Texas Sheet Cake a.k.a. Best Chocolate Cake Ever

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The classic Texas Sheet Cake is a fabulously moist and delicious chocolate cake covered in a rich chocolate frosting.

Best Ever Texas Sheet Cake

Pioneer Woman Texas Sheet Cake

Several years ago, my friend Sandra made a Texas Sheet Cake and described it in such a way that I absolutely had to try it. Luckily, she sent me the recipe that same day and I immediately had to make it for myself. (You can always trust a Pioneer Woman recipe – right?)

I’m happy to say that the cake was a massive hit with all of my crew from the very first bite. What’s not to love?! I’ve made this cake countless times over the past 10-15 years and it is always a hit.

You know those recipes – the ones you hear about and can not stop thinking about. Recipes like these Filthy Burgers, and this Cream Shaved Ice, and the crazy popular Cauliflower Sauce (just trust me here – it is incredible), the incredible Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Bacon, this Brown Sugar Pound Cake, and this Orange Parsley Salad all started as conversations with friends.

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

Unlike most cake recipes, you want to pour the warm frosting over this cake when it’s still hot from the oven. So, mix up that frosting while the cake is baking and you’ll be ready to dive into the warm cake in no time.

This is a cake for the true chocolate lover. It never fails to bring out the happy moans when people taste it for the first time.

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Warm Icing

What is Texas Sheet Cake?

Served warm, this is a fabulously gooey and chocolatey cake. Served cold, this Texas Sheet Cake forms an awesome frosting crust layer over the cake that simply melts in your mouth.

However you serve it, definitely plan to share this cake with friends! <- Seriously. Don’t make this if you will be home alone. (And if you DO, don’t blame me when you can’t stop slicing “just one more sliver” for the next three days.)

Texas Sheet Cake

How To Make A Texas Sheet Cake

Cake Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a half-size sheet pan and set aside. (I use and LOVE this pan.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. In a medium size saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter and then add the cocoa. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add boiling water to the saucepan and allow the mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour mixture, and stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, beaten eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Stir this mixture into the first mixture. Pour into your sheet cake pan (or the pan of your preference) and bake for 20 minutes.

Frosting Directions

  1. While the cake is baking, make the icing. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add cocoa and whisk to combine, then remove from heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the pecans, if desired and stir to combine. Pour the frosting over the warm cake. 
Classic Texas Sheet Cake never goes out of style.

For more awesome cakes you really should put on your must-try list, check out some of our family favorites. Buttermilk Coffee Cake topped with a heaping layer of buttery cinnamon crumb topping is a cake that any cinnamon-lover is certain to love.

Tart cherries in sweet syrup are placed between layers of rich chocolate cake, along with an abundance of barely sweetened whipped cream to make this Black Forest Cake. This cake has been Sean’s birthday request for almost as long as I can remember.

With a flavor like cinnamon rolls and a topping that is the ultimate cinnamon toast crunch, the Cinnamon Toast Cake is an awesome surprise. If you love cinnamon toast, this is the cake for you! The sides of the cake form a phenomenal buttery cinnamon crunch layer that is irresistible.

Last, but never least, Cranberry Christmas Cake is one of those recipes that becomes an instant favorite every single time someone new tastes it. Tart cranberries, sweet buttery cake, and a fantastic texture all combined to basically beg me to eat another piece. This is the reason there will forever be cranberries in my freezer year-round.

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Best Ever Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake a.k.a. Best Chocolate Cake Ever

5 from 3 votes
The classic Texas Sheet Cake is a fabulously moist and delicious chocolate cake covered in a rich chocolate frosting.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 20 servings, depending on size

Ingredients 

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup butter 
  • 1 cup boiling water 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or buttermilk substitute
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

Frosting Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup OPTIONAL – finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions

To Make the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a half-size sheet pan and set aside. (I use and LOVE this pan.)
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. In a medium size saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter and then add the cocoa. Whisk to combine.
  • Add boiling water to the saucepan and allow the mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour mixture, and stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, beaten eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Stir this mixture into the first mixture. Pour into your sheet cake pan (or the pan of your preference) and bake for 20 minutes.

To Make the Frosting

  • While the cake is baking, make the icing. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add cocoa and whisk to combine, then remove from heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whisk to combine.  Add the pecans, if desired and stir to combine. Pour the frosting over the warm cake. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal · Carbohydrates: 52g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 17g · Saturated Fat: 11g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 5g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 60mg · Sodium: 236mg · Potassium: 97mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 39g · Vitamin A: 527IU · Calcium: 21mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 11/12/11 – recipe notes and photos updated 2/9/22}

Best Ever Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Anonymous says

    Just made this cake for July 4th and friends birthday celebrations. It smells and looks amazing. Thankyou!

  2. Anonymous says

    Really two cups of sugar? Can I use 3/4 C of sugar? I'm not into very sweet desserts. And no espresso or coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor?

    • Mary says

      If you aren't a fan of sweet desserts, this might not be the best one to try. This is a very rich cake. You could try reducing the sugar and see how you like it though. Espresso and coffee are always great in chocolate cakes, so feel free to add that in.

  3. Anonymous says

    I've been gluten free for 1 year now and this is the best dessert I've made! It's so moist and turns out great every time. I'm the only one in my family with celiac disease and everyone else loves this cake! Thank you for this recipe!

    • Mary says

      I've never made this in a 10" pan. It almost fills a 9×13 pan. Yes, the time will increase slightly. When a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs, it is done.

    • Mary says

      The cake is traditionally made in a large baking sheet, 18" x 13". I believe that's where the name originally started.

  4. Anonymous says

    What a wonderful cake. My whole family loved it. I had to endure a 3 minute fit about "more cake" from my 2 year old. But it was oh so tasty.5 stars

  5. Heather says

    What are the GF flour substitutes for this recipe? I don’t see those substitutes in the directions for the recipe amounts. Thank you!

  6. Felicia A Andrecht says

    What is your “Buttermilk” substitute? It is not listed here though you acted as if it would through your execution of this recipie, perhaps post script.

  7. Kimberly Seitzinger says

    What are the GF substitutes? My daughter was just diagnosed with celiac disease and she would be so excited to be able to have “normal desserts”😊

  8. Sandra M Henslee says

    I love your gluten free recipes. I was excited to see Texas sheet cake listed. When I looked at the recipe it only gives regular flour as an option. Is there a way to make it gluten free? Thanks, Sandra

    • Mary Younkin says

      Unfortunately, I don’t have gluten free variations for every single recipe, Sandra. You could likely make this with your favorite GF blend, (as it’s a pretty straightforward cake recipe) but I haven’t tried or tested that myself.

  9. Dione S says

    We call this Death by Chocolate Cake at our house! It is a favorite for sure especially with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream!

  10. Michelle says

    I’ve been looking at your recipe and the pioneer woman’s recipe. The only things that I noticed you changed was more cocoa powder in the cake and frosting. And quite the difference in butter in the frosting.
    I like the fact that you added more cocoa powder, to make it give it more chocolate flavor. (I’ve been searching) and the fact that you didn’t add as much butter…just a weeee bit healthier haha
    I’m going to be making this in two days, I have a potluck that I’m going to, I can’t wait.5 stars