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Texas Sheet Cake

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close up shot of a slice of texas sheet cake on a plate
A southern classic, Texas sheet cake is a decadent chocolate dessert with rich icing that can easily feed a crowd.
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Table of Contents
  1. Texas Sheet Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Texas Sheet Cake Recipe                   
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

If you are looking for a tasty and easy way to make dessert for the masses, then Texas sheet cake is the way to go. The best part about this recipe is that the top of the cake is lightly poked with a fork so that the chocolate icing soaks into it, making it perfectly fudgy and moist all the way through.

If you are looking for more easy dessert recipes, check out some of our favorite classic cakes which include our no bake éclair cake and our jello pie.

close up shot of a slice of chocolate sheet cake on a plate

Texas Sheet Cake Ingredients

Texas Sheet Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:                                                

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, whisked together
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda                                         
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups of powdered sugar                                                                             

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

BUTTERMILK: You can make your own buttermilk using whole or 2% milk and lemon juice or distilled vinegar. For every 1 cup of milk, stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

PECANS: Add 1 cup of chopped pecans to your frosting for a nutty crunch on top of your cake that’s truly Texan.

CINNAMON: Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your cake batter and ½ teaspoon to your frosting for plenty of added sweet cinnamon flavor.

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How To Make This Texas Sheet Cake Recipe                   

STEP ONE: Lightly spray an 18×13-inch baking sheet with cooking spray and set it aside. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

PRO TIP:

Using a different sized sheet pan will result in changes to the thickness of the cake and may need the cooking time adjusted.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, combine your all-purpose flour, sugar and salt.

STEP THREE: In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt your butter. Add your cocoa powder and whisk together. Add the boiling water and whisk it into the butter mixture.

texas sheet cake process shot of ingredients being whisked together in a pot

STEP FOUR: In a separate small bowl, combine your buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla then whisk together. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk together. Mix with the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and salt).

texas sheet cake process shot of ingredients being whisked together in a bowl and in a pot

STEP FIVE: Pour batter into the sheet cake pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and poke to make fork holes across the top of the entire cake so that the yummy frosting soaks down into the cake just a little bit.

PRO TIP:

A fork or a wooden barbecue skewer is the perfect width for the holes in the cake.

chocolate batter before and after being baked in a sheet pan

STEP SIX: While your cake bakes, start your chocolate frosting by melting your butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add your cocoa powder and whisk together. Turn off heat. Add your milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar (sift it in while whisking instead of just dumping all of it in at once). Stir until no lumps remain.

texas sheet cake process shot of ingredients being mixed together in a pot

STEP SEVEN: Pour your frosting over your warm cake and let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving (if you can wait that long)!

PRO TIP:

When you’re pouring the cream into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the frosting fills the holes completely.

How To Serve

Because of its size, this moist chocolate cake is perfect to serve at family gatherings and for birthday parties. For an extra delicious dessert, you could add homemade whipped cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: Texas sheet cake will stay good for up to 5 days at room temperature, just be sure to cover it with plastic wrap or foil. This cake doesn’t need to be refrigerated and will stay moist due to the frosting that soaks into the cake.

IN THE FREEZER: To freeze your Texas sheet cake, cover it in plastic wrap or foil and store it in your freezer for up to 2 months. Let your cake cool completely first. When you’re ready to eat your cake, let it defrost completely and come to room temperature first.

close up shot of a slices of texas sheet cake stacked top of each other

This classic Texas sheet cake is perfect for feeding a crowd. It’s a classic Southern recipe for a sweet chocolate cake covered in homemade decadent frosting. All the chocolate lovers in your life will give it two thumbs up!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a sheet cake?

The main difference between a sheet cake and a regular cake is the pan that they are baked in. Sheet cakes are baked in a large pan specifically sized and named ‘sheet cake pans.’ They are large, flat pans and are 18 x 13-inches. This makes sheet cakes a great alternative for feeding a large group of people.

How many people will a sheet cake feed?

Depending on the size of the pieces, a sheet cake can feed up to 48 people.

How do I store a sheet cake?

Sheet cakes can be stored on the counter for up to five days at room temperature. If you are thinking of storing leftovers longer, you can slice it up (or store whole) and freeze the cake in an airtight container for up to two months.

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close up shot of a slice of texas sheet cake on a plate

Texas Sheet Cake

5 from 2 votes
A southern classic, Texas sheet cake is a decadent chocolate dessert with rich icing that can easily feed a crowd.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 15

Ingredients
  

For the Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, whisked together
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Lightly spray an 18×13-inch baking sheet with cooking spray and set it aside. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, and salt.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt your unsalted butter. Add your cocoa powder and whisk together.
  • Add boiling water and whisk it into the mixture.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine your buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla then whisk together. Stir buttermilk mixture into chocolate mixture and whisk together. Mix with dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and salt).
  • Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and poke with forks so that the yummy frosting soaks down into the cake just a little bit.
  • While your cake is baking, start your frosting by melting your remaining 14 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add your cocoa and whisk together. Turn off the heat. Add your milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar (sift it in while whisking instead of just dumping all of it in at once). Stir until no lumps remain.
  • Pour your frosting over your cake and let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

  • Using a different-sized sheet pan will result in changes to the thickness of the cake and may need the cooking time adjusted.
  • A fork or a wooden barbecue skewer is the perfect width for the holes in the cake.
  • When you’re pouring the cream into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the frosting fills the holes completely.

Nutrition

Sodium: 171mg | Calcium: 42mg | Vitamin A: 951IU | Sugar: 69g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 122mg | Cholesterol: 105mg | Calories: 626kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Fat: 31g | Protein: 5g | Carbohydrates: 87g | Iron: 2mg
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