Classic Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake, an easy homemade fudgy chocolate cake recipe that is a southern staple. This simple cake is made in a large pan or sheet pan and has a delicious simple cooked chocolate fudge icing.
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This Classic Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake is a delicious homemade fudgy almost brownie-like chocolate cake. This version is made in a large jelly-roll pan so it feeds a lot of people which is always a bonus for parties and potlucks. But you can make in a different size pan. If you’re a chocolate fan, this fudgy cake is definitely one to try!
After I posted the Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Bars recipe that I found in a pile of old papers, I also found this recipe. I meant to post this Texas Sheet Cake YEARS ago as well. I had already taken photos and it was ready to go. Better late than never right?
I haven’t made this from scratch cake in a long time and now I’m itching to make it again. One of my favorites for sure! This Tex-Mex Sheet Cake is similar and full of fun flavors if you’re looking for something a bit more gourmet.
What is Texas Sheet Cake
Texas Sheet Cake is a fudgy chocolate cake with a cooked chocolate fudge icing on top. The cake is generally made in a large sheet pan (18×13-inches), jelly-roll pan (15×10-inches), or even a 13×9-inch pan. It’s usually a single layer and fairly thin. It’s almost like brownies. It kind of reminds me of my Brownie Cake.
Even though this isn’t a big layered cake, this popular Southern cake would also be great for a casual birthday party. The best!
There are many different versions of this simple cake and some even have Coca Cola or Dr. Pepper. Some versions are not chocolate such as a White Texas Sheet Cake. One of my favorites is a chocolate peanut butter combo. Yum! And many have pecans in the icing.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Texas Sheet Cake Ingredients
- Baking soda
- Buttermilk – Or could make your own buttermilk or use regular milk, but love the tangy flavor of buttermilk in this.
- Vanilla – Or use your favorite extract or flavoring like almond extract. A little cinnamon would be good too.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Instant coffee granules – This is optional but does give a nice deep flavor to the chocolate.
- Buttermilk – Again, you could use homemade buttermilk or milk, but I really love the buttermilk.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract – Or your favorite flavoring or extract.
How to Make Texas Sheet Cake
- PREHEAT. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If not using a nonstick pan, lightly grease (or spray with nonstick spray) a jelly-roll pan that is 15×10 inches.
- MIX DRY INGREDIENTS. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- ADD WET INGREDIENTS. Stir in buttermilk, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until just combined.
- HEAT INGREDIENTS. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in water, cocoa, and coffee granules. Bring to a boil stirring constantly until smooth. Cool slightly then slowly stir into cake batter.
- BAKE. Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- MAKE ICING. When cake is almost done, start preparing icing by melting butter in small pan over medium-high heat. Stir in buttermilk, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Slowly stir in powdered sugar and continue stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly but keep warm.
- ASSEMBLE. Pour warm icing over warm cake (be careful that frosting does not go over edge of pan). Cool cake in fridge or on wire rack for frosting to set.
- You can serve this cake at room temperature or cold from the fridge. Actually, it’s quite delicious on the warm side too. Personal preference.
- Delicious as-is or great topped with whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate), chopped nuts, or fresh fruit (like strawberries or raspberries).
- The cake is fairly rich, so small pieces are generally good.
- Serve with coffee or your favorite chocolate cocktail like this fun Red Velvet Hot Chocolate Cocktail.
Quick Tips for Best Results
- You can bake this homemade cake in a different size pan (18×13 sheet pan or 13×9 baking dish) but be sure to adjust the baking time.
- Depending on how deep your pan is, you may have some extra icing leftover. Don’t worry though, it’s delicious on ice cream or as a dip for fruit. Or just pile it on the cake!
- Use a good quality cocoa powder for best results.
- Start cooking the icing JUST before the cake is done baking so you can pour it right over the warm cake. That way the cake will soak in a little of the icing. Some recipes also call for mixing chopped pecans (or other nuts like peanuts, almonds, or walnuts) into the icing which is also delicious!
Texas Sheet Cake FAQ
How should I store the Texas Sheet Cake?
You can store it covered at room temperature but I like to also store it covered in the fridge for a cold version.
Can I freeze the cake?
Yes! Cover well and freeze.
How long will the cake last?
At least a few days at room temperature or a few more days in the fridge and even longer if frozen.
Instead of vanilla you can use your favorite extract. Instead of instant coffee and water you can use your favorite brewed coffee. If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own or use milk although I do really like the tangy flavor of buttermilk in this cake.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
You can use fat-free buttermilk. You can try a lower fat butter substitute but don’t think the results will be great.
What else can I add to this recipe?
You can mix in some toasted chopped pecans in your icing or on top of your icing for a little crunch. Toffee chips or chocolate chips would also be good.
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – This would be a tough one to make vegan but you can try using vegan ingredients.
Vegetarian – It’s vegetarian. Be sure to check individual brands/products just to be sure though.
Low-Carb – You can try a sugar substitute but the flour would be tough to substitute.
Gluten-Free – You can try a gluten-free baking flour.
Other Cake Recipes You May Enjoy
- Cannoli Cake (Snappy Gourmet) – A delicious Italian inspired cake and one of my most popular.
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake (Snappy Gourmet) – A 3 layer gourmet chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.
- Praline Cake (Southern Living) – Vanilla sponge cake with a sweet-and-salty praline glaze.
- Roasted Strawberry Layer Cake (Epicurious) – Perfect for strawberry lovers!
Hope you enjoy this Classic Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake recipe. Tell me in the comments if you added any other flavors or ingredients!
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You might also like this Chocolate Dump Cake this is another decadent chocolate dessert!
Classic Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If not using a nonstick pan, lightly grease (or spray with nonstick spray) a jelly-roll pan that is 15x10 inches.
- Make the cake. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- Stir in buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla until just combined.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in water, cocoa, and coffee granules. Bring to a boil stirring constantly until smooth. Cool slightly then slowly stir into cake batter.
- Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Make icing. When cake is almost done, start preparing icing by melting butter in small pan over medium-high heat. Stir in buttermilk, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Slowly stir in powdered sugar and continue stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly but keep warm.
- Pour warm icing over warm cake (be careful that frosting does not go over edge of pan). Cool cake in fridge or on wire rack for frosting to set.