Go Back
+ servings
football cake on white cutting board

Favorite Football Cake

The only thing to keep in mind when making this is that when you make either frosting, you'll want to set aside a small amount of it before you add the cocoa powder so you have frosting to make the white laces.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 238kcal


Football Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I like SACO or Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a 9-inch cake pan on a piece of parchment paper and trace. Cut out just inside the traced line. Grease the pan very well on the bottom and sides with nonstick spray (I use classic Pam spray) and place the parchment round inside to lie flat.
  • Add the ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk gently to combine. Add the batter to the prepared pan, shaking gently to evenly distribute it.
  • Bake for 22-24 minutes or until the middle is firm to a light touch and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Try not to over bake.
  • Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully run a paring knife around the edges of the cake to loosen the cake if needed. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and flip over to invert the cake onto the rack. Lift off the pan and let the cake completely cool.  
  • Add the yogurt and powdered sugar to a small bowl and stir together. Add to a zip top bag and seal.
  • Prepare the Frosting with all ingredients except the cocoa powder. Transfer 1/4 cup white frosting to a zip top bag to make the laces. Add the cocoa powder to the rest of the frosting and beat to combine.
  • Transfer cake to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to lightly press a line in the center of the cake. Cut about 3/4-inch to the left and right of the cake to remove a strip down the center of the cake. (You can sample this, or use as you like. It's not needed for the cake.)
  • Place one side of the cake on the platter or plate on which you plan to serve it. Apply chocolate frosting to the center and press in the other side to make the football shape. Cover the cake and sides with the frosting.
  • To add the white laces, cut off one bottom corner of the bag of white frosting and pipe on a curve at both ends and laces up the middle.
  • Serve.


  • Use a 9-inch cake pan.
  • Use a serrated knife to slice out a center piece.
  • I prefer to use an offset or straight frosting spatula to frost the cake. (A butter knife will work if that's all you have.)
  • You can make it up to a day ahead and store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Frost closer to serving if possible.
  • You can also make the whole thing, with frosting, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I would let it sit out at room temperature for an hour before serving if possible to allow the cake to soften a smidge.
  • Gluten-free: Use cup-for-cup gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour.
  • Use my Quick Chocolate Frosting or Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. (I prefer the cream cheese frosting since it's a little thicker but both work! You may have a little frosting leftover.)
  • Set aside a small amount of frosting into a zip top bag before adding the cocoa powder so you can make the laces.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 2mg