Rich, moist, and extremely decadent, Texas Sheet Cake is a true southern classic that everyone loves. It’s the perfect chocolatey dessert to bring to a party!
I love a good potluck recipe. You know, a classic dish that serves about a million people and everyone always goes back for seconds? Whenever I’m attending or hosting a potluck I go for one of my two most popular recipes: a sweet ambrosia salad or this delectable Texas Sheet Cake. This cake is so chocolatey and delicious you’ll be licking the sheet pan when it’s gone!
TEXAS SHEET CAKE
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As much as I love living out in the Pacific Northwest, I do have a deep love for all things Texas. Growing up we moved a lot (I mean a lot). My dad got transferred a lot for work so by the time I graduated high school, I had lived in 8 different states.
I LOVED being able to form friendships and connections all across the country and I truly believe that a little piece of my personality comes from each unique place I lived. But one of my biggest personality traits is my love for the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t have a single athletic bone in my body, but I am a HUGE Cowboys fan.
Another little piece of Texas that has stuck with me is a dessert classic: an original Texas sheet cake! I am not at all mad about this bit of Texas heritage that has stuck with me through life, and neither is anyone I make it for! Seriously, if you’re a chocolate fan this is one of the BEST desserts you’ll ever have.
What does sheet cake mean?
Ok, so normally when you picture a cake, you probably think of a round, tall, tiered dessert. Well, a sheet cake is none of those things aside from being a dessert.
Instead, a sheet cake is thin, wide, and only a single layer. It is baked in a shallow, rimmed pan. Sheet cakes are great for serving big crowds (especially a Texas chocolate sheet cake!) because you can get tons of servings out of them!
What is Texas Sheet Cake?
Now that we’ve been over what a sheet cake is, it’s time to talk about a TEXAS sheet cake. If I could just say that Texas sheet cake is dessert perfection and leave it at that, I would. But, I guess I should explain it more…
So a Texas sheet cake is a super-rich, decadent sheet cake covered in homemade frosting. It’s a chocolatey delicious cake and topped with chopped walnuts. I promise that this is the best texas sheet cake recipe out there, here’s what you’ll need to make it:
Buttermilk – a true Texas sheet cake is a Texas sheet cake with buttermilk. This adds a deliciously soft texture and slight tanginess to the cake.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder- this is where your Texas sheet cake gets its decadent chocolatey flavor. You’ll need cocoa powder for both the cake batter as well as the frosting.
Walnuts – for the Texas sheet cake frosting you’ll need nuts. Some recipes call for pecans, but for this Texas sheet cake recipe, we use chopped walnuts. I personally love the texture of walnuts and that they don’t add in more sweetness to this already sweet dessert, like chopped pecans do.
How to make Texas Sheet Cake
Before you start your prep, check to see if you have buttermilk. If you don’t have any on hand, go ahead and whip up some sour milk instead.
To make sour milk, simply mix one teaspoon of vinegar into one cup of milk. Let it sit for a few minutes and it will start to curdle. This is a great substitution for buttermilk in a pinch!
For the cake:
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a rimmed half sheet baking pan by spraying with cooking spray with flour in it.
- While your oven is heating up, get working on your cake batter! Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside the flour mixture while you work on the wet ingredients.
- Combine the water, cocoa powder, and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring this mixture to a boil, whisking often (nobody wants to clean burned cocoa powder off a pan!). Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl with dry ingredients. Mix together until just combined.
- Next, add the buttermilk (or sour milk) and eggs and mix to combine. The batter will be thin – that’s what makes it an original Texas sheet cake!
- Pour the batter into your sheet pan and spread it evenly.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake bounces back when lightly touched. I suggest checking on your cake starting at 15 minutes… nobody wants an over-baked Texas sheet cake! Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan.
For the frosting:
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter, cocoa powder, and buttermilk until the mixture is bubbly. (Do not bring it to a boil, just starting to bubble is good.) Mix in the sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in the chopped nuts and blend until incorporated.
- Now spread the frosting evenly over the cake and let the frosting set.
- Slice up your new favorite dessert and see why this really is the best texas sheet cake recipe!
Have a craving for more chocolatey treats? Try these other Real Housemoms favorites!
- Chocolate Cake Mix Bars
- Iced Lunch Lady Brownies
- Triple Chocolate Gooey Cake
- Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies
- Nutty Triple Chocolate Cookies
- more DESSERT recipes…
Tools used to make this Texas Sheet Cake recipe
Sheet Pan: Any great Texas sheet cake needs a good sheet pan! This one will give you the perfect cake to frosting ratio!
Saucepan: I love this stainless steel saucepan, I use it for everything!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (see note)
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the inside of a rimmed half sheet baking pan with non-stick cooking spray that has flour in it. Set aside.
- Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Combine water, cocoa powder, and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking often. Remove from heat, pour into the bowl with dry ingredients. Mix together until just combined.
- Add buttermilk and eggs and mix to combine. The batter will be thin.
- Pour batter into prepared baking sheet. Make sure it's distributed evenly.
- Bake for 15-to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake bounces back when lightly touched.
- Remove from oven and place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium saucepan, heat over medium heat buttermilk, butter and cocoa until bubbly. Mix in sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in nuts and blend until incorporated.
- Spread frosting over the entire cake, spreading into an even layer. Let frosting set before cutting the cake into 15 slices. Store any leftovers in an air-tight container or cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap.