Chocolate lovers get excited, because I am sharing my secrets for the absolute best Texas sheet cake! With just 15 minutes of prep, you’ll have a perfectly moist chocolate cake with irresistible chocolate frosting that is perfect for large gatherings.

a slice of texas sheet cake on a white plate with a fork, and a few bites missing from the cake and more cake slices on plates around it

This is the Best Recipe for Texas Sheet Cake

Ready for the secret to the best chocolate cake? In this recipe, we use vegetable oil instead of butter to make this Texas sheet cake extra moist! Then, top the chocolate cake recipe with rich chocolate frosting and bam, sounds simple enough but it’s literally the perfect cake. When your sweet tooth is craving chocolate, this cake delivers.

This Texas sheet cake recipe is the perfect dessert for family gatherings, birthday parties, and family reunions. 

a slice of texas sheet cake on a white plate with a fork and a tan kitchen towel beside it

What is Texas Sheet Cake?

Classic Texas sheet cake is known for its large size, moist and tender texture, and rich chocolate flavor. It’s a popular dessert in the southern United States and is often served at gatherings, potlucks, and other social events.

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ingredients for texas sheet cake including water, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, butter, salt, baking soda, sour cream, granulated sugar, and milk

Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe Ingredients

Texas sheet cake is made with simple ingredients, many of which you may already have on hand. Get the full recipe with measurements and instructions in the recipe card below.

Cake

  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Sour cream
  • Large eggs
  • Vanilla extract

What You’ll Need for Texas Sheet Cake Frosting

  • Milk
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

What size pan will I need to make a Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake?

For this recipe, you will need a 18 x 13 half sheet cake pan. Don’t use a jelly roll pan (10×15 inches). There is too much batter to fit that size! This cake is meant to be the size of Texas!

square slices of texas sheet cake on a large sheet pan with some squares missing, a spatula under one slice, a few forks and a plate with a slice of cake beside it

How to Make Texas Sheet Cake

This is the easiest chocolate cake to make! Perfect for church potlucks, parties or just because you need some chocolate! Get the full recipe in the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a half sheet pan (18×13) liberally with butter or vegetable shortening. This cake does tend to stick more, so shortening is best. 
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the water, vegetable oil and cocoa powder until boiling. Stir to dissolve the cocoa powder. When it begins to boil, remove from the heat and allow it to cool while you prep the dry ingredients. 
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt. 
  1. Gently pour the hot mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.
  2. Add in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract, mix again until combined.
  1. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 15-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Make the frosting 5 minutes before the cake is done.

Making Texas Sheet Cake Frosting

Adding warm frosting to the top of this rich chocolate cake just takes it to the next level. Get the full recipe with ingredients and measurements in the recipe card below.

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat the milk, cocoa powder, and butter until it just begins to boil.
  1. Remove it from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Use a whisk to break up the powdered sugar clumps.
  1. Pour the frosting over the warm cake. Allow the frosting to set completely for slicing and serving. 

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake Variations

  • Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake: Swirl some peanut butter into the warm chocolate frosting to complete the chocolate flavor.
  • Spicy Chocolate Cake: Add some spice by including ingredients like cinnamon, cayenne pepper, or chili powder to the cake batter and frosting.
  • Toppings: Sprinkle your favorite toppings on the top of the cake. Some ideas are chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, sprinkles, your favorite nuts (chopped), mini marshmallows, fresh berries, toasted coconut shavings, caramel drizzle, and powdered sugar.
a slice of texas sheet cake being lifted with a spatula out of a sheet pan full of cake slices

Tips for Making this Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

  • Use a 18 x 13 half sheet pan: Don’t use a jelly roll pan (10×15 inches). There is too much batter to fit that size! 
  • Use vegetable oil for extra moisture: I used vegetable oil instead of butter in my cake batter to make the cake extra moist!!
a sheet pan of texas sheet cake cut into squares with a knife resting on it, a spatula, milk, bowl of cocoa powder, fork, and tan kitchen towel around it

Tips for Cutting and Serving Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

Cutting and serving a chocolate Texas sheet cake can be a bit different from serving a regular round cake due to its size and the fact that it’s baked in a large sheet pan. Here are some tips to help you cut and serve it effectively:

  1. Use a Sharp Knife: A sharp knife will help you cut through the cake and frosting smoothly without causing too much mess or crumbling.
  2. Cutting Technique: Cut slices into squares or rectangles for uniform sized pieces.
  3. Clean the Knife: After each cut, wipe the knife clean with a damp cloth or paper towel. This will prevent the cake and frosting from sticking to the knife, resulting in cleaner cuts.
  4. Serve with a Spatula: Once you’ve cut a piece, slide a spatula or cake lifter underneath to lift it out cleanly and transfer it to a serving plate.
  5. Garnish Before Serving: If you’re using any garnishes such as chopped nuts, sprinkle them over the pieces just before serving. This ensures they stay crunchy and fresh.
close up of square slices of cake on a sheet pan with some empty squares where slices are missing

How to Store this Recipe for Texas Sheet Cake

Texas sheet cake can be stored covered or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Should Texas Sheet Cake be refrigerated?

This cake doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but it will last longer when stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

More Cake Recipes

a slice of texas sheet cake being lifted out of a sheet pan full of slices of cake

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

4.75 from 8 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 16
Chocolate lovers get excited, because I am sharing my secrets for the absolute best Texas sheet cake! With just 15 minutes of prep, you'll have a perfectly moist chocolate cake with irresistible chocolate frosting that is perfect for large gatherings.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, 63 grams
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, 240 grams
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

  • cup milk
  • 5 tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, 341 grams
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a half sheet pan (18×13) liberally with butter or vegetable shortening. This cake does tend to stick more, so shortening is best.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the water, vegetable oil and cocoa powder until boiling. Stir to dissolve the cocoa powder. When it begins to boil, remove from the heat and allow it to cool while you prep the dry ingredients.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • Gently pour the hot mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.
  • Add in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract, mix again until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 15-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Make the frosting 5 minutes before the cake is done.

Frosting

  • In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat the milk, cocoa powder, and butter until it just begins to boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Use a whisk to break up the powdered sugar clumps.
  • Pour the frosting over the warm cake. Allow the frosting to set completely for slicing and serving.

Notes

Don’t use a jelly roll pan (10×15 inches). There is too much batter to fit that size!
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Beth
Calories: 453kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 303mg, Potassium: 131mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 48g, Vitamin A: 264IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 2mg
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