Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller
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Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller

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Today I’m sharing my Texas Sheet Cake made smaller. I love chocolate, and this is the cake I always want on my birthday. It’s made with flour, sugar, butter, cocoa, buttermilk, and a little vanilla. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. The frosting is like fudge spread on top. It’s the perfect birthday cake. Just add some candles.

This Texas sheet cake has been around for a long time. I see almost the exact same recipe in old cookbooks, new cookbooks, and also on Pinterest. It’s hard for me to picture anyone not loving chocolate, no matter how it’s presented. This recipe and the post are very similar to the one I did for a half-sized sheet cake, but I felt a smaller cake might serve couples like us better than the full one.

Smaller Pan This Time

This cake is made totally made from scratch, just how I like it. The cake is moist and even tastes better the second day as the moisture seems to come out. It is a perfect recipe for dessert on a Sunday, or any other day, for that matter. I’ve tried different approaches to making this cake, including using a 9″ x 13″ pan like you use to make lasagna and using a pan with a lid to help keep the cake as fresh as possible. I’ve been making mine that way, but wanted a new size and approach this time.

The typical Texas sheet cake is made in a pan often called a jelly roll pan and it is 11″ x 17.” That’s where it gets its name, it is a thin cake on a large cooking sheet/surface, thus a “sheet.” I always found those to be hard to transport, like to a church party or dinner. Now with this smaller sheet cake, the size is much more manageable. Besides, if you covered the sheet cake with plastic wrap or foil the cake seldom looks the same since the covering would often stick to the frosting.

Give this smaller sheet cake a try at your home, you’ll be glad you did! 1/4 Sheet Cookie Sheet (13.5 x 9.8 x 2.25 inches). Please stock cocoa, you can make so many things with it. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa (100% cacao)

In case you missed the original post, World’s Best Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller

Ingredients – Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller

  • All Purpose Flour (I use bread flour!): All-purpose white flour has a lower protein content. Bread flour has more protein which helps to hold the shape of the cake and adds more nutrients.
  • Sugar: Used to maintain moisture, creating a softer cake and adding sweetness and flavor.
  • Butter (the original recipe calls for margarine): Due to the fat content, butter helps to produce a softer cake and enriches the flavor; browns the cake batter while cooking. Due to the added salt in the recipe, salted or unsalted butter can be used, based on preference.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Finely ground dried cocoa solids. Adds a deep, rich chocolate flavor to the cake.
  • Water: Water helps to keep the Texas Sheet Cake moist.
  • Buttermilk: The remaining milk after cream has been churned into butter. Helps baked goods to rise and to be light and fluffy.
  • Baking Soda: Adds carbon dioxide to the dough which helps to create a delicious soft and chewy Texas sheet cake.
  • Salt: Used to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients; helps to make the cake chewy and strengthens the protein in the cake; offsets the flavor of the sugar.
  • Large Eggs: Great source of protein, helps to bind the Texas sheet cake together which creates a moist and soft cake. Increases browning during the cooking process. Adds a deliciously rich flavor and helps to extend the life of the cake.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds and enhances the flavors of the butter, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and buttermilk.
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Ingredients – Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

  • Butter: Due to the fat content, butter helps to produce a creamy frosting and enriches the flavor.
  • Buttermilk or Regular Milk: The remaining milk after the cream has been churned into butter. Adds creaminess and delicious flavor to the frosting.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa: Finely ground dried cocoa solids. Adds a deep, rich chocolate flavor to the frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar: Helps to create a smooth consistency; adds sweetness; preferred sugar in baked goods.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds and enhances the flavors of the butter, powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and buttermilk.
  • Chopped Nuts (optional): Chop pecans, walnuts, or macadamia nuts, if desired.

Kitchen Items You May Need:

Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller

Step One – Preheat Oven and Gather Ingredients

Preheat the oven to (350°F)= (176°C) degrees. Gather up the ingredients so you’re ready to make the recipe. Grease the 1/4 sheet cookie sheet. (13.5 x 9.8 x 2.25 inches)

Ingredients

Step Two – Combine Flour and Sugar

Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl.

Sugar and Flour

Stir until mixed through.

Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller

Step Three – Bring Butter, Cocoa, and Water to a Boil

Bring the butter, cocoa, and water to a boil. 

Boil the butter, water and cocoa

Step Four – Add Buttermilk, Baking Soda, Egg, and Vanilla Extract

Turn the stove off. Add the buttermilk, soda, egg, and vanilla extract to the pan with the boiling mixture. Use a hand mixer to combine the dry ingredients flour and sugar in the pan, blend until smooth.

Mixing the cake batter

Step Five – Pour into a Greased Pan

Pour into a greased pan.

Fill the 1/4 sheet pan

Step Six – Bake and Allow to Cool Before Frosting

Baking time: 1/4 sheet jelly roll/cookie sheet, 20-25 minutes (when a toothpick comes out clean).

Cake is Baked

Frosting

Step One – Gather Frosting Ingredients

There are only five ingredients for the frosting. Gather those so you’re ready to mix them together.

Step Two – Melt Butter. Add Cocoa, Milk, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla Extract and Nuts

Grab a medium saucepan and melt the butter, add the cocoa and the milk. Bring to a boil while you stir or whisk constantly. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and nuts (optional).

I make this frosting while the cake is baking and then spread it on the semi-cooled cake. This frosting is almost like fudge!

Finished Product

Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before frosting.

Frosted Texas Sheet Cake

I love the cover that comes with this pan.

Plastic Lid for Cake Pan

Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller Recipe

5 from 8 votes
Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller
Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Linda Loosli
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to (350°F)= (176°C) degrees. Grease the 1/4 sheet cookie sheet. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Bring the butter, cocoa, and water to a boil. Turn the stove off. Add the buttermilk, soda, egg, and vanilla extract to the pan with the boiling mixture. Use a hand mixer or electric mixer to combine the dry ingredients flour and sugar in the pan, blend until smooth. Pour into a greased pan. Baking time: 1/4 sheet jelly roll/cookie sheet, 20-25 minutes (when a toothpick comes out clean)

Frosting
  1. Grab a medium saucepan and melt the butter, add the cocoa and the milk. Bring to a boil while you stir or whisk constantly. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and nuts. I make this frosting while the cake is baking and then spread it on the semi-cooled cake.

Can I make these Gluten-Free?

Yes, I have family members who have gluten issues and they use the 1:1 flour from King Arthur. It works great! King Arthur Measure for Measure

How do I store the cake?

I store the leftover cake on my kitchen counter with a lid on top. I’ve used foil and plastic wrap too, but as I mentioned, sometimes they stick.

Does the cake do better in the refrigerator?

This Texas sheet cake doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and as mentioned above, will do well on your counter at room temperature. I’ve had mine out for several days. Store it in an airtight container and that will help lengthen the time it should stay good.

Can I freeze the Texas sheet cake?

Sure you can. I’d suggest cutting the cake into small serving-size pieces that you can place in a Tupperware type of container. That will protect the cake from getting crushed while in the freezer. The cake should be good to eat after 2-3 months in the freezer.

Is this cake ever called a Texas Stealth cake?

Some people have referred to the cake using that name, but they are the same cake using the same ingredients.

Where did this Texas sheet cake get its name?

It’s rumored that when the cake first came out it was highlighted in a Texas newspaper. Others have taken the adage that “everything is bigger in Texas” and applied it to the cake due to its typically large size.

Where does the term “sheet” come from in the name?

The pan used to bake the cake is referred to as a sheet cake pan. Basically, a sheet cake is any cake that’s usually made in an oversized rectangular pan. Some still call them a jelly roll pan.

When did this particular Texas sheet cake become popular?

It seemed to catch on sometime in the 1950s, primarily in the Southern States. At first, they called it a Sweet Chocolate Cake, and others referred to it as German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake as it was named after a brand of chocolate cake mix. I got my recipe from my mom’s older cookbook.

Is there an ice cream named after this cake?

Yes, there is, Blue Bell came out with Texas Sheet Cake Ice Cream a while back. I’ve never had it, but it has to be delicious.

Do you love chocolate as much as I do? Check out these other chocolate recipes!

Final Word

I sure hope you try making this recipe for a Texas Sheet Cake Made Smaller recipe. I think your family will love it as much as mine does, no matter what the size. It is a great recipe to help introduce your kids to cooking from scratch since it’s so easy to make. Remember, it will taste even better the second day as the moisture comes out. Be ready to pass out this recipe to others if you serve it for a neighborhood party or church gathering, people will love it and appreciate the fact it’s homemade. May God Bless this world, Linda

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17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have always made this cake and my mom and my grandma but I have never had the icing done this way.
    I will have to try it. We usually make it like a regular icing without cooking it. it could also be that when the recipe was handed down to me that that part was left out. I like the idea of a smaller size but then again it’s chocolate.

    1. Hi June, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!! I got the giggles over “I like the idea of a smaller size but then again it’s chocolate.” I totally agree! Love it! Linda

  2. 5 stars
    This is perfect for my grandson to make this weekend! Thank goodness for Amazon…the smaller pan w/cover will be delivered tomorrow! Yay chocolate cake!!

  3. 5 stars
    I love smaller sized anything!! I have adapted many recipes to make smaller sized dishes. Since I live alone, a large cake would probably go to waist or waste!!! Now I am also making meals and treats (like this) for a friend who is very ill. It is good to know there is a size I can share with her and still have plenty for myself!

  4. 5 stars
    Linda:

    Your cake looks yummy. My family loves sheet cakes and I always made them from Duncan Heinz cake mixes. Your frosting sounds just like what my Mother-in-law taught me to make for cakes. In fact I have used the frosting recipe to to make fudge with walnuts in it. That is how much my family likes the frosting. They would rather have the frosting without the cake.

    1. Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend. Oh, I hear you on the frosting! It’s my favorite! Do you remember the 7-minute frosting? I’m writing a post about that right now. You cook it and beat it for 7 minutes (fluffy sticky white frosting)!! I love it! Linda

  5. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! We call it Brownie Cake at my house although husband calls it my “Good” cake. It’s his favorite along with lemon poppy seed cake.

    1. Hi Paula, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! Honestly, this cake really is good! We make this one more than any other cake. I do have my chocolate bundt cake recipe that is yummy as well! Lemon poppy seed cake sounds delish!! Linda

    2. 5 stars
      Have this in the oven right now. A lick of the spatula tells me it will be great. My husband prefers vanilla frosting so I’ll probably give you 7-min frosti g a whirl. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m gad to hear you’re writing a White Frosting……I am not a Chocolate fan. I know I have a screw loose…lol

    1. Hi Hazel, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend!! Yes, I made the cake today. I always freeze my cakes (not the Texas Sheet cakes) before I frost them. I’m serving it tomorrow after I frost it! It should post this week. YUM! Linda. P.S. you don’t have a screw loose, chocolate isn’t for everyone!

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