Milk soak chocolate sheet cake

A Sheet cake is simple, and ‘un-flopable’. No fancy frosting and daunting layers to rattle your confidence. Not surprisingly, this Milk soak chocolate sheet cake is one of the most popular recipes on the Bibbyskitchen blog. Think of it as a Mexican milk cake but very chocolatey.

Milk soak chocolate sheet cake

Sheet cakes are the easiest way to feed a crowd. They also travel well which makes them a handy dessert to take along for those bring and share gatherings. Think uncles, aunts, distant cousins removed and so on, not forgetting hungry people, teenagers and cake lovers. Finicky details are out the window and it’s all about taste.

The sponge is light and airy, but once soaked with the milky syrup, becomes rich and sticky. No dry anything here. For the ganache frosting I’ve used a combination of milk and 70% dark chocolate. The milk chocolate is for sweetness and the dark, for deeply roasted flavour. To give the frosting a glossy sheen, I add liquid glucose, but you can substitute with honey or golden syrup. Chocolate and hazelnuts were made for each other, so we’ll tag along and finish this best milk-soaked chocolate sheet cake with a scattering of the same.

Milk soak chocolate sheet cake
Milk soak chocolate sheet cake
Milk soak chocolate sheet cake
Milk soak chocolate sheet cake
Milk soak chocolate sheet cake
Serves 12 -16 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) flavourless vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (230g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • generous pinch of salt

Milk soak

  • 400g tin evaporated (Ideal) milk
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate frosting

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 200 dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) cream
  • 1 tablespoon liquid glucose or honey
  • 100g toasted hazelnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Line and grease a 32 x 22cm rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa and boiling water to form a thin, smooth paste.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, vanilla and castor sugar. Add the cocoa paste to the egg mixture and beat until combined.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well combined. Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Always check for doneness before removing the cake from the oven.
  4. While the cake is baking, make the milk soak sauce. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring up to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes and then set aside. Ladle the hot milk syrup over the cake. Set aside to cool.
  5. To make the chocolate ganache frosting, melt the milk and dark chocolate, cream and glucose together in a heat-proof bowl. I usually do this in the microwave. Whisk until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake and top with toasted hazelnuts.


For chocolate lovers:


18 Comments. Leave new

  • Cheryl Wegener
    23 February 2016 3:29 pm

    Hi Bibbi, do you ladle the hot sauce over the hot cake straight from the oven? thanks for another good recipe

  • This cake looks incredible and all that frosting? YUM.

  • For stress-free baking, this sheet cake is definitely the answer. And as you say, then there’s the truffle frosting!

  • Morning Cheryl. Yes, as soon as the cake is out the oven, ladle over the sauce. It will soak up better while it’s still hot. Let me know how it goes. Enjoy!

  • This was delicious!!! Made it for a crowd 😉 and it was quick and stress free. That ganache frosting is amazing!! Not too sweet. Thanks Di 🙂

  • Dianne Bibby
    1 March 2016 9:00 am

    How insane is this cake? You think one slice will do, until you have that one slice… The ganache frosting is so versatile. It’s especially good with cupcakes in place of a buttercream frosting or on that fudgy banana bread.

  • Wow, that looks absolutely divine!

  • Dianne Bibby
    11 March 2016 3:34 pm

    Hi Anna. It’s definitely the kind of cake you’d need some friends round for. Left lurking on the counter, could be fatal! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Hi Dianne -I made this for my staff, and it was such a hit as well as being very easy to make. I left out the hazelnuts as one of them is allergic, and piled Chuckles on top instead. This is going to be a go-to recipe from now on.

  • Those Chuckles sound like the perfect solution Kate! Needless to say, if I’m looking for a failsafe and decadently rich cake to feed a crowd, this chocolate cake has it wrapped up. So glad it went down a storm.

  • Too much evaporative milk , the cake was swimming in it, i had to tip a lot out

  • Vilde Bruland
    2 June 2020 11:00 am

    Hi Dianne!
    I noticed it says “add the cocoa paste”. I don’t think cocoa paste is available here. Will cocoa powder do the same job? Do I need a different amount in that case?
    Love, Vee

  • Dianne Bibby
    17 June 2020 7:09 am

    Hello Vilde. The cocoa paste is made up of the cocoa powder and boiling water. Both quantities are specified in the ingredient list. I hope that helps. Enjoy!

  • Dianne Bibby
    17 June 2020 7:16 am

    Hi Samme. Not sure what could’ve gone awry here. It is very saucy at the bottom, almost like pudding cake, if you will. I’ve been making this recipes for years and it always worked. The only thing I can suggest is to double check the size of the baking tin and cooking times. Also, I pour the syrup over the cake while still hot so that it absorbs most of the liquid.

  • Very excited to try this, thank you so much! No evaporated milk where I am, any ideas for a substitute?

  • Hello Annie. I think the next best thing would be to thin down fresh cream. Depending on the fat content of the cream, I’d say perhaps use the ratio of 3 to 1 of your using single or fresh cream.
    I hope that helps.

  • Michele Tameris
    28 March 2024 11:28 am

    Hi due to. a lack of oven in house we are trying in for Easter weekend , could I make this 2 days before need? thanks

  • Dianne Bibby
    31 March 2024 8:14 pm

    Hi Michele. So sorry to the late reply. I hope you went ahead, anyhow. This cake is very flexible. A couple of days is perfect.

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