Tender, buttery, vanilla cake with a layer of chocolate fudge icing can be made in no time and doesn’t even need a mixer! One bite of this amazing cake and your friends will be begging you for the recipe.vanilla sheet cake with chocolate fudge icing

I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve made this cake. It’s one of those recipes that honestly, when I first read it, I didn’t really believe that everything was going to come together. Well, nothing like being proven wrong and quickly, I might add. This cake is made with ingredients I always have in my pantry and really can be made in less than 30 minutes. It’s crazy, I know!vanilla sheet cake with chocolate fudge icing

One of the benefits of this sheet cake is that you don’t need a mixer – not for the cake nor for the icing. That’s a big win in my book. I also really like the fact that it’s made in a sheet pan. There’s no huge effort made to line bake pans, butter them and put just the right amount of batter in each to that everything is uniform. Nope…you must mix up the batter and pour it into the greased pan and pop it into the oven.vanilla sheet cake with chocolate fudge icing

Now, to the icing. There are so many ways you can change up the flavor combinations of this cake by just changing what goes on top of it. To start with, you don’t have to frost it at all if you don’t feel like it. Many times that I’ve made it, I use a vanilla icing and it’s absolutely delicious. You can sprinkle on chopped nuts or colorful candies. I also like to add seasonal fresh fruit for a nice burst of freshness. Even with all those options, the family favorite is a combination of vanilla cake with rich fudgy icing.
vanilla sheet cake with chocolate fudge icing

Since this recipe makes a big cake, it’s great to make for family gatherings, covered dish suppers, parties and pretty much any time you’d like to celebrate something. We actually have a funny name for this dessert. It’s called “walking around cake” which is what my son named it since you really don’t need a fork to eat it. Just pick up a piece, take a bite and walk on. Then again, you probably won’t go far… you’ll turn around, walk right back to get a second piece!
vanilla sheet cake with chocolate fudge icing

vanilla sheet cake with chocolate fudge icing

Vanilla Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cool cake: 15 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 20
Author: Donya | asouthernsoul.com


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs - beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Fudge Icing

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups powered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees

For Vanilla Cake

  • In a medium sauce pan, add butter and water and bring to a boil. 
  • In a large bowl add flour and sugar and whisk together. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla, baking soda and salt and stir together. Carefully pour hot butter/water into mixture. Stir with a wood spoon until smooth.
  • Pour into a buttered (or cooking spray) 15x10x1 inch baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.

For Icing

  • In a small sauce pan, add butter, cocoa, salt and milk and bring to a boil. 
  • In a medium size bowl, add 3 1/2 cups of powered sugar, reserving 1/2 cup if needed.
  • Pour hot cocoa mixture over powered sugar and mix thoroughly until smooth. Add more sugar if too thin. Pour icing over cake and smooth to edges of pan. Let cake cool for another 5 minutes. Slice and serve

Items You Might Need For This Recipe

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vanilla sheet cake with chocolate fudge icing


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