A true classic, this Texas Sheet Cake Recipe is certain to delight the chocolate cake fans at your table. Topped with a delectable homemade fudge frosting loaded with toasted pecans, it's bound to become a favorite all-occasion dessert.
Easy Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
Texas sheet cake is a potluck gold mine. People love it when you pull one out for dessert plus, it's simple to make which furthers its appeal. It's a made from scratch chocolate sheet cake that's topped with a homemade fudge-like frosting while the cake is still warm. I'm sure the original would be filled with big beautiful Texas pecans, but any pecan will do. It's a hit every single time I serve it. A fun bite-size version you may like to try are these Texas sheet cake bites from Princess Pinky Girl.
How to Make the Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
This cake is an absolute classic without a doubt. It's imperative that all bakers learn to make it and once you do make this scratch made cake, you'll be hooked!
- Ingredients you'll need to make this recipe for Texas Sheet Cake: All purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, boiling water, buttermilk and large eggs.
- For the chocolate fudge frosting you'll need: Butter, cocoa powder, heavy cream or half and half, vanilla extract, chopped toasted pecans and powdered sugar.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: A rimmed jelly roll pan or similar size rimmed sheet pan, a mixer, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons and a saucepan to make the frosting, Of course, spoons and an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly over the cake. You'll also need a baking pan to toast the pecans for the frosting.
- Recipes for Texas Sheet Cake have varying amounts of cocoa in the batter. I've seen as little as two tablespoons used which to me, is hardly an addition at all. My recipe uses ½ cup which I feel yields a nice balance of chocolate in the batter that complement's the flavor of the fudge frosting. That being said, Texas sheet cake is not a deep dark chocolate cake yet it's still so delicious.
- When mixing together the boiling water with the cocoa powder for the cake batter, I've found it's best to do it the way I recommend in the recipe and not on the stovetop. Doing so, ensures that the cocoa will dissolve. Add the butter last and it will come together silky smooth.
- It's well worth the small amount of effort to toast the pecans for the frosting. You can use more or less pecans, or sprinkle them on top of the frosting, if you prefer.
- I enjoy most cakes cold. That said, this is one rare exception. When this cake is served warm or at room temperature, the frosting melts in your mouth. It's perfectly fine to serve it either way.
- It's important to frost this cake while the cake is hot. It melts a bit into the cake which makes it even more irresistible.
- When making the frosting, you can add small amounts of additional cream if needed, to thin. The frosting does melt ever so slightly when you put it on the cake making it easy to spread so, go easy with any additional cream.
- Store leftover Texas Sheet Cake covered at room temperature or chilled for up to one week.
Pick the Right Pan to Make Texas Sheet Cake
Texas sheet cake is a thin cake by it's very nature. It's almost equal parts cake and frosting. No complaints here, that's why we love it. It's best made in a jelly roll pan but, it can be made in a 13 x 9 inch pan, too. In that case, it will take longer to bake, of course, and the frosting will be thicker. Either way, it's a keeper.
More Southern Style Cake Recipes to Make
If you've got an occasion to celebrate, we've got a cake to make it happen. More homemade cake recipes you may like to try:
- Banana Pudding Layer Cake combines two desserts into one.
- Homemade Buttered Rum Cake for Mardis Gras and the holidays.
- Better than a bakery Italian Cream Cake recipe.
- Old fashioned Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Pecan Icing.
- Easy Carrot Cake Recipe is another sheet cake that's easy to transport to other locations.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- Fudge Frosting:
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup cream or half and half plus additional if needed to thin
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans toasted
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan with baking spray. Set aside. Spread pecans on another baking sheet in a single layer. Toast for 6-8 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl, stir together, boiling water and cocoa until dissolved. Add melted butter, mix well. Pour over dry ingredients. Add buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Mix with a whisk until fully combined
- Pour batter evenly into pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean.
- 5 minutes before the end of baking, begin preparing the frosting.
- In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat melt together butter, cocoa powder and cream. Bring to a simmer, whisking until smooth. Do not boil. Remove from the heat. Add vanilla.
- Use an electric mixer to beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat until smooth. Mix in toasted pecans. Spread evenly on hot cake. May add additional cream 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to thin. Don't thin too much, it will melt on the hot cake making it easy to spread.
- Place on a cooling rack to cool before cutting. Leftovers may be stored at room temperature or chilled.
My mom has the same recipe, but instead of boiling water, it uses 1 cup VERY strong coffee. Makes the most wonderful difference.
Mom's also uses 2/3 cup cocoa. We always used CAROB powder, just because dad is allergic to cocoa.
Never brought home any leftovers!!!
I agree so, delicious!
Melissa, could you please tell me about how high is the cake when made in the jelly roll pan. Is the one pictured made n the 9x13 pan ? Thank you
The one pictured is in a jelly roll pan which is what I recommend.
I noticed in the ingredient list in the recipe it calls for one teaspoon of baking “powder”, yet the instructions say baking “soda”. Could you clarify, please? The cake sounds delicious! Thank you!
Hi Lori, absolutely it's baking soda, thank you!