I called this cake, with its spots of chocolate chips, a Dalmatian Sheet Cake. It is a beautiful and delicious cake that will have your family and guests swooning!
Sheet cakes have all the flavor and enjoyment of a layer cake with none of the hassle of trying to even the layers and frost them cleanly. They are also much, much easier to transport making them an excellent choice to take to potlucks and picnics!
Another bonus is how simple they are to make. Mix everything in one bowl, bake and serve all in one pan! These are perfect recipes for beginning bakers to try and they help build their confidence and experience.
Using room temperature ingredients like the eggs and buttermilk in this recipe helps guarantee a light and tender cake. For more information on why you should use room temperature ingredients in baking recipes, take a look at this Epicurious article.
If you noticed in the photos that most of the chocolate chips settled toward the bottom of the cake, it is because I didn’t dust them with gluten-free flour before stirring them into the batter. I forgot, but the cake tastes just as good this way – just not as attractive as I would have liked.
You could use the base recipe (without the chocolate chips) as the foundation for any number of flavors … think coconut, pecan, lemon, orange, your favorite booze, blueberry, cherry, etc. So many options!
You can easily bake the cake a day ahead and frost before you are ready to serve.
I hope you enjoy this black and white Dalmatian Sheet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and a very happy Chocolate Monday to you!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Dalmatian Sheet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream:
- Gluten-free flour blend or cake flour, baking powder, baking soda
- Chocolate chips, eggs, sugar, vanilla, vegetable oil, buttermilk
- Confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla, milk
This is a subtly flavored cake so feel free to boldly use the vanilla flavoring. You may need more than you think to stand up to the chocolate chips.
How to make Dalmatian Sheet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside; toss the chocolate chips with a little extra flour and set aside
- Cream the eggs and sugar together, add vanilla and oil, mixing again until blended and smooth
- Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk, mixing until smooth; add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then the remaining buttermilk, and finally the rest of the dry ingredients; beat until smooth and remove the bowl from the mixer
- Gently stir in 3/4 of the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula; pour into a buttered 9×13-inch baking pan, spreading it into the corners
- Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top and gently press them partially into the batter; bake in a 350°F oven for 28 to 32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Place cake on a wire rack and cool completely in the pan before frosting; to make the frosting, beat the butter and sugar together about 2 minutes until light and fluffy, add the vanilla and enough milk to get a nice spreading consistency, beating just until incorporated – do not over beat
- Spread the frosting over the fully cooled cake, slice and serve
Most gluten-free flour blends have a fairly high percentage of starches in the mix, automatically lightening the baking results. You don’t have to make the swap with cornstarch for “cake flour” if you don’t want to. Or if you do, I would use about half the amount given, or 3 tablespoons.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- 9×13-inch baking pan
- Mixing bowls
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Wire cooling rack
- Offset spatula set
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour or wheat flour, whisk it, spoon lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Gluten-free commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 3 cups (360 g) of my gluten-free flour blend or 300 g regular cake flour *
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (add only if using a gluten-free flour blend that doesn't already contain it)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups (340 g) semisweet or milk chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp gluten-free flour (for the chips)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, this is correct)
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) canola or other mild vegetable oil
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk or soured milk, at room temperature
- 4 cups (500 g) confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 226 g) butter, at cool room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, as needed
- Make the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x13-inch pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss the chocolate chips with a tablespoon of gluten-free flour and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until combined. Add the vanilla extract and vegetable oil, mixing until blended. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, 1/2 of the buttermilk, another third of the dry ingredients, the remaining half of buttermilk and the final dry ingredients. When fully incorporated, gently stir in 3/4 of the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.
- Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the top pushing the batter into the corners of the pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips across the top of the batter and gently press them in slightly, just enough to partially cover them with batter – they will sink during baking.
- Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before frosting.
- Prepare the Frosting: In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on low speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Increase to medium speed and beat in the vanilla extract and enough milk to become smooth and spreadable. Do not over beat. Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake, then slice and serve.
- * To make your own cake flour, measure 3 cups (360 g; see NOTE below) of regular all-purpose flour into a bowl, remove 6 tablespoons flour and whisk in 6 tablespoons cornstarch.
- Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
NOTE: You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour or regular wheat flour, whisk the flour, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Commercial gluten-free blends such as Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1, Pamela's, or King Arthur's Measure for Measure are all good choices.
Adapted from a recipe from Marsha's Baking Addiction
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 8g
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