Texas Sheet Cake is a soft homemade chocolate cake made in a large baking sheet topped with warm fudge like pecan frosting.
This sweet frosted chocolate cake tastes best with an ice cold glass of milk! Make it for a decadent after-dinner dessert or bring it to a potluck. Everyone will love it!
Texas Sheet Cake is basically a combination of a light and fluffy chocolate cake and my super popular Five Minute Fudge. That's right. That frosting on top is unlike any buttercream or cream cheese or brown butter frosting you've ever had.
This chocolate frosting is basically how I make my fudge. But it's fudge on cake. Win.
I had never made a sheet cake before, let along a Texas Sheet Cake. Why? Because I didn't have a 10x15 baking dish. No other reason! I finally got myself one, so you'd better believe this ain't the last sheet cake recipe you'll be seeing from me.
Reasons why sheet cakes are the best:
- Sheet cakes are very portable. As opposed to a tall layered cake, sheet cakes like this one are composed of a single layer of cake. No need to take it out of the pan. Just serve right from the dish. And if you have a baking pan that comes with a lid like mine does, it's super easy to take to a potluck!
- They are sort of fool proof... if you have the right recipe. With all things, there is good and bad information out there. This Texas Sheet Cake recipe is tried and true. Plus, because this cake is big and flat, it cooks evenly all the way through. You're less likely to pull the cake out of the oven and have it sink in the middle.
- They're easy to frost! No crumb layer to deal with. No fancy decorations. Just make the frosting and spread it on top. Easy!
Why is it called Texas Sheet Cake?
I had no idea. I'm a West Coast Girl. I had to do a little research.
From what I could find:
- It has been suggested that Lady Bird Johnson was involved in creating or naming the cake. But historians scoured Lady Bird’s recipes at the LBJ archives in Austin and found no evidence to support this claim.
- There was a chocolate cake (large sheet cake) in a shallow pan published in the Galveston Daily News (Helping the Homemaker, May 30, 1936), but it wasn't called a Texas Sheet Cake.
- Texas Sheet Cake generally has pecans in the frosting and pecans are native to the US, Texas in particular.
- Other than that, from what I could find, there's no solid documented evidence as to why this particular kind of cake is referenced as a Texas sheet cake.
The secret to the best Texas Sheet Cake...
lies in how you frost it.
You see, with just about every cake I've ever made, you have to let the cake fully cool before applying the frosting.
Not with this mouthwatering chocolate cake.
Because the frosting is so fudgelike, you must apply it to the cake when both the frosting and the cake are hot, otherwise you won't be able to get it to spread.
In all reality, as long as you time your cooking process accordingly, it's the easiest method possible! No waiting for the darn cake to cool!
- For the cake: unsalted butter, water, cocoa powder, sour cream, large eggs, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, salt
- For the frosting: whole milk, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and chopped pecans
Love homemade cake recipes?
You'll definitely want to try these:
- Pound Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Angel Food Cake Recipe
- Best Hummingbird Cake
- The Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lemon Cupcakes from scratch
- Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
Texas Sheet Cake
RECIPE VIDEO WILL AUTOPLAY
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, room temperature)
- 1 cup water
- 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp whole milk
- 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans (chopped)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10x15 inch pan. Alternatively, line a 10x15 pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter on low in a saucepan, add the water and 5 tablespoons cocoa. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and eggs.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat in the sour cream and egg mixture. Once the cocoa powder mixture is cool enough to touch, beat it into the four mixture on low speed. Scrape sides and beat just until fully mixed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- About half way through the cooking process, make the frosting.
- To make the frosting, combine milk, additional 5 tablespoons cocoa powder, and additional 1/2 cup butter. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla, then fold in the nuts, mixing until blended. Spread frosting over warm cake.
This recipe was originally posted May 2018 and was updated on May 2019.