Light Chocolate Sheet Cake with Super-Fattening Chocolate Frosting


For B’s birthday, he wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, they don’t have aisles of boxed cake mixes here, so I knew I had to make his cake from scratch. I found this great recipe for light chocolate cake – it only has 1 gram of saturated fat per serving. The frosting, however, was a different story – it had 8 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and a whole enormous bar of chocolate. Wow. It’s definitely meant for special occasions.

Both recipes are from Cook’s Illustrated:



Serves 16.   published July 15, 2008.   From ATK Books.

Dutch-processed cocoa will give the cake a richer taste and darker appearance than non-alkalized cocoa. To accurately measure the boiling water needed for this recipe, bring the water to a boil first, then measure out the correct amount. Serve this dark chocolate cake dusted with confectioners’ sugar if desired.



– Vegetable cooking spray
– 3  ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
– 3/4 Cup Dutch-processed cocoa (2 1/4 ounces)
– 1 teaspoon espresso powder
– 1 1/4 Cups boiling water
– 1 1/2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/2 Cups sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
– 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– 6 tablespoons vegetable oil



1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with vegetable oil spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Combine the chocolate, cocoa, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate mixture, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly, about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

3. Whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture. Slowly whisk in the oil. Sift half of the flour mixture over the batter and whisk in. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and continue to whisk the batter gently until most of the lumps are gone (do not overmix).

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking (do not overbake). Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and remove the parchment paper. Flip the cake right-side up, and cool completely on the wire rack before serving, about 2 hours.

Per serving: Cal 270; Fat 9 g; Sat fat 1.5 g; Chol 25 mg; Carb 41 g; Protein 6 g; Fiber 5 g; Sodium 80 mg



Makes about 2 cups.   published January 1, 2001.

This frosting needs about an hour to cool before it can be used, so begin making it when the cake comes out of the oven.


– 1/2 Cup heavy cream
– pinch table salt
– 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (or dark)
– 10 ounces milk chocolate , chopped
– 1/2 Cup confectioners’ sugar
– 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cold, cut into 8 pieces



Heat cream, salt, and corn syrup in microwave-safe measuring cup on high until simmering, about 1 minute, or bring to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Place chocolate in workbowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. With machine running, gradually add hot cream mixture through feed tube; process 1 minute after cream has been added. Stop machine; add confectioners´ sugar to workbowl and process to combine, about 30 seconds. With machine running, add butter through feed tube one piece at a time; process until incorporated and smooth, about 20 seconds longer. You can also use a blender, like I did. Transfer frosting to medium bowl and cool at room temperature, stirring frequently, until thick and spreadable, about 1 hour.


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