Texas Sheet Cake

I’ve got to say, this recipe is perfect for parties. Not fancy dinner parties, but the kind of party where everyone brings a dish and plops it on a big table, and people wander around and occasionally dig in. The kind where kids will sneak extra desserts when they think their parents aren’t watching, then run off to eat them, sans utensils, and come back with their faces covered in tell-tale chocolate smears. And believe me, this Texas Sheet Cake will prompt even the most well-behaved child to do just that.

Texas Sheet Cake is a thin, tender cake, and the boiled frosting– poured over the hot cake and left to set– forms a fudgy layer on top that’s simultaneously firm and gooey, and incredibly addictive. In fact, I only make this for parties, because otherwise it’ll sit in my fridge for days, slowly dwindling as I cut off sliver after sliver… I will actually note that while the cake is a little delicate to eat out of hand when it’s warm or room-temperature, it firms up nicely when refrigerated, and I actually like it best frozen– the chewy texture of the frosting is to die for, and the airiness of the cake makes it easier to bite into than most frozen cakes, so feel free to serve it chilled!

As an added bonus, it can be made with pantry staples and without specialty equipment of any kind. You’ll need a saucepan, a bowl, a whisk, and an 18×13″ half-sheet pan– that’s it. Talk about easy!

Texas Sheet Cake

Serves a whole bunch of people…

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar (I used half white, half brown, because I ran out of white)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour cream
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted, chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 18×13″ half sheet pan with foil. Spray with baking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.
  • In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa powder, boiling water, and coffee and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
  • In a measuring cup or separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla.
  • Pour egg mixture over chocolate batter and whisk to combine.
  • Spread evenly over baking sheet and bake approximately 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • When you have a few minutes left in your baking time, start your frosting.
  • In the same saucepan as you used for your cake, heat butter, cocoa, salt, and milk until boiling.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth.
  • Pour hot frosting over hot cake and spread evenly with a spatula. Top generously with pecans.
  • Let the frosting set for at least an hour before serving.

2 thoughts on “Texas Sheet Cake

  1. Pingback: Texas Sheet Cake — It’s All Frosting… | homethoughtsfromabroad626

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