This easy to make Texas Sheet Cake recipe has a deep chocolate flavor thanks to the fudgy chocolate icing that is poured over the top soaking into the cake. This is the perfect cake for feeding a crowd!
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.
- Buttermilk: an easy substitute would be to use regular milk with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice added. See How To Make Homemade Buttermilk.
- Coffee: this helps bring out the chocolate flavoring of the cake.
- Cocoa: Use a Natural unsweetened cocoa powder, like the Hershey’s brand most often seen in the markets.
- Flour: this recipe is tested using All Purpose Flour.
How to make (step-by-step):
- Step 1: Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, sugar and salt) and set the bowl aside.
- Step 2: Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over low heat. Add in the coffee and cocoa powder. Stir this together until smooth and heated through. Bring this to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Step 3: Pour the hot ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Step 4: Add in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Then Pour this into a half sheet size baking sheet. Bake.
- 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.
- Pour the icing over the cake while the cake is still warm. Let it cool. Then enjoy!
- Cinnamon: This is a common addition to this cake and complements the flavoring nicely! Just add about a teaspoon of cinnamon to your dry ingredients and also a bit to your icing if desired.
- Pecans: Try adding some chopped up pecans to the icing if you’re feeling extra Texan that day.
- Pour icing while cake is warm: this is crucial to ensure that the icing soaks into the cake nicely. The end result will be a rich, fudgy cake texture.
FAQS: Texas Sheet Cake:
The origins of the name of the cake are unknown, it’s possible the first appearance was in the state of Texas, or it could be simply due to the size of the cake itself. Either way, it’s a popular cake recipe that will serve a lot of people.
This cake will comfortably feed 24. It really depends on how you slice the cake. It might seem like a lot of cake, but the jelly roll baking sheets are thin, so the end result is a thin cake, with a thin layer of fudge icing.
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.
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If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!
Texas Sheet Cake
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Recipe was first published on February 26, 2019. Updated on October 7, 2022 with new images and information. Recipe is unchanged.
Photography by the talented @ModernFarmhouseEats.
Thank you from one Texan to another! This cake is very moist! But, I didn’t want to use a cup of butter and a cup of sugar so I used 1/2 cup sugar and swerve , 1/2 butter and 1/4 olive oil, did use the butter for frosting (healthy:) loved, loved!
My son loves chocolate, so I will give this recipe a try. The recipe that I have calls for Dr. Pepper, but I know that coffee can enhance the chocolate flavor, so I will make it and see if he can tell the difference.
Hi there –
Just wondering why the icing needs to be put on the cake immediately?
When I put the icing on when it’s still warm, it flattens the cake.
This cake is meant to be flatter, you want the cake to soak in that warm icing. This makes the cake moist and almost fudge like. It’s just a different type of cake than a traditional birthday cake style cake with regular frosting.
Gave it 5 stars because I’ve been making a version for over 35 years. My children have fond memories of coming home from school to a piece of warm cake with a generous scoop of ice cream….before dinner!! My recipe varies in 2 ingredients, etc. It’s called “Shelleys Chocolate Sheet Bar” (my nickname) among my family and friends.
Yes!!! Cake before dinner is the way to go sometimes 🙂