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Hi Bold Bakers!
Texas may claim this cake as their own, but Texas sheet cake is loved throughout the nation—and what’s not to love? This chocolate cake is everything a good cake should be: a soft cake, a fudgy frosting, and the wonderful crunch and flavor of toasted pecans.
It’s also a cinch to whip together; you can’t find a more straightforward recipe than this one, from cake to frosting. If you have a crowd of chocolate lovers, this is the one.
[Looking for a Gluten-Free version? I have just the thing!]
No one is really sure why we call it Texas Sheet cake, maybe because pecans are native to the state, or because it includes a Texas-recipe favorite, buttermilk—but it’s often found at parties, church events, and any gathering you can imagine in the Lone Star State!
What Is Texas Sheet Cake?
Texas sheet cake is a super simple cake recipe that can be mixed up in one bowl and baked in a sheet pan. All in all, it will probably take you about five minutes to make the batter and only about 20 to bake it.
It’s a thin chocolate cake topped with chocolate frosting and toasted pecans.
What Type Of Cocoa Powder Should I Use In Texas Sheet Cake?
If you noticed in my photos, my Texas sheet cake looks super dark; that’s because I opted to use unsweetened black cocoa powder. It gets its incredible dark color from being ultra Dutch-processed, which means the cocoa beans have been washed with a potassium solution, making the cocoa less acidic. It gives the powder a much more mellow flavor, but typically it’s used to give it that beautiful, dark coloring.
But the good news is, you can absolutely use regular unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe. It will look more like a traditional Texas sheet cake and taste just as delicious.
What You Need To Make Texas Sheet Cake
How To Make The Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake
This easy chocolate sheet cake is one you’ll make again and again, trust me! Here is how you make Texas sheet cake (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter your 12×17-inch (30x43cm) sheet pan.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate measuring cup, combine the eggs, water, buttermilk, and vegetable oil.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into your prepped baking sheet.
- Bake your cake for 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. It is ready when it comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the cake has cooled slightly, start making your frosting. Combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and melted chocolate in a blender and blend until combined and thickened. This should take around 30 seconds.
- Pour the frosting over the cake, sprinkle the pecans all over, and let the frosting cool for a few hours before slicing.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Texas Sheet Cake
- If you have access to black cocoa powder, try it in this recipe – you won’t be disappointed!
- Buttermilk is a really important ingredient here; you can easily make your own buttermilk substitute.
- Make this cake a day before you plan to serve it. The taste gets even better, and the texture is super moist!
- This cake is traditionally made in a sheet pan with 1-inch (2 ½ cm) sides, but if you don’t have this, you can bake the cake in any sized pans but watch carefully as the cooking time will be different.
- Ensure that you use unsweetened evaporated milk and not condensed milk, which is sweetened, for the frosting.
- When choosing the chocolate for this frosting, try to find bittersweet chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, around 70% or higher, or it may end up being too sweet.
- You can use the same amount of unsweetened baking chocolate (100%) for this frosting.
How Do I Store Texas Sheet Cake?
You can store any leftover Texas sheet cake at room temperature for up to 3 days. This cake does feed a crowd, though, so don’t be shy about sharing!
Get more of my Best Cake Recipes:
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below!