The best (and easiest) Texas Sheet Cake is an amazing chocolate cake recipe made in a jelly roll pan and covered in warm chocolate frosting. It the easiest chocolate cake to make, and perfect for a party or potluck. 
When I have a sweet tooth, but i’m want something that’s also quick and easy, there are a few recipes that always come to mind.  Texas sheet cake is one of the dessert recipes that always comes to mind.  My other go-to easy dessert recipes include Chocolate Brownies, Scotcheroos, and Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Square slice of Texas sheet cake on a small white plate with a fork.
The BEST Texas Sheet Cake
This Texas Sheet Cake recipe comes from my amazing mother-in-law and trust me, there is no better recipe out there!  I’ve tried several sheet cakes and this one completely surpasses them all! Texas sheet cake is my husband’s favorite recipe and it’s beloved by everyone in my family.

Why is it called Texas Sheet Cake?

It’s not known why chocolate sheet cake is often referred to as “Texas sheet cake.”  I like to think it’s because it’s a cake the size of Texas. 🙂

This chocolate cake recipe is made in a sheet cake pan, which is where it gets the name, “sheet cake.”  A sheet cake is any cake that is made in a large rectangular pan known as a sheet pan or jelly roll pan.

A slice of chocolate sheet cake being lifted out of a sheet pan with a spatula.

What size pan to make sheet cake:

Texas sheet cake recipes usually bake in a baker’s half-sheet pan that’s 18×13” inch.  I prefer this type of pan because it results in a thinner cake with a thin layer of chocolate frosting, and it’s perfect for feeding a crowd.

You can bake Texas sheet cake in a 9×13” pan, but increase the baking time to about 30-35 minutes.

What’s the difference between Sheet Cake and Regular Cake?

The primary difference between sheet cake and regular cake is the size of the cake pan.  Sheet cake is made in a sheet cake pan which is a shallow, large pan.  Regular cake is usually made in a 9×13 baking dish or, for a double layer cake, it’s made in two 8-9” round pans.

How to make Texas Sheet Cake:
  • Add to saucepan: water, butter, and cocoa powder and bring mixture to a boil.
  • In a bowl: mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another bowl: mix together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla.  Add sour cream/egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • Combine the batter. Once the chocolate mixture in the saucepan in boiling, remove it from heat and pour it into the batter. Mix until combined and no lumps remain.
  • Pour into sheet pan. Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth with a spatula to make sure it is dispersed in an even layer.
  • Bake.  at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until set (mine is usually done around 15 minutes).

The process for making Texas sheet cake including mixing bowls with the wet and dry ingredients, poured together, and then the batter in a sheet pan.

How to make Sheet Cake Frosting:
  • In a saucepan: Add milk, cocoa and butter; bring mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in: powdered sugar. I like to beat the mixture with my hand-held mixer to get rid of any lumps.
  • Pour over cake. Pour the hot mixture right over the hot cake.  Use a spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Allow frosting to set for about 10 minutes before eating.

Warm chocolate frosting poured over a baked Texas sheet cake next to a photo of the frosting being spread with a spatula.

Do you need to refrigerate Texas Sheet Cake?

You don’t have to, but it will last better and longer if stored, covered,  in the refrigerator. If you live somewhere warm and humid, it’s especially best to store it in the fridge.

A slice of Texas sheet cake on a plate with a bite taken out of it.

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Recipe

Square slice of Texas sheet cake on a small white plate with a fork.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 18x13'' pan.
  • Add water butter cocoa powder to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix together the flour, sugar baking soda and salt. 
  • In another small bowl mix together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla. 
  • Add sour cream/egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined. 
  • Once the chocolate mixture in the saucepan in boiling, remove it from heat and pour it into the batter. Mix until combined and no lumps remain.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth with a spatula to make sure it is dispersed in an even layer.
  •  Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until set (mine is usually done around 15 minutes).
  • When the cake is about half-way through cooking, prepare the frosting.

For the Chocolate Sheet Cake Frosting

  • Add milk, cocoa and butter to a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. 
  • Once boiling, remove it from the heat and stir in powdered sugar. I like to beat the mixture with my hand-held mixer to get rid of any lumps. 
  • Pour hot icing over hot cake. Use a spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Allow frosting to set for about 10 minutes before eating.

Notes

You can store any extra cake covered, in an air-tight container for 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 475kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 3gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 343mgPotassium: 81mgFiber: 1gSugar: 56gVitamin A: 655IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1.2mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

*I originally shared this recipe September 2011. Updated May 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    True Texas Sheet Cake has chopped pecans in the frosting. I live in the state of Texas & in the county that produces the most pecans. We take cooking anything with pecans as a higher art form.

  2. I prefer buttermilk in my sheet cake not sure if the sour cream gives it the same zingy flavor? It is my favorite cake also! Hate to say this but my husband said do not share that cake with anyone! I want it all. lol 😂

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