whip the frosting together. First start by getting the shortening creamy (medium-high speed). Then add in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and mix on low speed, gradually increasing the speed. Add vanilla, then milk about two tablespoons at a time until you’ve achieved a creamy consistency.
Alternative Frosting Options
- Try my Avocado Chocolate Fruit Dip – I’ve used it as frosting before and it was delicious. This “frosting” is nut-free and oil-free.
- Use the coconut cream based peanut butter frosting from my Banana Cake. (Sub cashew butter if peanut-free / follow a paleo diet)
- You can alternatively make a coconut cream based chocolate frosting. I’d try this one is from Beaming Baker.
This chocolate sheet cake is…
- Light and fluffy
- Chocolate-y deliciousness
- Not *too* sweet on it’s own, but the addition of frosting sweetens things up.
- Loved by both healthy eaters and what I call “nonchalant eaters” (those who eat everything and/or have a sweet tooth for traditional sweets).
Happy sheet cake baking!
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and review here on the blog! I love seeing what you’ve made and it helps others learn more about the recipe too. Xx Ashley
- 1/2 cup + 1 TBSP coconut flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour
- 2 TBSP instant coffee (or 1 TBSP espresso powder)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1/3 cup applesauce (or pumpkin puree)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter or nut butter
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line quarter sheet 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper (see notes).
- Sift coconut flour into medium bowl. If you can’t sift, make sure no lumps are present. Whisk in cocoa powder, tapioca flour, instant coffee, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Using electric hand mixer or stand mixer with fitted paddle attachment, combine maple syrup and applesauce on medium speed until smooth. Add nut/seed butter mixing on medium-high speed until combined. Add vanilla extract then eggs two at a time, mixing on low-medium speed until combined.
- Pour dry ingredients into bowl of wet ingredients and combine on low-medium speed. With mixer running on low speed, carefully add milk and mix until batter is smooth – if lumps are present try breaking with fork. Immediately pour batter into prepared sheet pan, spreading smooth with spatula.
- Bake cake for 22-28 minutes, until inserted toothpick in center comes out clean. Watch baking time at 20 minutes as oven temperature can vary. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting – about 1 hour at room temperature, or place in fridge for about 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare frosting: In a large bowl using electric mixer, beat shortening until creamy then slowly add in cocoa powder and powdered sugar, mixing on low speed and gradually moving to high speed. Add in vanilla, then milk about two tablespoons at a time and continue mixing on medium speed, finishing with high speed at the end for about 20 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
- Frost cake evenly and sprinkle with chocolate shavings or sprinkles, if desired. Cut and serve!
- Cake can sit at room temperature depending on frosting used, but probably best stored cold.
Recipe adapted from my Paleo Flag Cake (vanilla sheet cake).
For more frosting options see notes in blog post above.
I did not test this with a vegan or egg-free option. Coconut flour is very absorbent and I don’t think a substitution would work here.
Frosting adapted from Downshiftology
- Serving Size: 1/16th
- Calories: 366
- Sugar: 45
- Sodium: 137
- Fat: 17
- Saturated Fat: 5
- Unsaturated Fat: 12
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 55
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 2
- Cholesterol: 0