Lunch Lady Chocolate Cake

Lunch Lady Chocolate Cake – easy and delicious chocolate sheet cake recipe with a quick homemade chocolate frosting. I found the recipe in a government cookbook and had to give it a try. OMG! SO good! Shortening, sugar, eggs, vanilla, water, flour, baking powder, baking soda, instant milk, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, butter. Ready to eat in about 30 minutes!

slice of chocolate cake with strawberries

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School Lunchroom Chocolate Cake Recipe

This is another recipe from my government cafeteria cookbook. When I posted the School Pizza recipe, I had several requests for Lunch Lady Chocolate Cake. I looked through the cookbook and found the recipe! Woohoo! This cake is surprisingly good! It is light and chocolatey. The frosting really puts the cake over the top! Give this a try the next time you have a chocolate craving. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

chocolate sheet cake in baking pan

How to Make Lunch Lady Chocolate Cake

To make the cake, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, mix together shortening and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and water. Mix well. Add flour, cocoa powder, dry milk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into a half-sheet pan and bake. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat together butter and shortening. Add powdered sugar, dry milk, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix well. Add cocoa powder and water. Mix until well combined and spread on top of cooled cake.

slice of chocolate cake with strawberries

Tips for Make Chocolate Cake from Scratch

As with the other school cafeteria recipes, I had to cut this recipe down. The original recipe made 100 servings. I cut this down to 24 servings. It is still a lot of cake, but we didn’t have any issues eating it!

  • This recipe uses 3½ eggs. How do you measure half an egg? Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk it. Eyeball or use a kitchen scale to measure half of the egg.
  • I used a half-sheet pan to make the cake. I suggest lining the pan with parchment paper so the cake doesn’t stick.
    • You can bake the cake in any pan that you prefer. You will need to adjust the cooking time if you choose a different pan.
    • I tried this in a 9×13-inch cake pan and it took about an hour to bake. We didn’t love the 9×13-inch version. The cake was better in the half-sheet pan.
  • This recipe uses dry milk powder. I buy it at Walmart.
    • Do NOT make the milk. You are only going to use the dry powder.

This cake was a big hit at our house. It is great for parties and potlucks. Serve the cake with some fresh fruit, whipped cream, and/or ice cream.

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Chocolate Italian Cream Cake

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slice of chocolate cake with strawberries

Lunch Lady Chocolate Cake

Yield: 24 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Lunch Lady Chocolate Cake – easy and delicious chocolate sheet cake recipe with a quick homemade chocolate frosting. I found the recipe in a government cookbook and had to give it a try. OMG! SO good! Shortening, sugar, eggs, vanilla, water, flour, baking powder, baking soda, instant milk, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, butter. Ready to eat in about 30 minutes!

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake

  • 15 Tbsp Crisco shortening
  • cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar
  • large eggs
  • cup water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 14 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 10 Tbsp instant non-fat dry milk powder
  • Tbsp plus ¼ tsp baking powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt

Chocolate Frosting

  • Tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp Crisco shortening
  • cups powdered sugar
  • tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp instant non-fat dry milk powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 10½ Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 5 Tbsp water

Instructions:

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a half-sheet pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, mix together shortening and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, and water. Mix well.
  • Add flour, cocoa powder, dry milk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour batter into a half-sheet pan and bake 22 to 25 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

  • With an electric hand mixer, beat together butter and shortening.
  • Add powdered sugar, dry milk, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix well. Add cocoa powder and water. Mix until well combined and spread on top of cooled cake.

Notes:

  • This recipe uses eggs. How do you measure half an egg? Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk it. Eyeball or use a kitchen scale to measure half of the egg.
  • I used a half-sheet pan to make the cake. I suggest lining the pan with parchment paper so the cake doesn’t stick.
    • You can bake the cake in any pan that you prefer. You will need to adjust the cooking time if you choose a different pan.
    • I tried this in a 9×13-inch cake pan and it took about an hour to bake. We didn’t love the 9×13-inch version. The cake was better in the half-sheet pan.
  • This recipe uses dry milk powder. I buy it at Walmart.
    • Do NOT make the milk. You are only going to use the dry powder.

Steph

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chocolate sheet cake in a baking pan

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Comments

  1. I loved school lunch in the 1965 -74.Does the Government cookbook have a crumbled hamburger- lentil gravy that was served on mashed potatoes? We lovingly called it Gravy Train .I loved it and have tried to replicate it but some thing is missing.

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