Chocolate Chick Cake


Every Easter celebration needs this adorable sheet cake.

Southern Living Chocolate Chick Cake

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Active Time:
25 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins

Instant espresso powder is the secret to the rich chocolate flavor of this Easter sheet cake. The baking staple doesn’t impart any coffee flavor, but plays off of the unsweetened cocoa powder in the batter to yield a deeper chocolate flavor.

Unsweetened cocoa adds the same chocolate richness to the easy buttercream frosting that is whipped until so light and fluffy, it resembles the store-bought canned stuff, but without any of the cloyingly sweet taste.

The arrangement of candies on top of this decadent cake are inspired by ornately jeweled antique eggs. They also add yet another layer of chocolatey goodness.

For a variety of textures, some eggs added whole to the top of the cake and others crushed, dispersing them alongside chocolate chicks for the ultimate Easter-themed dessert.


Chocolate Cake

  • Baking spray

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. instant espresso powder

  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup whole milk

  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 cup candy-coated milk chocolate eggs (such as Cadbury Mini Eggs)

  • 7-8 miniature chocolate chicks


  1. Prepare the Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with baking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

    Whisk together flour, powdered sugar, cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a large liquid measuring cup.

  2. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture; stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

    Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; cool completely, 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Frosting: Beat powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, milk, vanilla, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on low speed, 1 minute. Increase speed to medium; beat until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down sides as needed, 3 minutes. Chill until ready to use.

  4. Spread frosting over cake. Lightly crush 1/4 cup of the candy-coated eggs; set aside. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup whole candy-coated eggs over cake, pressing slightly into frosting. Sprinkle with reserved crushed eggs, pressing slightly into frosting as needed. Arrange chocolate chicks on cake as desired.

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