Our Texas Sheet Cake is the stuff sweet dreams are made of – a thick, fudgy icing fused to the top of a moist cake masterpiece, And the best part? The recipe for Texas Sheet Cake is super simple! You’ll be doing the two-step after just one bite of this quick but oh, so rich dessert.

A slice of Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate

What is Texas Sheet Cake?

A Texas chocolate sheet cake is thin – barely the height of its fudgy cousin (some even call this cake Texas Sheet Cake brownies), but it packs all the punch of a serious slice of chocolate cake. This ain’t your average sheet cake, y’all. It’s like a brownie . . . but better!

The ingredients for it are all likely lurking in your pantry right now……


Texas Sheet Cake in a sheet pan


Though we can’t pinpoint the original Texas Sheet Cake recipe, its name likely comes from the cake’s enormous size. It also typically includes buttermilk and pecans, two Texas favorites, and some would argue it has just as much oil in it!

“Sheet cake” is a bakers’ term used simply to describe a flat, rectangle-shaped cake. They come in full, half, and quarter sizes, so they’re easily adjustable to fit the size of the crowd you’re serving. Like most cakes, sheet cakes are frosted and provide a simple way to serve a lot of people without the fussy cutting required for a round, layered cake.

Texas Sheet Cake batter poured into the sheet pan


The true hallmark of a Texas Sheet Cake is its short stature, but required ingredients include chocolate (though there is a white Texas Sheet Cake with no chocolate), as well as buttermilk or sour cream, lots of butter, a fudge-like icing, and usually pecans.

  • Buttermilk vs. Sour Cream-Some still swear by making a Texas Sheet Cake buttermilk version (the Texas Sheet Cake Pioneer Woman makes, for example), but, like many others, my recipe swaps out the buttermilk for sour cream.
  • Sour cream has more fat, which means more moisture, but it still produces a light, tender crumb. It also does this without sacrificing the lovely tangy quality buttermilk brings to a cake since it has its own acidity.
  • Better with Butter! So, what else is in this cake? Butter, lots of butter (unless you follow the Texas Sheet Cake Southern Living recipe which uses oil), and the basic ingredients you’d find in a chocolate cake – sugar, cocoa powder, plus flour and some leavening.
  • Coconut or Cinnamon- Some cooks believe it’s not a true Texas Sheet Cake without coconut, while others say tradition demands a Texas Sheet Cake cinnamon infused version, like a Mexican hot chocolate, with a noticeable hit of that warm spice in the cake.

A slice of Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate with fork on the side

My Secret Ingredient for Texas Sheet Cake:

I do like to bump up the chocolate flavor a bit with a cup of brewed coffee too, a trick I use in some of my own, more traditional chocolate cakes. If you don’t have any brewed coffee leftover from your morning pot, you can easily make what you need for this recipe using instant coffee.

Just so you know, adding the coffee doesn’t translate to a “coffee” taste in the cake. What it does do, however, is enhance the flavor of the chocolate and boosts the chocolatey-ness. I’m thinking that’s a real word, right?

A slice of Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate, top shot


A Texas Sheet Cake needs to bake about 20 minutes, just until the toothpick test produces a clean result. The warm icing will need to be added while the cake’s still warm too so the two can mingle where they meet in the middle.


A slice of Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate


Texas Sheet Cake

 My Texas Sheet Cake is the stuff sweet dreams are made of - a thick, fudgy icing fused to the top of a moist cake masterpiece, And the best part? The recipe for Texas Sheet Cake is super simple! You’ll be doing the two-step after just one bite of this quick but oh, so rich dessert.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 People
Calories 533 kcal
Author Kathleen



  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Brewed Coffee
  • 5 Tablespoons Cocoa
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 Large Eggs Lightly Beaten
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla


  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa
  • 2 3/4 Cups Confectioners Sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10X15 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add coffee, and 5 tablespoons cocoa,  and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, flour, baking soda an, salt and mix until smooth. Add sour cream and stir until combined, then mix in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.


  1. In a large saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in milk, cocoa, instant coffee granules and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth (I use a handheld electric mixer). 

  2. Pour icing over warm cake. Cool completely on a wire baking rack.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Texas Sheet Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 533 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 89mg 30%
Sodium 418mg 17%
Potassium 86mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 78g 26%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 61g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 15.6%
Calcium 4.4%
Iron 7.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Time: isn’t on your side – Be sure to have your icing ingredients set out and ready to go. This icing gets a thick, fudgy consistency as it cools, so you’ll need to work quickly to spread it on the cake after you’ve stirred in the confectioner’s sugar. I like to mix the sugar into the icing with a handheld electric mixer because it makes quick work of the job plus it requires less of an arm workout!
  • Pan Size: The Texas Sheet Cake pan size is a classic jelly roll pan, roughly 10” x 15” x 1”.
    • You may call this a “cookie sheet” too since it usually pulls double duty in most kitchens (and it’s equally good at making Texas Sheet Cake cookies, by the way, which is a cookied-up version of this recipe). Using a thin pan means this cake will cook up super fast, so it’s a perfect option for last-minute company or potlucks, just like my sweet-and-scrumptious Caramel Apple Sheet Cake that’s cooked in the same type of pan.
  • Eggs: Just make sure you’ve beaten your eggs a bit before adding them to the batter. Over-mixing once the flour has been incorporated can make your cake tough, and the eggs will be hard to incorporate if they’re not mixed ahead of time
  • Icing Tip: The only tip for the icing is that you’ll need to work quickly so it’s still spreadable enough to coat every nook and cranny of your cake. I also like to add some instant coffee here too. And the icing’s just as easy to put together as the cake, all in one pot (though you may appreciate a little help from an electric mixer).
    • The icing adds such a lovely texture to this cake – it’s like a soft fudge that’s so creamy it melts in your mouth. You can also copy other recipes like the Pioneer Woman Texas Sheet Cake and add a generous cup of pecans on top of the icing or stir them into the icing itself to add a little crunch.
  • Baking Basics: Unlike many cakes,  there’s no need to make sure everything’s at room temperature or dirty up every dish in your kitchen. The batter comes together on the stovetop in one pot, then gets dumped into the pan for baking.
  • Peanut butter….. anyone? – This cake is pretty customizable. You can stir some flavored chips into the cake batter – chocolate, vanilla, or peanut butter, or you can replace the cocoa powder in the icing with ½ to ¾ cup of creamy peanut butter for a Texas-sized twist on Reese’s cup. Just keep in mind you may need to adjust the amount of milk and/or powdered sugar to get the right consistency.

The only thing that’s left is the daunting task of waiting on the cake to cool down enough for eating (or not, if you don’t mind a chocolatey mess on your hands).

My family loves this cake – I mean, what’s NOT to love, and it’s definitely been requested as an alternative to a traditional birthday cake.

Special occasions? Check. Last-minute dessert? Yep. Something to snuggle with on the couch for a late night of binge-watching Netflix? Darn tootin’! Whether it’s from deep in the heart of Texas or some inspired kitchen far, far away, all you need to enjoy this Texas Sheet Cake is a fork and a face to stuff it in.


A, generally speaking, full sheet cake serves approximately 70 to 80 people, with a half sheet cake serving 35 to 40. A full Texas Sheet Cake is roughly the length and width of a half sheet cake, but it serves only about half as many due to the height difference.

By the way, a quarter sheet cake is roughly the size of a 9” x 13” pan, so you’ll see some recipes that are cooked in everyone’s favorite casserole dish called a “sheet cake” too (like my to-die-for Strawberry Sheet Cake).

Looking For More Sheet Cake Favorites?

Coconut Sheet Cake – Incredibly delicious, super moist, Coconut Sheet Cake topped with a perfect Coconut frosting.
Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake –  is made from scratch and has a unique Crunchy Lemon Sugar Topping. The cake is tender, moist, and has just the right amount of zesty lemon flavor. It’s refreshing and wonderfully delicious! Made in a generous 9X13 inch baking dish it’s perfect for your next picnic or potluck.
Easy Pineapple Sheet Cake – is a moist, pineapple-studded cake drenched in a sweet, creamy coconut icing, with crispy toasted pecans on top. You’ll be dreaming of beach vacations and tropical cocktails after just one bite!
Coca Cola Cake – Our Coca Cola Cake has been a Southern tradition for generations. A sweet, fudgy, crazy moist cake with a thick fudgy icing. Quick and easy to put together!
Pig Pickin Cake – Our crowd-pleasing Pig Pickin Cake is an incredibly moist, delicious, refreshingly fruity delight. Super easy to make, it’s sure to become a new favorite!

More Chocolate Cake…

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake is Rich, Uber Chocolatey, and Super Moist! We Start With a Cake Mix So Not Ony Is this Delicious, It’s Easy To Make Too!

More Southern Dishes

Hoppin John Recipe Break out a batch of our sassy bacon infused Hoppin John Recipe. The “Cajun holy trinity” ramps up the flavor, with an assist from the black eyed peas!

Source: Gonna Want Seconds

Originally Posted on Centsless Meals