A method of making a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack that includes the steps of applying a seal enhancing coating and a conductive coating onto respective surfaces of a separator plate and simultaneously co-firing the coatings in a reducing atmosphere. The method may also include, prior to the step of co-firing, the step of assembling a plurality of separator plates with complementary cell-retainer assemblies to form a plurality of fuel cell cassettes. The fuel cell cassettes are then stacked with a glass sealant applied between the fuel cell cassettes to form a SOFC stack. The entire SOFC stack is then co-fired in a reducing atmosphere such that the seal enhancing and conductive coatings are bonded into the respective surfaces and the glass sealant devitrify to form a glass seal joining and sealing the cassettes of the SOFC stack.
 This invention was made with the United States Government support under Contract DE-FC26-02NT41246 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.