I don’t know where the original recipe for this cake came from, but I always associate this sheet cake with my grandma. Every time we visited her farm, she made one of these cakes. In fact, it’s the only dessert I ever remember her making. So, I love this cake – partly out of nostalgia but mostly because it’s moist, chocolate-y, and delicious.
What I don’t love, though, is that I always feel twinges of guilt when I eat most of this cake by myself. I’m all for butter and sugar, but the original recipe for this cake and its icing calls for three sticks of butter.
For a while now, I’ve been playing around with substitutions for some of the butter. I tried fruit purees, but the taste and texture were just plain off. Then, the other day, I read something about substituting Greek yogurt for part of the butter in baked goods. Since I have two giant containers of Greek yogurt in my fridge, I figured I’d give it a shot.
It was perfect. There was no noticeable difference in the taste or the texture between the cake made with the Greek yogurt and the cake made with all butter. So now I gobble up this entire cake guilt-free (kidding – well, kind of kidding). However, if you want to try the all-butter version, just swap out the Greek yogurt for another stick of butter.
Lighter Version of Grandma’s Chocolate Sheet Cake
- 1/2 c . butter
- 1/4 c . cocoa
- 1 c . water
- 1/2 c . low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 c . fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp . vanilla extract
- 2 c . all-purpose flour
- 1 c . granulated sugar
- 1 tsp . baking soda
- 1/2 tsp . salt
- 1/2 c . butter
- 1/4 c . cocoa powder
- 1/3 c . low-fat buttermilk
- 3 c . powdered sugar
- 1 tsp . vanilla
- 1 c . chopped nuts optional
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a cookie sheet (I use a 15x11-inch rimmed cookie sheet) with edges.
Melt butter in a large saucepan.
Once butter has melted, stir in water and cocoa powder; bring to a boil.
Once at a boil, add buttermilk, and stir to combine.
Remove pan from heat.
Add the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla, and stir until well-combined.
Stir in sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt until just combined.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
While the cake is baking prepare the icing.
For the icing, combine the butter, cocoa, and buttermilk. Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat, and add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts (if using). Stir to combine. Pour icing over hot cake and spread evenly over cake.