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The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

If you’re looking for a classic sheet cake with rich chocolate cake and luscious chocolate-pecan frosting, you’ve come to the right place. This will be a big hit at your next gathering, and you don’t have to live in Texas to enjoy it!

What is a Texas Sheet Cake?

Simply put, it’s an easy chocolate cake that’s baked in a large sheet pan that some would say is the size of Texas.

I used my Nordic Ware cookie sheet but you can use any brand you like, as long as it’s similar in size (13 x 18 inch pan)

This cake was made famous in the south, the place of my birth and upbringing. I’ve had this particular cake on my mind for days, ever since my daughter mentioned that the fudgy glaze on my Pink Peppermint Cake with Chocolate Glaze reminded her of the frosting on her favorite cake, the Texas Sheet Cake.

I quickly perused the cookbook my Mama left me before she passed and was sad to see that her recipe wasn’t in there. So I did a quick boot scoot’n boogie across the World Wide Web until I landed on the most obvious choice: Ree Drummond.

Ree is a good southern girl like me and I know others who swear by her recipe, so I decided to give it a try.

And y’all. . .I’m so glad I did! This came together so easily and it’s (literally) everything I hoped it would be. . .and more. Kudos to you, Ree, for such a lovely recipe!

I only changed one thing in the recipe. Okay, two. I’ll discuss those as we go along. You’ll find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, but for now, here’s what you’re going to need:

Ingredients for Texas Sheet Cake

You probably have everything you need in your pantry and refrigerator right now to make this luscious, decadent cake.

FOR THE CAKE

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake ingredients from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • granulated sugar
  • all purpose flour
  • cocoa powder
  • salted butter (if you only have unsalted, add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the recipe)
  • boiling water
  • buttermilk (I used whole milk plus a teaspoon of vinegar)
  • whole beaten eggs (room temperature eggs are best)
  • baking soda
  • vanilla extract

FOR THE FROSTING

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake (frosting ingredients) from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • powdered sugar
  • pecans
  • cocoa powder
  • whole milk
  • vanilla extract

How to Make this Luscious Texas Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting

This cake has multiple steps but each one is easy-breezy. You’ll need a saucepan and a couple of mixing bowls and you’ll want to pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prep a sheet pan (13 x 18″, also known as a jelly roll pan or baking sheet) with non-stick spray or baking spray. I used shortening and flour. That’s my go-to. (Honestly? Ree’s recipe doesn’t call for this step but I was concerned the cake might stick.)

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com (sheet pan)

How to Make the Cake

Combine your sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together your dry ingredients.

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

In a separate small bowl combine your beaten egg, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Place a medium saucepan on the stove. Add the two sticks of butter and cook over medium heat until melted.

Stir in the cocoa powder and remove from heat.

Pour how cocoa liquid over the flour mixture.

Now it’s time to add your milk and egg mixture to the batter. Stir until well incorporated. Make sure you get out any lumps but don’t over mix.

You could use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment for this process but I whisked my cake batter together by hand.

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Pour into prepared sheet pan, tap out the bubbles, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com (batter in pan)

How to Make the Texas Sheet Cake Frosting

This is so easy, y’all!

While the cake bakes, place the butter in a large saucepan. Melt butter, then add the cocoa. Stir in the milk, powdered sugar, pecans, and vanilla. That’s it!

Remove the sheet cake from the oven at the 20-minute mark and pour the hot frosting over the warm cake.

You’ll want to watch that none of the liquid-y frosting runs over the edges. (Is that chocolate mixture luscious. . .or what?)

I smoothed my warm frosting down as I went along. The hot cake underneath smelled awesome!

Cool completely then cut into squares and serve with a big smile on your face. Get ready for the accolades to begin! Folks are going to swoon!

What to Expect from this Texas Sheet Cake

This was my first time to make a Texas Sheet Cake but it definitely won’t be my last. Yum!

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

This is a rich, decadent cake covered in the loveliest frosting ever! (It was the frosting that won my daughter over, for sure!) It’s also a moist sheet cake, loaded with flavor.

My granddaughter ate some and said that it reminded her of a brownie (due to the frosting). But the cake itself is lighter than air. Nothing brownie-like about it.

We Texans love our pecans, so use a good brand. Ree’s recipe calls for finely chopped pecans but I left some of my pieces larger. And y’all. . .I confess. . .I added a full cup of pecans when her recipe only called for half a cup. That’s just how I roll.

What makes this cake so special is the thin layer of cake under the rich layer of frosting. It’s well proportioned. Sometimes, with layered cakes, you end up with way too much cake and not enough frosting.

This thinner cake is just perfect! There’s a thick, decadent bite of fudge with every single bite of cake.

Did I mention it tastes like fudge?

This frosting is so good you’ll be tempted to eat it with a spoon before pouring it over the cake. . .but don’t! You’ll want to pour it all on top and enjoy it in combination with the cake.

Looking for the perfect combination? Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. (Yum!) (Wouldn’t this be perfect at a family reunion or picnic?)

To store: cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for a bit longer. I personally love mine straight from the fridge! That chocolate topping is so yummy chilled!

You could store in an airtight container but it will have to be a big one to fit this big-as-Texas cake!

See this recipe at

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Variations on this Recipe

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

I’ve live in Texas over 60 years and have never heard of anyone “changing up” a Texas sheet cake. That would be the equivalent of bakery-blasphemy, I suppose. This is a classic recipe you’ll see repeated time and time again.

That said, I might like to mix it up next time! I might do one of the following:

  • Add toasted coconut and drizzled caramel on top of the cake after it cools down for a turtle-like flavor. (Yum!)
  • Use a boxed cake mix for a simplified version of this cake (but don’t you dare change the frosting!)
  • Pour the fudge frosting over an orange cake. Orange and fudge are meant to go together!
  • Skip the pecans and add mint chocolate chips to the frosting. (I love anything with mint chocolate.)
  • No milk or buttermilk? No worries! Just add sour cream.
  • For a richer cake use dark cocoa powder.
  • Make a white Texas Sheet Cake by baking a white cake and covering with this same frosting made with white chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder.
  • Turn this into a brownie recipe by eliminating the milk (resulting in a thicker batter) and adding an additional tablespoon of cocoa powder.

Other Chocolate Cakes from Out of the Box Baking

Crazy about chocolate? We’ve got you covered! Here are a few favorites:

That’s it for today’s recipe! I hope you enjoyed the recipe for this classic Texas sheet cake! It’s a rich chocolatey cake you won’t soon forget!

Let me leave you with a verse that’s been on my mind lately:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 

Galatians 6:9 NIV

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake

The Perfect Texas Sheet Cake

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

If you're looking for a classic sheet cake with rich chocolate cake and luscious chocolate-pecan frosting, you've come to the right place. This will be a big hit at your next gathering, and you don't have to live in Texas to enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 sticks salted butter (if you only have unsalted, add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the recipe)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I used whole milk plus a teaspoon of vinegar)
  • 2 whole beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • FOR THE FROSTING
  • 1 3/4 sticks butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Vanilla extract

Instructions

    How to Make the Cake
    Combine your sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together.
    In a separate small bowl combine your whipped egg, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
    Place a medium saucepan on the stove. Add the two sticks of butter and cook over medium heat until melted.
    Stir in the cocoa powder and remove from heat.
    Pour how cocoa liquid over the flour mixture.
    Now it's time to add your milk and egg mixture to the batter. Stir until well incorporated. Make sure you get out any lumps but don't over mix. You could use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment for this process but I whisked mine together by hand.
    Pour into prepared sheet pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

    How to Make the Fudgy Frosting
    This is so easy, y'all!
    Place the butter in a saucepan and melt it, then add the cocoa. Stir in the milk, powdered sugar, pecans, and vanilla. That's it!
    Remove the sheet cake from the oven at the 20-minute mark and pour the hot frosting over it.
    You'll want to watch that none of the liquid-y frosting runs over the edges. I smoothed mine down as I went along.
    Cool completely then cut into squares and serve with a big smile on your face. Get ready for the accolades to begin! Folks are going to swoon!

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Janetta

Friday 12th of August 2022

Since my maiden name is Fudge, I love anything Fudge. Texas Sheet Cake sounds wonderful.

Patti L Lee

Friday 5th of August 2022

Still my favorite and truly Texan!

booksbyjanice

Sunday 7th of August 2022

Yes Ma'am!

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