This Texas Sheet Cake recipe has been around for at least 40+ years. I see almost the exact same recipe in old cookbooks, new cookbooks, and on Pinterest. Well, who doesn’t love chocolate cake, right? I decided to update this post so you can see how to make it for your own family to enjoy. The cake is made totally from scratch and is moist and tastes even better the next day. This makes it a perfect recipe for Sunday dinner desserts or for family reunions. In case you missed this post, Best Chocolate Cake Ever
One thing I wanted to do a few years ago was to test making the cake in a regular 9-inch by 13-inch pan, as in your favorite lasagna or cake pan. So, I started baking my Texas sheet cakes in a 9-inch by 13-inch lasagna pan that has a metal lid. It was just like the one my mom had when we would take a casserole to a church party years ago. My favorite pan.
Yes, you can still make it on a cookie sheet that is a jelly roll size that’s approximately 11-inches by 17-inches. But, a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan is hard to transport in the car. You cover it with plastic wrap or foil and the frosting never looks the same by the time you get to your party. UPDATE, I just found this awesome cake pan: Nordic Ware Cake Sheet with Lid
The Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
Ingredients – Texas Sheet Cake
- 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 the 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 butter, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and buttermilk.
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:
- 4-quart Saucepan
- Hand Mixer
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Cookie Sheet Nordic Ware Cake Sheet with Lid
- Vegetable spray
The Best Texas Sheet Cake
Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? It’s so moist and yummy, family and friends will ask you for the recipe if they don’t already have it. Just giving you a heads-up here. If you have a family reunion coming up, your family will love this recipe!
Step One – Preheat Oven, Grease Cooking Sheet, and Gather Ingredients.
Step Two – Boil Butter, Cocoa, and Water
Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Bring the butter, cocoa, and water to a boil. Turn the stove off.
Step Three – Add Buttermilk, Baking Soda, Salt, Eggs, and Vanilla
Add the buttermilk, baking soda, salt, eggs, and vanilla to the pan with the boiling mixture.
Step Four – Combine Flour and Sugar
Use a hand mixer to stir and combine the flour and sugar in the pan, and blend until the batter is smooth.
Step Five – Pour into Greased Cooking Sheet
Scoop or pour into your greased cooking sheet.
Step Six – Spread Batter in Pan and Bake cake at 350°F = 176°C
Spread evenly in your sheet cake pan. Baking time: jelly roll pan or sheet cake pan, 20-25 minutes (when a toothpick comes out clean). Baking time: 9-inch by 13-inch pan, 35-40 minutes (when a toothpick comes out clean).
Step Seven – Baked to Perfection!
Baked to perfection! Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Step Eight – Make the Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting
Make the frosting in the recipe card below. Grab a medium saucepan and melt the butter, add the cocoa and the milk. Bring to a boil. Stir or whisk constantly, and add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts (optional). I make this frosting while the cake is baking and then spread it on the semi-cooled cake. The frosting tastes like fudge, oh my goodness.
The Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
- 2 cups flour (I use bread flour)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter (the original recipe calls for margarine)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup butter
- 5 tablespoons buttermilk or regular milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped nuts optional
Preheat the oven to (350°F) = (176°C) degrees. Grease the pan of choice below. Combine the dry ingredients flour and sugar in a bowl. Bring the butter, cocoa, and water to a boil. Turn the stove off. Add the buttermilk, baking soda, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract to the pan with the boiling mixture. Use a hand mixer or electric mixer to combine the flour and sugar in the pan, blend until smooth. Pour into a greased sheet cake pan.
Baking time: jelly roll/cookie sheet, 20-25 minutes (when a toothpick comes out clean)
Baking time: 9-inch by 13-inch pan, 35-40 minutes (when a toothpick comes out clean)
Grab a medium saucepan and melt the butter, add the cocoa and the milk. Bring to a boil 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.
How do I store the Texas sheet cake?
I store the leftover cake in the sheet cake pan on the kitchen counter at room temperature with a lid on it as shown above. I’ve used foil and plastic wrap too, but as I mentioned, sometimes they stick. The trick really is to use an airtight container! You are welcome to store the cake in the refrigerator, but the cake will tend to harden or dry out a bit compared to being left on the counter.
Can I make this Texas sheet cake 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
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 jelly roll pans.
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!
- Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- The Best Chocolate Chip Parfait Cookies
- Easy To Make Chocolate-Covered Oreos
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
- Double Chocolate Cupcakes
I hope you try making the World’s Best Texas Sheet Cake! I think you will love it! It’s even better the next day. Be ready to pass out the recipe, people love it because it’s homemade, I swear! Who doesn’t love homemade desserts, right? It’s all about teaching our kids and grandkids to cook from scratch, and this is a perfect recipe to make. May God Bless this world, Linda