Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

We love a good sheet cake, and this Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake is a good one! This cake is also a beloved classic that has stood the test of time and it’s very forgiving. Its dense, moist texture, combined with a decadent chocolate frosting also makes it a favorite for any occasion.

Ingredients List

Before diving into the recipe, let’s review the ingredients and their roles. Each item adds something special to the cake’s overall texture and flavor. Let’s break them down:

For the Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • Nonstick Cooking Spray: This helps both to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and ensures clean and easy removal.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour: This provides the structure for the cake.
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar: White granulated sugar helps sweeten and tenderize the cake.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar: Adds extra moisture and a rich, caramel flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda: Ensures the cake rises properly.
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt: Enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness.
  • 1 cup Butter (cubed): Adds richness and a tender crumb.
  • 1 cup water: Helps dissolve the cocoa and blend it into the mixture.
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder: Provides an intense chocolate flavor.
  • 2 large eggs: Help bind the ingredients and add moisture.
  • 1/2 cup sour cream: Adds tanginess and keeps the cake moist.
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract: Enhances the overall flavor.

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Butter (cubed): Provides a rich base for the frosting.
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder: Adds a luscious chocolate taste.
  • 1/3 cup whole milk: Helps in achieving the right consistency.
  • 3 cups powdered sugar: Sweetens as well as thickens the frosting.
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract: Adds complexity to the flavor.
  • Pinch of kosher salt: Balances the sweetness.
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans (roughly chopped): Adds both a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.

Equipment Needed

Gathering the right equipment will make your baking process smooth and enjoyable. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 15 x 10 Jelly Roll Pan: Helps to bake the cake evenly.
  • Large Bowl: For mixing the dry ingredients.
  • Medium Saucepan: Needed for melting the butter and mixing the chocolate.
  • Whisk: Helps in blending ingredients smoothly.
  • Mixing Spoon: Stir everything together.
  • Toothpick: For checking if the cake is done.
  • Cooling Rack: To cool the cake evenly.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For precise measurements of ingredients.
  • Spatula: Spread the frosting evenly over the cake.

Having these tools ready will make baking this Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake a breeze!

a slice of texas chocolate sheet cake on a small plate

Step-by-Step Instructions: Preparation

Preheat Oven

Firstly, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). A properly preheated oven ensures even baking for your cake.

Grease and Flour the Sheet Pan

Next, grease a 15” x 10” jelly roll pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. This prevents the cake from sticking. For added insurance, you can also lightly flour the pan.

Making the Cake Batter

Combining Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. This well-combined mixture will ensure a uniform texture.

Preparing the Wet Ingredients

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1 cup of cubed butter, 1 cup of water, and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Cook, stirring often, until the butter melts and the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat.

Mixing the Batter

Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until everything is well combined. Add 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the mixture. Blend until smooth and uniform. The batter should be well-mixed and free of lumps.

Baking the Cake

Pouring the Batter into the Pan

Carefully pour the prepared batter into the greased and floured pan. Spread it evenly using a spatula to ensure the batter is uniformly distributed across the pan.

Baking Times and Temperature

Place the pan in your preheated oven. Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Baking times may vary slightly depending on your oven, so keep an eye on it.

How to Check for Doneness

To check if the cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, the cake is ready. If the toothpick has wet batter on it, bake for a few more minutes and test again.

Making the Frosting

Preparing the Frosting Base

While the cake is baking, you can start preparing the frosting. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1/2 cup of cubed butter and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Stir continuously until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth and well-blended.

Adding the Milk

Once the butter and cocoa mixture is ready, slowly whisk in 1/3 cup of whole milk. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture just starts to boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat immediately to prevent scorching.

Mixing in the Powdered Sugar

Gradually add 3 cups of powdered sugar to the mixture, whisking constantly to combine. Then, mix thoroughly to achieve a smooth, lump-free frosting. But, if the frosting becomes too thick, you can add a splash of more milk to reach the desired consistency.

Final Touches

Stir in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and a pinch of kosher salt, mixing well to enhance the flavors. Finally, fold in 1/2 cup of roughly chopped toasted pecans, if desired. The nuts add a delightful crunch and a rich, nutty flavor that complements the chocolate perfectly.

With your frosting prepared, you’re now ready to frost your Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with this delicious, glossy layer of goodness!

Tips and Tricks

Ensuring a Smooth Batter

To achieve a silky smooth batter, sift your dry ingredients together before mixing them with the wet ingredients. This step can help eliminate lumps and ensure an even texture throughout the batter.

Perfect Consistency for Frosting

If your frosting is too thick, add milk one teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Conversely, if it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar gradually. Aim for a smooth, spreadable frosting that glides easily over the cake.

Preventing a Cracked Cake

To prevent your cake from cracking, avoid opening the oven door frequently while baking, as it can cause sudden temperature changes. Also, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before starting, which helps them blend better and rise evenly.

Enhancing Flavor with Toasting

For a deeper, more complex flavor, consider toasting the pecans before adding them to the frosting. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.

Proper Cooling

Allow your cake to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack before frosting. Attempting to frost a warm cake can cause the frosting to melt and slide off.

Serving Suggestions

Presentation Ideas

For a polished presentation, sprinkle a light dusting of powdered sugar over the top of the frosted cake just before serving. Alternatively, you can grate a bit of dark chocolate on top for a more sophisticated finish. For an extra touch of elegance, garnish with fresh berries or a sprig of mint.


Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake pairs beautifully with a cold glass of milk or a piping hot cup of coffee. For a more indulgent experience, serve a slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. The cool creaminess of the ice cream contrasts delightfully with the rich, warm chocolate cake.


Given its large size, the cake can be cut into various portion sizes to suit the occasion. For casual gatherings, cut the cake into smaller squares to serve as finger food. For more formal events, consider cutting larger, more generous pieces and serving them on individual dessert plates.

Occasion Ideas

This cake is versatile enough to suit a wide range of occasions, from birthday parties to casual family dinners. Its rich chocolate flavor and moist texture make it a crowd-pleaser for events like potlucks, BBQs, or even holiday celebrations.

By following these serving suggestions, you can ensure that your Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake not only tastes delicious but also impresses your guests with a beautiful presentation.


You might be surprised at the many variations of The Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake that exist. This cake may have originated in the heart of Texas, but it get’s around.

We think the Texas Chocolate Sheet cake is a fantastic addition to any baker’s repertoire. Its rich and moist texture, paired with the smooth, glossy frosting, makes it a standout dessert for any occasion. Add the nuts if you like a crunchy layer to your cake.

Remember, the joy of baking comes not just from the end product, but from the process itself – make this cake your own. Whether you’re baking for a special event or simply to satisfy a sweet craving, this cake is sure to bring smiles and satisfaction with every bite.

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a rating or review. I would love to hear what you think!

Happy cooking and bon appétit!

a slice of texas sheet cake on a small plate

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

We love a good sheet cake, and this Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake is a good one! A beloved classic that has stood the test of time! A favorite for any occasion.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16


  • 1 15 x 10 jelly roll pan


For the Cake

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup Butter cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Butter cubed
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a jelly roll pan or a 15”-x-10” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and salt and whisk until well combined.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter, water and cocoa powder. Cook, stirring often, until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Pour the heated chocolate mixture into flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl combine eggs, sour cream and vanilla and stir until well blended. Add to cake batter mixture, blend well.
  • Pour cake batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and spread into an even layer.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.


  • In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cocoa powder and milk.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer then remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix until smooth. Add nuts at this time.
  • Pour frosting over cake while the cake is still hot, then sprinkle more pecans on top. Let cool completely before cutting, about 1 hour.


Nutrition Estimates:
Calories: 475kcal
Carbohydrates: 71g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 21g
Saturated Fat: 13g
Cholesterol: 75mg
Sodium: 343mg
Potassium: 81mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 56g
Vitamin A: 655IU
Vitamin C: 0.1mg
Calcium: 29mg
Iron: 1.2mg
Keyword texas chocolate sheet cake

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