Texas sheet cake

Moist chocolate cake, with hot chocolate frosting poured on warm – what’s not to love about Texas sheet cake? A casual cake served right out of its pan, it’s the perfect treat for transporting too. This is a recipe that has been around forever, but I’ve added substitutions here for when you don’t have sour cream on hand (I never do).

Cake ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or you can use another 1/2 cup butter)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plain yogurt or buttermilk (or combine 1/2 cup regular milk with 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice – let sit for a minute before mixing into batter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (add 1/4 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar, about 4 cups (sift if you want a perfectly smooth frosting)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet (a 10″x15″ jelly roll pan is ideal; a 13″x18″ half-sheet pan works but makes a thinner cake). Or if you don’t have a rimmed sheet, use a 9″x13″ baking pan for thicker cake and frosting layers.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a saucepan, combine butter, oil, water and cocoa. Heat over medium heat, whisking well to combine, until butter melts.
  4. Pour hot mixture into dry ingredients and mix. Add sour cream (or yogurt, or buttermilk), eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Use a fork to poke holes into the cake (for frosting to seep in).
  6. Prepare frosting while the cake bakes: Add butter, cocoa and milk to saucepan and heat on medium to melt butter. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla. Add powdered sugar in batches, using an electric mixer to mix frosting well. Pour hot frosting over warm cake, spreading evenly to cover. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, if using (or you can also add pecans to frosting).


  • Sifting the powdered sugar will help make a smoother frosting.
  • This cake is moist enough to make a day before┬áserving.
  • Some like a bit of cinnamon in their Texas sheet cake; add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the frosting if you like.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Linda 28 February 2014 at 9:12 pm

I love this recipe! I can smell the chocolate from here….lol



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