Birthday Sheet Cake

Total Time:
45 min
15 min
30 min

1 (12x18-inch) cake

  • For the cake:
  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • For the frosting:
  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Chocolate candies for decorating (recommended: M&M's)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.

For the frosting, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted. Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it's thickened.

Spread the frosting evenly on the cake. Have the children decorate the cake with chocolate candies.

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3.6 105
I was a bit nervous about making this cake after reading some of comments. I followed recipe using 2tsp of zest from one lemon. Cake is a bit dense, lemon was not overpowering. I had about 1/4cup batter left in bowl and cake did not overflow while baking. I baked the cake for about 23min, rotating pan halfway through. My sheet pan measures 13x18x1. Frosting is yummy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I thick the recipe looks good but i don't know what it taste like i know i should try it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The cake itself was dry. If it were moist, the flavor would be good. Followed the direction of others by putting 3/4 the amount of baking soda. Frosting is divine. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh how the kids love this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Flop. I followed the recipe exactly, and have a mess in my oven and smoke in my house. It didn't overflow a little, it overflowed a lot. And what's left in the pan is not salvageable - some over-cooked and some raw -- what a waste of ingredients and time. (So I didn't even proceed to the frosting part) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I really like this cake, especially for medium to bigger crowds. It can be a little dry if you don't watch it during the baking process. I actually found that by adding 1/2 cup of cream to the liquids, it made for a moister, richer cake. Plus I baked it until JUST done - where a cake tester in the middle mostly came out clean. This helped with the dryness and made for a really nice birthday cake. My new go-to. :-) item not reviewed by moderator and published
DO NOT MAKE THIS CAKE. While not an absolutely horrible cake, this is in no way a birthday cake (way too dense. Although some actually gave this a good review, please spare the time and expense and choose a different recipe. This is not worth the trouble. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have to say it is the BEST cake recipe I have made. Since this was a cake that needed to feed the masses, I doubled the batter, divided it in half and kept one part vanilla and added coco powder to the other half. It mixed beautifully, baked perfectly, was a nice and thick batter, and tastes great! Now, I am not a novice baker and have some training in culinary and I think that the people who had problems need to revisit it and take their time. I also think that if it didn't turn out right, make sure you know how to properly do each step. Creaming the sugar and butter together is so important. It needs to be creamed until it is a pale yellow and fluffy and airy. Don't over mix (same goes when you add in the flour mix but make sure the consistency is correct and you should have no problems. DON'T LET THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS DETER YOU FROM THE RECIPE BECAUSE IT SO VERY WORTH YOUR TIME AND EFFORT! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw this recipe on air yesterday for the Pooch Party. Definitely mixed reviews. :-/ I decided to divide the recipe in half, and actually make cupcakes. It yielded about 26 of them. I actually put the oven on convect, and baked them ( while keeping an eye on them because I was straying from Ina's direction for 17 - 18 minutes. They came out perfectly light golden brown, and yummy. Mind you, I actually tasted the batter before I baked them, being as there are quite a few reviews saying that they just "threw it out." The frosting came out just right too! Thank you Ina, for another recipe to add to my "Barefoot" arsenal of recipes! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my go to yellow cake, AND my go to chocolate frosting. I've made the batter, without changes, but have used as cupcakes, layer cakes etc. Always turns out moist, and light. The Frosting is really my favorite. I had been searching for good chocolate frosting that wasn't buttercream. For others who don't like to use corn syrup, I have successfully used brown rice syrup that I found at Whole Foods. I have also made this recipe using white chocolate chips with great result as well, although its a little odd colored if you use brown rice syrup with the white chips... I recommend using corn syrup in that one! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Everyday Celebrations