Texas sheet cake is the chocolate dessert that dreams are made of!! It’s so moist, chocolatey, and rich that you won’t know what hit you when you take a bite!

Easy to make and every more delicious to eat, this Texas sheet cake will be a hit at any party or potluck that you bring it to! If you love chocolate like me, make sure to try out this Chocolate Pie, Chocolate Icebox Cake, and one of my all-time favorites Chocolate Lasagna! I know that you will love them all!

Texas sheet cake on a plate with a fork.

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

If you have never heard of (or tried) Texas sheet cake before then my goodness, you are in for a treat!! Literally. This cake is made up of a thin layer of moist, chocolate cake with an ooey-gooey chocolate frosting and is topped with some nuts. It is baked in a jelly roll pan (a large cookie sheet) so each time you make it, it makes enough to feed an army. But I could eat the entire thing by myself! It’s THAT good!

The cake isn’t cooked in a traditional cake pan which makes the pieces thin and easy to eat! Even though it’s rich, the pieces are smaller sized than a normal cake. This cake is SOO delicious, it is hard to stop after just one piece! Because it’s large (like Texas!) it feeds a lot of people! This is what makes it a fantastic dessert to bring to holiday parties or neighborhood potlucks. Plus, it’s super easy to bake, a no-fuss cake that anyone can make! It really challenges my favorite Praline Apple Bundt Cake as a favorite dessert contender of mine. But honestly, this Texas sheet cake is so yummy that’s it’s a dessert your entire family will go crazy for!

What’s in a Sheet Cake?

As you look at these ingredients you will see that you probably have a lot of them on hand already! So you can whip this up anytime you want which is why this cake is always a great choice! See the recipe card below for exact ingredient measurements.

  • All purpose flour: The flour helps work as a base that will tie all of the ingredients together.
  • Sugar: Used for the sweet taste as well as adding to the moisture of the cake.
  • Butter: Make sure to use unsalted butter for this recipe!
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: This is what give your cake that delicious chocolatey flavor!
  • Vegetable shortening: This will hel you cake maintain structure without spreading too much.
  • Water: This will bind the ingredients together.
  • Vanilla extract: Using vanilla will add flavor to the sweetness.
  • Buttermilk: You can use store bought buttermillk or, if you don’t have any on hand then try this super easy homemade buttermilk recipe!
  • Baking soda: This will help your cake ride and be fluffy and moist!
  • Salt: This will enhance the flavor of your cake and give a good balance so it’s not too sweet.
  • Eggs: The eggs will add that amazing moist texture to your cake!

Chocolate Frosting

  • Milk: The milk controls how thick the frosting is. If you want even richer frosting, use whole milk!
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter in the frosting too!
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: A delicious chocolate taste to match the cake batter.
  • Powdered Sugar: This will give the frosting that sweet and smooth texture.
  • Vanilla: Adds flavor to the sweetness.
  • Salt: The salt counteracts all of the sugar so it’s not over the top sweet.
  • Pecans or walnuts: These are completely optional to add to the finished cake!

Let’s Bake a Sheet Cake!

Now that you see that the ingredients list is simple and stuff that you already have on hand, let’s bake a sheet cake! This is so much easier than a traditional cake and will only take you about 10 minutes to get it to put together and in the oven!!

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease and flour an 18×13 cookie sheet with sides at least 1 ½ inch high and set aside. 
  2. Combine: In a medium bowl combine the flour and sugar.
  3. Bring to boil: In a medium sauce pan bring the butter, cocoa powder, shortening and water to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Pour and mix: Pour the hot mixture over the flour and sugar mixture and use a hand mixer or stand mixer on low to combine. Add the vanilla, buttermilk, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Add the eggs and mix well.
  5. Bake: Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and tap the pan on the counter a few times to pop some of the larger bubbles in the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when gently pressed.
  6. Cool: Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. Top with nuts if desired.

How to Make Homemade Frosting?

  1. Bring to a boil: Use the same sauce pan that the cake batter was made in (no need to clean it if you don’t want to) combine the milk, butter and cocoa over medium heat until just boiling. Be careful not to burn it!
  2. Mix and combine: Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix until completely combined.
  3. Cool and pour: Allow the frosting to cool to room temperature before pouring over the cooled cake.
6 images showing the steps to baking a sheet cake.

Helpful Baking Tips

Classic Texas sheet cake is an easy chocolate cake that will not disappoint! Both the frosting and the cake batter use the same dishes, so it makes for an easy recipe to clean up!

  • Use shortening and butter: Butter gives the cake great flavor while the shortening aids in helping the texture. You certainly can use all butter if you prefer, but you will sacrifice some of the lightness and moisture the shortening lends the recipe.
  • Don’t burn: Make sure you keep stirring the water, butter, shortening and cocoa mixture for the cake batter as well as the milk, butter and cocoa mixture for the frosting. If you try to heat it too quickly or you don’t stir enough the mixture will burn and ruin the flavor of the cake.
  • Use a food processor: Instead of mixing both the batter and the frosting in a mixer or with a hand mixer, you can mix both in a food processor. If you choose to do it this way you still don’t have to wash the food processor between making the batter and the frosting.
  • Let the cake cool: If you frost the cake while it is too warm the frosting will be absorbed too much by the cake and will not give it the gooey, delicious layer of fudge icing that’s traditional on a Texas sheet cake.

Texas sheet cake being served.

Storing a Sheet Cake

Texas sheet cake is a wonderful cake that holds up very well at room temperature. That makes it perfect for making ahead of time and storing for a day or two. The cake absorbs some of the icing as it sits and gets even better the next day!

Room Temperature: Wrap with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Sheet cake on a plate being cut with a fork.

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