This easy chocolate chip cake is made in one bowl with simple ingredients, and ready in about half an hour from start to finish. If you want to jazz it up a bit, we've listed several add-in ideas below – but this cake is just as delicious as is!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Oil: substitute the oil for butter if you like. Use softened butter and cream it together with the sugar before adding the milk, vanilla, and eggs. Any type of light-tasting oil can be used.
- Flour: use up to half whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or whole grain spelt flour.
- Chocolate chips: use any chocolate chips you like, but note that milk chocolate chips will make the cake quite sweet. You can also use chopped chocolate, but note that it won't hold it's structure during baking the way chocolate chips do.
- Make it dairy-free: substitute dairy-free milk and use dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips.
Step 1: add all of the wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl and beat to combine.
Step 2: mix in the dry ingredients on low.
Step 3: fold in the chocolate chips.
Step 4: spoon the cake batter into a prepared sheet pan.
Step 5: spread the batter into an even layer.
Step 6: bake until lightly golden, about 25 minutes.
Step 7: cool fully before topping with frosting.
Step 8: sprinkle chocolate chips overtop and serve.
- Don't over-mix: as with any cake, if the dry ingredients are mixed in for too long, you'll end up with a tough cake. Mix until just combined.
- Make a taller cake: the recipe as written bakes up as a low-profile fairly flat cake, almost like a chocolate chip cookie cake. If you like your cakes to have a bit more lift, add an extra teaspoon of baking powder.
- Use the right pan: a quarter sheet pan is 12-½ x 9-inch (32 x 23cm). You can use a slightly smaller pan, but cook for an extra couple of minutes and make sure to do a toothpick test.
If you don't have a quarter sheet pan, bake this recipe in two 8-inch (20-cm) cake tins for about 30-35 minutes, or until golden, firm to the touch on top, and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. You can also use one larger round tin, about 26cm, for a taller cake (bake for 35-40 minutes).
Adding extra flavours to the cake itself will kick this basic old-fashioned recipe up a notch or two. Try these:
- Add the zest of orange to the cake batter, and replace ⅓ cup of the milk with orange juice.
- Add one or two teaspoons of spices like ground ginger, chai spice, cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice in the dry ingredient mix.
- Add ¼ cup of rainbow sprinkles to the cake. Because who can resist sprinkles?
- Fold in a big handful of fresh raspberries with the chocolate chips.
How to Store
Storage: keep the cake, without frosting, in a sealed container at room temperature for up to three days. If you've added frosting, you'll probably have to refrigerate the cake.
Freezing: transfer fully cooled cake to an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. Thaw at room temperature and serve as usual. Most buttercream gets a little grainy after being frozen, so we recommend freezing the cake without frosting.
How do you keep chocolate chips from sinking in a cake?
You can try coating the chocolate chips in the dry ingredients before mixing in, or use a cake recipe that has a bit of a denser crumb that's meant to hold up chocolate or other additions.
Do chocolate chips melt when baked in a cake?
Chocolate chips are specifically formulated to hold their shape in the oven, so while they will soften when baked into a cake, they'll harden up again as the cake cools and still be in chip form.
Is it better to bake with chocolate chips or bars?
It depends on what the recipe calls for, and they usually can't be used interchangeably. Chocolate chips contain a little less cocoa butter and have extra stabilizers added so that they don't melt as much, so they're perfect for cookies and more.
If you make this Chocolate Chip Cake recipe or any other cake recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Chocolate Chip Cake
- Quarter sheet pan 13x9 inches or 33x23 cm
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Hand or stand mixer
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Wire rack
- offset spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup milk
- ½ cup neutral oil such as canola or vegetable
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
- Spray a quarter sheet pan lightly with cooking spray. Line the sheet with parchment paper, then spray the top of the paper with a light even coating of cooking spray.
- Finish prepping the sheet pan by giving it a light sprinkle of flour all over.
- Add the sugar, milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs to a large mixing bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer to mix the wet ingredients until well combined, about one minute.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together on low speed until they form a smooth creamy batter.
- Pour the chocolate chips into the bowl. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to gently fold the chocolate chips into the batter by hand.
- Use a large spoon to dollop all of the cake batter evenly over the prepared quarter sheet pan. With an offset spatula, or the back of a spoon, smooth the top of the cake batter inside the sheet pan.
- Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake it for 24 to 27 minutes, or until the edges of the cake are golden and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. The top of the cake may look pale after baking, but should feel firm to the touch of a fingertip.
- Remove the sheet cake from the oven and cool it on a wire rack before decorating it with frosting (optional). You can leave the cake in the sheet pan to serve if you like, or you can remove it and serve it on a platter or overturned baking sheet.
- Once cool, top the cake with your favourite icing or frosting. Finish with a sprinkle of chocolate chips if you like.