Texas Sheet Cake

Both decadent and easy, this Texas Sheet Cake is perfect for big groups! The soft, fluffy texture and wonderful flavor of this chocolate sheet cake are always a hit at potlucks and other gatherings!

A piece of Texas sheet cake on a white plate

An Easy Cake for a Crowd

If there was ever a cake that made everyone happy, this Texas sheet cake is it! Made with pantry staples, this cake is super easy to make and it’s great for sharing. You can easily get 20 slices out of one chocolate sheet cake and even more if you make them smaller!

This easy chocolate cake recipe is a true classic. It’s made an appearance at many potlucks and picnics throughout the years and for good reason. Personally, I love the soft, fluffy texture of this cake, paired with the chocolate flavor. And topped with a rich, creamy icing, you can’t go wrong.

What is Texas Sheet Cake?

Texas Sheet Cake is a basically a chocolate sheet cake, but it’s most known for the stovetop cooked icing that adorns the top. It’s SO good! And a sheet cake is any cake made in a sheet pan or jelly roll pan. Most recipes (like this one) use a half sheet cake pan that’s 18×13 inches. The end result is a cake that’s thin and ready to feed a crowd.

No one knows why chocolate sheet cake is called Texas sheet cake, though you’ll hear many jokes that it’s because the cake is the size of Texas. Another theory is that the recipe became popular there to accommodate large families. Whatever the reason, if you love moist chocolate cake – you need this Texas sheet cake in your life!

A Texas sheet cake with chocolate icing

What You’ll Need

Texas sheet cake is made with pantry staples, so it’s a great dessert recipe to make when you don’t want to run to the store!

For the Cake

  • Flour– Regular all-purpose flour.
  • Sugar
  • Salt – Just a pinch.
  • Unsalted butter – If you use salted butter, omit the salt.
  • Cocoa powder – Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Hot water
  • Buttermilk – Adds fluffiness and flavor.
  • Eggs
  • Baking soda – Helps the cake to rise and create the fluffy texture.
  • Vanilla extract – For flavor.

For the Icing

  • Unsalted butter
  • Milk – 2% works great.
  • Cocoa powder – Look for natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Powdered sugar – Makes this chocolate icing sweet and thickens it.
  • Vanilla extract – A splash for flavor.
A square slice of chocolate sheet cake on a white plate

How to Make Texas Sheet Cake

One of the great things about chocolate sheet cake is just how easy it is to make. It’s probably one of the easiest ways to make dessert for a crowd.

  1. Preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 350 and spray with a nonstick baking spray.
  2. Prepare the batter. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Combine cocoa powder with melted butter, then bring to boil with hot water. Pour over the flour and stir to combine. Beat buttermilk and eggs in a separate bowl, then add the baking soda and vanilla. Add to the chocolate mixture.
  3. Bake. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Prepare the icing. Boil butter, milk and cocoa powder then remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk until no lumps remain.
  5. Ice and serve. Pour the warm icing over the warm cake. Allow to cool and then serve.
A slice of Texas sheet cake with one bite missing

Tips for The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake

If this is your first time making Texas sheet cake, here are a few easy tips to keep in mind!

  • Use hot water. Once the butter and cocoa powder are combined, be sure you use hot water, not cold so that things don’t curdle at all.
  • Don’t substitute the buttermilk. The buttermilk is essential for making a proper Texas sheet cake. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own by adding a splash of vinegar to regular milk.
  • Add pecans. For a little crunch and extra flavor in the frosting, you can use crushed pecans.
  • Can I make this in a regular cake pan? If you’re just after that rich, chocolate flavor instead of the size, you can make this in a 9×13 cake pan. Just increase the baking time.
A slice of chocolate cake being served from a sheet pan

Serving Suggestions

Texas sheet cake is perfect for serving big crowds! This chocolate cake recipe is ideal for picnics and potlucks, birthday parties, baby showers, holidays and more. If there was ever a cake that was perfect for almost any situation and guaranteed to make everyone happy, this is it!

When it comes to serving, I usually just do it straight from the pan! Moving this entire cake to a serving dish is difficult and as long as it’s in the sheet pan, it’s easy to transport!

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover chocolate sheet can stay at room temperature for up to 2 days – just be sure to cover it with plastic wrap or foil. However, if you live somewhere warm and humid or want to keep it longer, the fridge is a better option. It will last, covered, for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Can I Freeze Texas Sheet Cake?

Yes, you can freeze this sheet cake – either the entire cake (if your freezer is big enough) or individual slices. It will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. Wrap well in plastic wrap before freezing. Allow to thaw completely in the fridge or on the counter before enjoying.

Print
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A square slice of chocolate sheet cake on a white plate
Recipe

Texas Sheet Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 15-20 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Both decadent and easy, this Texas Sheet Cake is perfect for big groups! The soft, fluffy texture of this chocolate sheet cake is always a hit at potlucks and other gatherings!


Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter
  • 5 tbsp (35g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Icing

  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp (28g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 3/4 cups (431g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 12×18 inch sheet pan/jelly roll pan with nonstick baking spray.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan, then add the cocoa powder and stir together to combine.
  4. Add the hot water and bring mixture to a boil. Allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour mixture, and stir to combine. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  6. Add the buttermilk and eggs to a measuring cup and beat them together, then add the baking soda and vanilla extract.
  7. Add the buttermilk mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk together until well combined
  8. Pour the batter evenly into the cake pan, then bake for 15-20 minutes.
  9. While cake is baking, make the icing. Add the butter, milk and cocoa to a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil.
  10. Once boiling, remove it from the heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whisk well until no lumps remain.
  11. Pour warm icing over the warm cake and spread evenly.

Keywords: chocolate sheet cake, sheet cake recipe, chocolate texas sheet cake

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Recipe rating

6 Comments
  1. Mary Neece

    At one job I worked. I would go home at lunch, make, bake and frost the bars and take back to work for an afternoon treat.

    I frequently replace water with coffee and use almond flavoring in place of vanilla.

    A quick and easy recipe. Because there are lots of 2’s, it is easy to make from memory!

  2. Linda Kolstad

    There is a typo that may confuse beginner bakers. Under the Ingredients section, it states if using salted butter, omit the sugar instead of omit the salt. Texas sheet cake is a staple in this house because of the ease of making and the frosting!!

  3. Mindy

    In Texas many call it the Texas funeral cake. since it feeds many people, it is often brought for the reception/meal after a funeral.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12