Ding Dong Sheet Cake is a decadent dessert with two layers of chocolate cake sandwiched together with a creamy filling and topped with chocolate frosting. The finished cake resembles a giant, elevated version of the popular chocolate-coated snack cake known as a “Ding Dong.” It makes for a stunning and indulgent treat that is sure to delight chocolate lovers! If this sounds amazing to you, be sure to also try my Ding Dong Cake, topped with chocolate ganache.

Ding Dong Sheet Cake from A bit Higher Up Showing it Topped with Chocolate Ermine on a White Counter.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Chocolate Cake: The recipe for the cake is my Perfect Chocolate Cake. It is a moist and flavorful cake on its own, so it is also perfect for this dessert.

Cocoa Powder: You will need both regular unsweetened cocoa powder (for the cake) and Dutch-processed cocoa powder (for the Chocolate Ermine Frosting). It is important to use the proper cocoa powder for the best results in this dessert.

Buttermilk: While I personally prefer to use store-bought buttermilk in this cake recipe, homemade buttermilk can also be used with great results. For those interested in making their own, I have a guide on How to Make Buttermilk. My preferred method for this cake is to use sour cream.

Coffee: Incorporating hot brewed coffee into the chocolate cake batter intensifies its chocolate flavor without a coffee taste. If coffee is not available, hot water can be used as a substitute to achieve a similar effect.

Filling: The creamy filling is Ermine frosting (also known as Roux frosting or boiled milk frosting). This frosting has a few extra steps compared to a traditional American buttercream, but the result is well worth it. It is a perfect complement to the decadent cake, as it is smooth and creamy with a subtle flavor.

Frosting: Just like the filling was ermine frosting, the topping is as well. It’s my Chocolate Ermine Frosting. Again, the extra steps are so worth the end result. If you prefer, chocolate ganache would also work as the topping.

Steps for Assembling a Ding Dong Sheet Cake with Chocolate Cake, Classic ERmine Frosting, and Chocolate Ermine Frosting.

Can I Make This Ahead Of Time?

You can get a head start on this dessert, for sure. Both the filling and frosting are ermine frostings. Each can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The chocolate cake can also be made in advance and frozen for up to a month.

Ding Dong Sheet Cake with Pieces Cut Out Showing Inside on a White Counter.

Can I Use A Different Pan?

Sure! If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, you could bake the cake in 2, 9-inch round cake pans. However, the baking time may need to be adjusted, so watch the cakes carefully. Then, simply layer the cakes with the filling and top with the frosting. If using round cakes, you may have extra filling and frosting. If so, store each in the refrigerator for up to a week to use on a different dessert.

Pieces of Ding Dong Sheet Cake on White Plates.

How to Store Cake

To maintain the cake’s freshness and prevent air exposure, it should be stored in an airtight container. Doing so will help the cake stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For optimal flavor and texture, it’s recommended to allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.

Piece of Ding Dong Sheet Cake on a White Plate on its Side with a White Fork.

Can I Freeze Ding Dong Sheet Cake?

Yes! For freezing the cake, it’s recommended to tightly wrap it with either plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and then place it in a freezer-safe container. Alternatively, you may prefer to slice the cake into individual pieces before wrapping and freezing. The cake can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, but it’s important to note that freezing may alter the texture and taste of the cake. When ready to enjoy the cake, it’s best to allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or at room temperature for a couple of hours, followed by bringing it to room temperature before serving. For the best experience, it’s advisable to consume the cake as soon as possible after freezing.

Ding Dong Sheet Cake at an Angle on a White Counter.
5 from 1 vote

Ding Dong Sheet Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Ding Dong Sheet Cake is a decadent dessert with two layers of chocolate cake sandwiched together with a creamy filling and topped with chocolate frosting. The finished cake resembles a giant, elevated version of the popular chocolate-coated snack cake known as a "Ding Dong."

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 ¾ cups (219 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (88.5 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (245 g) buttermilk room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Filling (Ermine Frosting)

  • 1 cup (245 g) whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Ermine Frosting

  • 1 cup (245 g) whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (59 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 10×15-inch sheet pan (jelly roll pan) with nonstick cooking spray.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out mostly clean with no wet batter.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan completely. Then, place it in the freezer or refrigerator until firm.

Filling (Ermine Frosting)

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3-5 minutes, or until no lumps remain and the mixture thickens and resembles a very thick pudding. It should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the cooled milk mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Switch to the whisk attachment. Add vanilla and mix on high for 7-8 minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Chocolate Ermine Frosting

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3-5 minutes, or until no lumps remain and the mixture thickens and resembles a very thick pudding. It should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. (The mixture will get lumpy again as it cools.)
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder on low speed until the cocoa powder is incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the cooled milk mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Switch to the whisk attachment. Add vanilla and mix on high for 8-10 minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Assembly

  • Once the cake has cooled completely and been chilled, slice it in half down the middle. You should have two rectangles. Gently place one of the cakes onto a serving plate.
  • Spread the vanilla frosting over one of the halves of the cake.
  • Place the other cake layer over the vanilla frosting. Top with the chocolate frosting. Enjoy!

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

These take me right back to my childhood! It has that classic Ding Dong flavor. The chocolate cake is perfectly complemented by the creamy vanilla filling and chocolate topping. Every bite is a unique experience and I enjoyed all of it!

Elizabeth

This dessert is a little rich for me, but wow, is it impressive! It's like the grown-up version of a Hostess Ding Dong. If you love chocolate, there is no way you could pass up this dessert! Update: After letting it come to room temperature, I liked this dessert a lot more, especially the filling.

Bella

The cake is wonderfully moist! You get the best of both worlds with the chocolate and vanilla flavors! The vanilla and chocolate blend well together when you have all the layers in one bite. Delicious, sweet, and rich!

Selena

This tastes exactly like a Hostess ding dong! But it is so much prettier and perfect for sharing. You get a super chocolatey beginning flavor and then finish with that lovely vanilla flavor from the filling.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. We’ve been makingvthis cake gir years but we called it a chocolate torte cake, we used our regular chocolate butter cream icing and baked in round pans. Very elegant cake and always brings out ohs and ahs from guest, definitely worth the effort.
    Marty from Ky

  2. Hi Amanda – love your recipes! I am so glad that in general you are a scratch baker like me! One of my all time favorites is German Chocolate Cake which I have made many, many times. The original recipe from Bakers is outstanding and I don’t think it can be improved on in any way. Do you know of any other cake recipes that are still made the old-fashioned way like that? There are way too many ingredients of a chemical nature in processed food! It is way less important to know what it does in the recipe, than what it does in your body and digestive system! Bravo for your recipes and website!!

  3. You make a point that the chocolate used in the cake and the chocolate used in the frosting are different. Regular unsweetened cocoa powder (for the cake) and Dutch-processed cocoa powder The only chocolate {cocoa} I have is Herseys. What is the difference and which is which?

    1. The main difference is the acidity in the two coco powders.
      She calls for unsweetened coco powder in the cake because it’ll help the rise of the cake since the acidity is higher.
      She used Dutch coco powder in the frosting because it has a milder flavor because it’s less acidic and frosting doesn’t need to rise/bake👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    1. This is what it says in the post:
      How to Store Cake
      To maintain the cake’s freshness and prevent air exposure, it should be stored in an airtight container. Doing so will help the cake stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For optimal flavor and texture, it’s recommended to allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.

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