Easy Texas Sheet Cake

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If you’re looking for a quick and delicious dessert that’s sure to please, look no further.

This classic recipe is a crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for any occasion, from potlucks to family dinners. And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to make, even if you’re not an experienced baker. It’s the perfect dessert after a BBQ featuring favorites such as Black and Bleu Burgers, Chicken Kabobs, and BBQ Shrimp. The perfect ending to a perfect meal!

A perfectly square piece of chocolate sheet cake topped with chopped pecans sitting on a white dessert plate.

We love so many things about this incredible cake.

First and foremost is how delicious it is. But, it’s also so simple to prepare!


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When it comes to making this epic dessert, it’s important to have all the necessary ingredients on hand.

Here are the ingredients we will need for the cake:

  • Sugar – Granulated
  • Water – Room temperature
  • Oil – Canola or vegetable
  • Buttermilk – Either whole or low-fat will work
  • Butter – Unsalted
  • Eggs – Lightly beaten
  • Vanilla extract – We love Madagascar vanilla
  • Flour – All-purpose
  • Cocoa powder – Unsweetened
  • Cinnamon – Ground
  • Baking soda – check the expiration date, make sure it’s fresh
  • Salt – Kosher

Here are the ingredients we will need for the icing:

  • Butter – Unsalted
  • Milk – Whole
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Also known as Powdered Sugar
  • Cocoa powder – Unsweetened
  • Vanilla extract – We love Madagascar vanilla
  • Salt – Kosher
  • Cinnamon – Ground
  • Chopped pecans – Optional, use as many or as little as you desire

EXPERT TIP: Traditionally, this cake is baked in what’s referred to as a half sheet pan. The dimensions are 13″x18.” You can also make it in a 10″x15″ pan, but the cake will be thicker because the pan is not as large. You can also make this in 9×13 dish, but you won’t get the traditional thickness for the cake.

A liquid chocolate cake batter poured from a glass bowl into a half sheet pan.

The Tools You Will Need

Before you get started, let’s make sure you have all the necessary equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A 13×18-inch half-sheet pan (or jelly roll pan). A 10×15-inch or standard baking pan will work in a pinch. 
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk or electric mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula
  • Toothpick

EXPERT TIP: It’s important to pour the icing over the cooled cake while it’s still warm. We let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes to cool before adding the icing. This gives you just enough time to prepare the icing as soon as the cake comes out of the oven. Then, for clean slicing, let the cake cool completely before cutting.

Warm chocolate frosting being transferred with a red spatula from a glass bowl onto the top of a chocolate Texas sheet cake in a sheet pan on a baking rack.

Tips and Tricks

Making a Texas Sheet Cake is easy, but there are a few tips and tricks that can help you get the perfect texture and flavor every time. Here are some tips that we’ve learned over the years:

  • Use good quality cocoa powder. The chocolate flavor is the star of this cake, so it’s important to use a cocoa powder that you love. We like to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder for a richer, more intense chocolate flavor.
  • Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing can lead to a tough, dense cake. Mix the batter just until everything is combined and there are no lumps.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. This helps everything mix together more easily and can lead to a more evenly baked cake.
  • Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before frosting. If the cake is too hot, the frosting can melt and slide off. Letting it cool ensures that the frosting will stick and stay put.
  • Warm the frosting before spreading it on the cake. This helps the frosting spread more easily and creates a smooth, glossy finish. You can warm the frosting in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Store the cake at room temperature. This cake is best enjoyed within a day or two of baking, but it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze the cake for longer storage. If you want to keep the cake for longer, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil to prevent freezer burn.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make an Easy Texas Sheet Cake that is perfectly moist, chocolatey, and delicious every time.

An overhead view of a sheet pan half filled with Texas sheet cake that has been cut into squares with a metal spatula holding one of the square near the edge of the pan.

Variations and Additions

When it comes to Texas Sheet Cake, the possibilities for variations and additions are endless. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Chocolate Cake Variations

While the classic cake is made with chocolate cake, you can switch things up by using different cake flavors. Try making a vanilla sheet cake, or a marble sheet cake by swirling chocolate and vanilla cake batter together. You can also add in different mix-ins like chocolate chips or chopped nuts.

Flour Options

Most Texas Sheet Cake recipes call for all-purpose flour, but you can experiment with different types of flour for a slightly different texture and flavor. Try using cake flour for a lighter, more tender crumb, or whole wheat flour for a nuttier, heartier cake.

Icing Options

While the classic Texas Sheet Cake is topped with a rich chocolate icing, you can switch things up by using different icing flavors. Try making a vanilla icing, or a cream cheese icing for a tangy twist. You can also experiment with different textures and consistencies, like a glaze or a whipped frosting.

Nutty Additions

Chopped walnuts are a classic addition to Texas Sheet Cake, but you can switch things up by using different nuts or adding in other mix-ins. Try using pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts, or adding in shredded coconut or dried fruit.

Cake Box Mixes

If you’re short on time or ingredients, you can use a cake box mix as the base. Simply follow the instructions on the box, and add in any mix-ins or variations that you like. It’s a quick and easy way to make a delicious sheet cake without any fuss.

A square slice of Texas sheet cake being raised from the pan with a metal spatula.

Other Classic Dessert Recipes to Try

This Texas Sheet Cake is without a doubt one of our all-time favorite desserts to prepare and is always such a huge hit. But these classics are true winners, too:

Lemon Meringue Pie
Chocolate Delight
Classic Cherry Pie
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Banana Pudding Trifle
Red, White, and Blue Trifle
Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler
Key Lime Pie
Chocolate Meringue Pie
German Chocolate Cake

These are absolutely knock-out recipes. And folk, just look at this cake. Aren’t you craving this right now?

A close-up view of a square piece of Texas sheet cake with a bite of it missing and a fork sitting nearby.

Ready to make a cake that folks will be raving about for days and weeks to come? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A close-up view of a square piece of Texas sheet cake with a bite of it missing and a fork sitting nearby.

Easy Texas Sheet Cake

This sheet cake is without a doubt one of the most crowd-pleasing desserts we've ever served. It's simple to prepare and feeds a crowd. Cut the squares to your own liking, but we typically cut them into 4 rows by 6 rows, which gives you 24 pieces of cake.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, American Southern
Keyword: chocolate cake recipe, dessert to feed a crowd, how to make Texas sheet cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 458kcal


  • 1 half sheet pan 13"x18" (can also use 10"x15" or regular baking sheet)
  • Cooking spray


For the Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt

Warm Chocolate Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • cup whole milk
  • 1 lb confectioners' sugar 4 cups
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 cup pecans chopped, optional


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, 1 cup water, oil, buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Set aside.
    2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, ½ cup canola oil, ½ cup buttermilk, ½ cup unsalted butter, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • Slowly stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture and continue stirring until smooth and fully combined (it's okay if there are a few bubbles or bumps).
  • Spray the sheet pan with cooking spray.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the pan and smooth it out with a spatula.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Make the warm chocolate frosting immediately.

Make the Warm Chocolate Frosting

  • In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter with the milk over medium-low heat.
    ½ cup unsalted butter, ⅓ cup whole milk
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the confectioners' sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until silky smooth.
    1 lb confectioners' sugar, ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp Kosher salt, ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Pour the warm frosting over the cooled cake and smooth with a spatula. Top with chopped pecans, if using.
    1 cup pecans


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. 
We recommend that all of the ingredients be at room temperature when making the batter, however, if you forget to set anything out, you'll still be okay. The cake has a slightly better texture when all ingredients are room temp. 
Be sure to let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the warm icing.  The cake can be made up to 24 hours in advance before icing. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and make sure it's room temperature before making the warm chocolate icing. 
Leftovers will keep covered for up to 5 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month. 


Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 72g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

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