Texas Sheet Cake. This easy to follow chocolate sheet cake recipe has a deep chocolate flavor due to the chocolate icing that is poured over the top soaking into the cake and making it fudgy and rich.

The perfect chocolate sheet cake recipe for feeding a crowd or a larger family. This sheet cake bakes up fairly thin, but it packs a large chocolate flavor, plus the fudgy icing that is warmed and poured over the warm cake creates a moist, tenderness to the cake itself. This is one of those cake recipes that you want to save and always have on hand! Just like this Tres Leches Cake Recipe, Carrot Cake Cupcakes, and the Perfect Vanilla Cupcake.

Overhead view of Texas Sheet Cake being cut and served with a metal spatula.

How to make Texas Sheet Cake

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, sugar and salt) and set the bowl aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over low heat. 
  3. Add in the water and cocoa powder. Stir this together until smooth and heated through. Bring this to a boil, then remove from the heat. If you’re feeling fancy, you can sub out some of the water for brewed coffee. It gives a great flavor in combination with the chocolate! 
  4. Pour the hot ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
  5. Add in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  6. Pour this into a half sheet size baking sheet. Bake.
  7. Prepare the icing by melting butter in a medium size saucepan. Add in the cocoa, milk, vanilla and sifted powder sugar. Add a pinch of salt. Stir it all to combine.
  8. Pour the icing over the cake while the cake is still warm. Let it cool. Then enjoy!
Collage showing the batter being mixed, the dry ingredients with the warm fudge, and the buttermilk and eggs.

Why is it called Texas Sheet Cake?

Because.. Texas. Seriously though, it’s possibly because it’s so BIG! And as the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. I haven’t seen a definitive reason why it’s called Texas Sheet Cake, but, I figure it’s because all the best things come from Texas!

Warm chocolate icing being poured over a baked chocolate sheet cake.

How many people does this serve?

This cake will comfortably feed 24. You can always cut the slices a bit smaller and get more out of it. It might seem like a lot of cake. And it is, but the baking sheets are fairly thin, so the end result is a thin cake, but it packs a large chocolate flavor. 

Does a sheet cake have layers? 

A sheet cake is one layer, baked in a cake pan or in this case a baking sheet. These baking sheets come in half size, and quarter size. This recipe uses the half size baking sheet pan. Which is standard for a Texas size. 

Can I make this a smaller size?

If you’re looking for a smaller size recipe I know a fellow Texan/food blogger at Dessert for Two who has a recipe for a quarter sheet Texas Sheet cake. I haven’t halved this recipe that I use. With baking, halving recipes can be tricky. So I trust her recipe for a smaller size over just reducing this recipe. 

A slice of sheet cake being served on a metal spatula.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time? Can I freeze this cake?

Yes and Yes!! This cake can be made completely and stored covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. The icing is meant to soak into the cake, it doesn’t get soggy as it sits.

If you’re wanting to freeze this cake, you can freeze the cake after it has been made and iced. Leave the cake in the baking sheet, let it cool completely. Then cover with plastic wrap, then a coating of foil. This can be frozen for up to a month. To use, remove from the freezer, unwrap, then let it thaw to room temperature.

Close up of the tender crumb of a chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with fudgy icing on top.

HEY! You didn’t.. (insert rule here)

  • I don’t particularly like cinnamon in my chocolate cake, but you can absolutely add it in! Just add about a teaspoon of cinnamon to your dry ingredients and also a bit to your icing.
  • I also don’t like adding pecans. But again, just add some to the icing if you’re feeling extra Texan that day.

I’m sure there’s some other crucial step, ingredient, or method that I do differently, so feel free to let me know how you like to make your chocolate sheet cake! 

Other Recipes you may enjoy:

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake. This easy to follow chocolate sheet cake recipe has a deep chocolate flavor due to the chocolate icing that is poured over the top soaking into the cake and making it fudgy and rich.
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Cake Batter

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, can sub with water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fudge Icing

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ and spray a half sheet baking sheet with a baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir together with a fork and set aside.
  • Heat a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, once the butter is melted add in the water (or coffee). Stir in the cocoa powder until smooth. Bring this mixture to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and carefully pour into the dry ingredients. Stir together.
  • Add in the eggs to the cake batter. Stir to combine. Then pour in the buttermilk, and add the vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  • Pour into a prepared half sheet baking sheet. Bake for 25-27 minutes. Once the cake is baked through, remove from the oven and sit to cool.
  • Prepare the icing right away, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan. Add in the cocoa powder, milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Stir together then add in the powdered sugar. Stir until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and pour the icing over the warm cake. Spread the icing with a spatula if needed. Let the cake cool before serving.

Video

Notes

  • Buttermilk: if you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can pour 1/2 cup of milk, remove a teaspoon, then add a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice, let this sit for a couple minutes. Then use in the cake batter. 
  • Sift the powdered sugar to limit the lumps in the icing.
  • If the cake sinks in the middle it’s from not baking long enough.
  • FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS: If you’re wanting to freeze this cake, you can freeze the cake after it has been made and iced. Leave the cake in the baking sheet, let it cool completely. Then cover with plastic wrap, then a coating of foil. This can be frozen for up to a month. To use, remove from the freezer, unwrap, then let it thaw to room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 243kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 109mg, Potassium: 37mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 391IU, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe was first published on February 26, 2019. Updated on February 7, 2020 with step by step photos and a video. No changes made to the recipe.