This Texas sheet cake is a family favorite and perfect for chocolate lovers. The homemade fudge frosting is what takes this delicious cake recipe over the top!
If you love all things chocolate like me, you’re going to love this cake. It’s perfectly soft and moist, with an amazing fudgy frosting smothered on top. Talk about what dreams are made of! It’s a top contender for one of my favorite chocolate desserts, along with my homemade brownies and chocolate cupcakes.
This Texas sheet cake is a true classic and one I remember my mom making growing up. If you’ve never had this dessert before, you need to make it ASAP. It makes a lot, so make it when you have guests over or for your next potluck or party. If not, you’ll be regretting eating the whole pan. ;)
This recipe is very similar to your classic recipe, however I like to add sour cream. I find it makes the cake a little softer and less dense. The frosting may be the BEST part about this cake. It thickens as it cools and turns into a creamy fudge layer on top. It seriously is so good! I may or may not save a little frosting in the pan just for me. ;)
What size pan do you use for sheet cake?
Texas sheet cake is famously baked in a half sheet pan, which is great for feeding a big crowd. Because the pan is so large and more shallow, the cake is a bit thinner which gives it the perfect cake to frosting ratio. I prefer to use a 18×13″ half sheet pan, which typically feeds about 30-40 people.
How to make Texas sheet cake
I do have to warn you that this isn’t your typical ‘mix everything in a bowl’ type of cake. There is a little more work involved on the stove, but I promise you, it will be worth it!
BATTER. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Then add the butter, water and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a light boil, then remove from heat and pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and mix until combined. Then stir in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla (I always add a little more vanilla for good measure).
BAKE. Pour the batter in a greased 18×13″ half sheet pan and then bake at 350°F for about 18 to 20 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). While the cake is baking, start on the frosting (instructions below).
Frosting and decorations
The frosting is my favorite part about the Texas sheet cake! It’s rich and has the best fudgy consistency. Believe me, you don’t want to skip it! I usually start making the frosting after the cake has been baking in the oven for about 10 minutes. That way it’s ready to be poured on top of the cake right when it comes out of the oven so that the frosting soaks in and keeps the cake moist.
- Cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- Sifted powdered sugar
Instructions: Start by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Then add in the cocoa powder and stir. Once the mixture has melted and comes to a light simmer, remove from heat and slowly stir in milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Then slowly stir in powdered sugar. Spread the icing over the cake immediately after you remove it from the oven. It thickens really quickly, so you need to work fast!
Decorations: Sometimes I’ll top my cake with chopped nuts (usually to only one side, since I’m the only one that likes them) and then sprinkles for the kids on the other half. We also love to serve it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Yum!
More chocolate recipes you’ll love:
Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line a half sheet pan (18x13 inches) with foil and set aside.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the butter, water and cocoa in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a light boil and then remove from heat and add to flour mixture. Stir until combined.
- Stir in the sour cream, vanilla and eggs. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean.
- While the cake is cooking, start the icing (I usually start after about 10 minutes in). Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in cocoa powder. Once the mixture has melted and comes to a light simmer, remove from heat and slowly stir in milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Then slowly stir in powdered sugar.
- Evenly pour the icing over the cake immediately when it comes out of the oven. Immediately spread out evenly with a rubber spatula.
- Allow to cool and then cut into squares.
Grab a glass of cold milk and enjoy!