CakeWhiz

Texas Sheet Cake {From Scratch}

Easy Texas sheet cake recipe from scratch, homemade with simple ingredients. Soft chocolate cake is paired with warm poured chocolate icing or glaze that slightly hardens when set. Made in a jelly roll pan or half sheet pan.

This is a great treat to bring to your next pot luck! It truly is a crowd favorite for kids and adults alike. Don’t have much time before you need to head out the door? No problem. This recipe is quick and easy. From start to finish, it will be done in 30 minutes. If you love this chocolatey delight, you’ll want to check out my Moist Triple Chocolate Cake (From Scratch) and Chocolate Raspberry Cake (With Cake Mix)

How to make Texas sheet cake recipe from scratch?

  1. Whisk– Flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix– Butter, water, and cocoa powder in saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Add– Chocolate mixture to dry ingredients and mix.
  4. Combine- buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract into mixture.
  5. Pour– Batter in a prepared sheet pan.
  6. Bake– Until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Prepare– Frosting or glaze. 
  8. Simmer- Milk, butter, and cocoa powder in a nonstick pan.
  9. Take– The pan off the heat, mix in vanilla extract and powdered sugar.
  10. Remove– Cake from pan and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Spread– The hot icing on on top of the warm cake.
  12. Cool- Until icing is set, then cut into slices.

What makes Texas cake different? Why is it called that? How did it get its name?

Texas sheet cake is different than a regular cake, because it is baked in a sheet pan like brownies. It is called Texas cake, because that is where it first originated. Some also speculate that because this sheet cake is huge, it matches the Texan phrase that “everything is bigger in Texas.”

Grandma’s Texas sheet cake frosting

It is also called poured chocolate icing or warm glaze. It’s made by simmering milk, butter, and cocoa powder in a nonstick pan. Then you take the pan off the heat and whisk in vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Be sure to sift the powdered sugar so that your frosting is smooth and not lumpy. Make sure to put the icing on while it is still warm so that it dries slightly hard on cakes.

Variations for classic old fashioned Texas chocolate sheet cake with buttermilk

Buttermilk substitute- You can make homemade buttermilk by mixing 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 cup whole milk. Then let it sit for 5 minutes. You can also substitute with sour cream.

Replace water with brewed coffee– To add more flavor and switch things up a bit!

Try a different frostingChocolate Ganache Frosting would be a great alternative to frost the top of this cake. Some other great ones to try are Peanut Butter Frosting, German Chocolate Cake Frosting (Coconut Pecan Frosting), Cinnamon Roll Icing, Caramel Frosting (3 Ingredients), or this tasty Marshmallow Frosting Recipe.

Top with Fruit- You can skip the frosting altogether and add some fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.

Add nuts- With or without the frosting, chopped pecans, walnuts, or peanuts would make a great addition.

Melt or Drizzle- Use chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or white chocolate chips to spread on top of a the warm cake or melt and drizzle on top of a cool cake.

Top it off- With various options, such as Homemade Caramel Sauce, Dulce De Leche, Homemade Whipped Cream, or even Nutella Syrup.

Tips and techniques

Use full fat ingredients- For a better richer treat with a more fluffy texture, because the fat mixed with sugar creates more air in the cake.

Must use baking soda– Not baking powder, because it has has more power to make your cake rise and fluff up.

Must sift powdered sugar– For frosting in order to prevent unwanted lumps.

Don’t over-mix batter- Because otherwise your cake won’t be as fluffy and may collapse!

Ice a warm cake- Don’t let it cool down! Although this isn’t usually my suggestion, for this recipe you want the cake warm, because it allows some of the icing to be absorbed into the cake. This creates a wonderfully gooey texture.

What cake pan/ size to use?– Use an 18×13 half sheet pan.

Can I use sour cream?– Yes, you can replace the buttermilk with sour cream.

How long does it take icing to set?– Allow the frosting to set for 20-30 minutes. If you prefer firmer icing, allow the frosted cake to continue cooling for 1-2 hours or you can chill in the fridge for 45 minutes- 1 hour.

Storage

Refrigerator– Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Freezer- Put into a sealed container and freeze for up to 1 month. Before serving, thaw in the fridge overnight.

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Texas Sheet Cake (From Scratch)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Easy Texas sheet cake recipe from scratch, homemade with simple ingredients. Soft chocolate cake is paired with warm poured chocolate icing or glaze that hardens slightly. Made in a jelly roll pan or half sheet pan.
Yield: 15 Slices

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Butter, Unsalted, Room temperature
  • 1 cup Water
  • 6 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs, Large, Room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Texas Sheet Cake Frosting/ Glaze (Poured Chocolate Icing)

  • 6 tbsp Milk, Whole
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Unsalted
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3.5 cups Powdered sugar, Sifted to remove any lumps
  • 3/4 cup Pecans, Finely chopped, Optional

Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and keep aside.
  • Place a nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add butter, water, cocoa powder.
  • Mix and bring to a boil. There should be no lumps and mixture should be smooth.
  • Add this chocolate mixture in the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until partially combined.
  • Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter in a greased and floured half sheet pan (Dimensions: 18×13) and spread it evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • When the cake is halfway through baking, prepare the frosting/ glaze.
  • Place a nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add milk, butter, cocoa powder.
  • Mix and bring to a simmer. The mixture should be smooth.
  • Remove from heat and mix in vanilla extract, powdered sugar until glaze is smooth.
  • Stir in chopped pecans, if you like. I didn't add them.
  • Remove cake from pan and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • Then, pour the hot icing on on top of the warm cake and spread it evenly with a spatula.
  • Allow the frosting to set for 20-30 and then cut slices and enjoy. It will be slightly warm and ooey gooey. If you prefer your icing to set firmer, let the frosted cake continue cooling further at room temperature for 1-2 hours or you can chill in the fridge for 45 minutes- 1 hour.

Notes

  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 41mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 3IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 146
Author: Abeer Rizvi
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