The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake is this Zoe’s Kitchen Copycat Recipe


Your search for the best chocolate sheet cake ends here with this Zoe’s Kitchen copycat recipe.

zoes chocolate cake


What is chocolate sheet cake?

Chocolate sheet cake is baked in a jellyroll or sheet pan. It is typically made with ingredients such as buttermilk and pecans. It is often called Texas sheet cake or jellyroll chocolate cake. 

What is Zoe’s chocolate sheet cake?

Zoe’s Kitchen, a popular restaurant chain with several locations in Birmingham, offers a chocolate sheet cake. It is referred to as Zaza’s chocolate cake. It is sold by the slice in clear plastic containers. 

zoes chocolate cake


The icing on the cake.

The icing on the Zoe’s chocolate cake has a very glossy, smooth consistency that literally drips down the sides of the cake. If you want a thicker icing, simply add more confectioner’s sugar. The more you add, the firmer and more intact the icing will be.

zoes chocolate cake

Freezing this chocolate sheet cake.

This cake is super easy to make, stays moist for several days, and leftover slices freeze beautifully. To thaw a frozen slice, simply leave at room temperature for about an hour. You can also microwave a piece for about 45 seconds on 60% power, and it tastes like it was just pulled from the oven. YUM!!!

Helpful tools for this sheet cake.

A good sheet pan is key to making this yummy cake. I have this Chicago Metallic commercial baking sheet, but these can be found in most kitchen and home goods stores.  This mini brownie spatula is flexible and perfect for neatly cutting and lifting this cake. 

If you try this fabulous chocolate sheet cake, please let me hear how it turns out in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

zoes chocolate cake

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This is a Zoe's chocolate cake copycat recipe shared years ago in sleuth.


  • CAKE:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 TB cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ICING:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 TB cocoa (rounded, almost heaping)
  • 6 TB milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb (box) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 9 x 13 jellyroll pan generously with Baker's Joy.
  3. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil; stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt & sugar; add the hot cocoa mixture.
  6. In separate bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk & soda; mix well; add to cocoa mixture.
  7. Spread in jelly roll pan; bake for 30 minutes or until just set.
  8. Frost while still slightly warm.


  1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil; remove from heat.
  2. Add vanilla & powdered sugar, mixing until smooth.
  3. Stir in pecans if using.
  4. Spread evenly over cake.
Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 365Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 55mgSodium 270mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 1gSugar 26gProtein 4g

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  1. Have you tried altering the recipe the way that Judy mentioned below in the comments? I’m just curious to see how it was!

  2. Karen, I would not be surprised. They stopped selling the Zoe’s spice of life….my favorite seasoning. I’ve heard they may have changed hands…….Glad I have the copycat recipe on the blog. XoXo

  3. Has anyone had the chocolate cake from Zoe’s recently? I had a slice today for the first time in years and it seems different to me. Not at all like what they served before they sold out and started changing up the menu. Is it just me or does anyone else think this?

  4. OMG….I have been hunting this recipe for a while and it is yummy!! So, so good! Perfectly chocolaty and perfectly sinful!! Thank u, thank u, thank u for sharing!!

  5. Hi Gena, I am so glad you left this comment. When I checked, the nutrition was not calculated correctly, but I fixed it. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I hope you enjoy the Zoe’s cake!!!

  6. On your nutrition on Zoe’s chocolate cake, how many servings are you calculating with these numbers? Thank you, I’m tracking and need to know the serving size. A-

  7. Hi Elizabeth Ann! I am so happy the cake turned out well! It is one of our faves:-) Thank you for leaving a comment. I love reader feedback!! XoXo

  8. Hi Lauren! I am SO happy it turned out yummy and perfect!!! And thanks for sharing all your tips….folks love hearing from others besides just me:-)

    If you haven’t tried my quadruple chocolate bundt cake you must. It is my fave cake in the world and as easy as pie to make.

    Happy baking!!!!


  9. Hey again! Thank you so much for your quick reply!! So I ended up using my half sheet pan and it was wonderful! I usually make layer cakes, but have been trying out sheet cakes (my kids call them flat cakes, ha!) as a large-family mom trying to find more time-efficient recipes that can still feed a crowd. Our family of 9 ate about half the pan for dessert after Sunday lunch today.

    (For anyone curious, I made this whole cake, start to finish, including frosting and washing all the dishes used for it in under an hour!!)

    We loved the cake and I’ll definitely be making it again! I may even experiment with some different add-ins that will make it similar to some of my children’s favorite layer cakes. Thanks for a great recipe and being responsive to my question!! :)

  10. Hi Lauren!

    Jellyroll pans can vary a few inches. Mine is 11 x 16 (inside measurements) and is what I use for this cake. But you can use a pan similar but off a few inches either side and get great results. All you need to do is watch the cake and remove it when you see if firm up and start pulling away from the sides. Overbaking will ruin it. Please let me hear how it turns out!!!! XoXo

  11. Hi, I am so excited to try this!! I am addicted to ZK Yaya’s cake (may or may not – but definitely yes – have gone there JUST to get cake a time or two…)

    I just have a quick question about the pan size to clarify! The instructions say 9×13 jelly roll pan, but I always thought a jelly roll pan was more like 10×14…? Should I use a 9×13, slightly deeper, cake pan? Or a shallower, half-sheet type pan that is slightly larger?

  12. Hi Judy! It sounds like you have the inside scoop to the real Zoe’s cake! Thanks for the tidbits…..I’ll try the condensed milk in the icing and omitting the vanilla. Appreciate your comments!!!

  13. That’s pretty close. We don’t add salt. And it’s condensed milk in the icing. No vanilla in the icing. But that’s a good idea.

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