Cakes

The Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake

5 from 18 votes
My Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake recipe is everything a good chocolate cake should be: soft cake, a fudgy frosting, and the wonderful crunch and flavor of toasted pecans.
A texas sheet cake next to two servings.

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! 

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with two slices removed and placed on plates.

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)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter your 12×17-inch (30x43cm) sheet pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate measuring cup, combine the eggs, water, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. 
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into your prepped baking sheet.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. Pour the frosting over the cake, sprinkle the pecans all over, and let the frosting cool for a few hours before slicing. 

A close up of my Texas Sheet Cake recipe to show the chocolate color, texture, and consistency.

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!

Watch The Recipe Video!

The Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

5 from 18 votes
My Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake recipe is everything a good chocolate cake should be: soft cake, a fudgy frosting, & the crunch of pecans.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 15 people
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
My Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake recipe is everything a good chocolate cake should be: soft cake, a fudgy frosting, & the crunch of pecans.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 15 people

Ingredients

Cake Batter

  • 2 cups (10oz/284g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (16oz/450g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (3oz/85g) unsweetened cocoa powder (black or regular)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup (8floz/240ml) water
  • 1 cup (8floz/240ml) buttermilk
  • cup (2 ½floz/71ml) vegetable oil

5 Minute Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) granulated sugar
  • 1 can (14 ½oz/414ml) evaporated milk
  • 1 ⅓ cups (8oz/225g) bittersweet chocolate (melted and cooled)

Garnish

  • 1 ⅓ cups (6½oz/185g) pecans, toasted and chopped

Instructions

To Make the Chocolate Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter a 12x17-inch (30x43cm) sheet pan. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • 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 and pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes.

To Make the 5 Minute Frosting:

  • After the cake has cooled slightly, make the frosting: combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and melted chocolate in a blender and blend until combined and thickened, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour the frosting over the cake, sprinkle all over with the pecans and let the cake and frosting cool for a few hours before slicing. Store the cake at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Submit your own photos of this recipe

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SR Madhumithaa
SR Madhumithaa
11 days ago

can i use condensed milk instead of evaporated milk? i dont get evaporated milk in India

Stella Salamanca
Stella Salamanca
13 hours ago

Hi Gemma, in your recipe it says baking powder, but in the video you say baking soda. Which one is really needed? Thanks! –Stella

Aishwarya
Aishwarya
12 days ago

Hi Gemma…can I half the recipe and bake it in 8×8 inches square pan for 25 minutes

Gabrielle
Gabrielle
12 days ago

This looks so good Gemma. Your recipes are great, and also, can we make this eggless by adding a flax egg?
Thanks,
Gabrielle

Rma
Rma
12 days ago

Hi Gemma! This recipe looks good 😋 I’m planning to make it for a family BBQ! After putting the chocolate frosting on the cake am I supposed to put it in the fridge or keep it room temperature? Planning to make It the day before. Thank you!

Suzanne
Suzanne
12 days ago

Can I used 9 x 13 sheet pan pls? I love your recipes 😊

Aniko
12 days ago

Hi Gemma, looks fab and delicious. Can you please, explain, how to substitute the evaporated milk, as this is not existing in my country in cans. How long do I have to boil the milk and how much more milk is needed, to be reduced to the given quantity? Thank you so much, as always for your advise

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!