The Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake
Chocolate Sheet Cake
A chocolate sheet cake is one of the simplest and most satisfying cakes you can make.
It’s soft, moist, dark, and decadent. Yet it’s also quick to prepare and pop in the oven… Then even easier to cut and serve!
A good sheet cake recipe is meant to be a no-fuss dessert.
It should be left in the pan so it’s easy to transport to parties.
It should be large enough to serve to a crowd.
And most of all, it should be ultra-tender, with a creamy frosting (or glaze) shmeared over the top.
Classic Texas Sheet Cake
One of the most iconic sheet cake recipes in the United States is, of course, the Texas Sheet Cake.
The original Texas Sheet Cake is thought to have come into being when Texan settlers attempted to make a quick simplified version of German Chocolate Cake.
German Chocolate Cake, incidentally, was invented by someone in the US named Samuel German. It did not originate in Germany. However, it was a very popular cake in the United States in the 1800s.
With a little Texas ingenuity, these settlers used the ingredients and cookware available to them to make a thin chocolate buttermilk cake with a devilish chocolate pecan glaze.
Hence, the Original Texas Sheet Cake was born!
What Is Texas Sheet Cake?
Nowadays, there are many forms of Texas Sheet Cake, from white Texas sheet cake, to fruit-flavored sheet cake recipes.
Yet as mentioned above, the first and most popular version, is a nod to the German Chocolate Cake flavors of chocolate, pecan, and buttermilk.
A classic Texas Sheet Cake consists of a large thin chocolate cake, covered in a thin layer of fudgy chocolate pecan glaze. The glaze sets and becomes somewhat crusty on top. Yet just under the dry top layer, is a soft gooey fudge filling.
It should look like a pan of brownies, yet with a delicate cake texture. Let’s be clear… A Texas Sheet Cake is not a pan of brownies.
It is its own unique thing.
Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
So what makes our Texas Sheet Cake Recipe the best?
This chocolate sheet cake recipe checks off all the boxes, to make it a quintessential Texas Sheet Cake. However, it’s above and beyond the standard version.
In order to make this the best chocolate sheet cake we’ve ever made or tasted, we focused on these key elements…
- Coffee – Adding a cup of coffee, or instant coffee granules, to cake batter gives every chocolate cake a better robust chocolate flavor. In essence, the coffee makes the chocolate shine!
- Dark Chocolate – You can use regular cocoa powder in the recipe. Yet to get the best possible flavor, buy extra dark chocolate cocoa powder.
- Toasted Pecans – Toasting pecans brings their nutty taste to the forefront, so they taste even nuttier than ever.
- Texture – The recipe proportions have been tested (and tested) to ensure a perfect delicate moist cake texture.
Texas Sheet Cake Recipe Ingredients
- All-purpose flour – Stirred, scooped and leveled. P.S. We’ve actually made this cake with Gluten-Free Baking Flour as well, and it turns out fabulous!
- Sugar – For sweetness, of course!
- Baking soda – For its lifting properties.
- Salt – Just a little, to enhance the flavors.
- Coffee – To intensify the chocolate taste.
- Butter – For richness in the cake, and as the base of the glaze.
- Dark cocoa powder – Dutch Process is a good option.
- Buttermilk – Buy the “wholemilk” or full-fat buttermilk. Learn how to make buttermilk here!
- Eggs – For binding and lift.
- Vanilla extract – To add depth.
- Chopped pecans – Fresh or frozen.
- Powdered sugar – To sweeten and thicken the glaze!
How To Make Texas Sheet Cake
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
- Simmer the Cocoa and Coffee: Set a small saucepot on the stovetop. Add the coffee, butter, and cocoa powder. Whisk well and simmer for about a minute.
- Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients: Pour the cocoa mixture into the flour mixture. Whisk well. Then mix in the buttermilk, eggs, and
- Bake: Pour the batter into a large sheet pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the center is puffed and set.
- Toast the Pecans: While the cake is baking, toast the pecans, tossing them every few minutes, until they smell toasty.
- Simmer the Glaze: Add the butter, buttermilk, and cocoa powder. Whisk well and melt. Add the vanilla, and whisk in the powdered sugar, a little at a time.
- Pour and Spread: Once the cake comes out of the oven, pour the hot icing over the cake, and quickly smooth it over the surface of the cake.
Get The Full (Printable) Texas Sheet Cake Recipe Below
Best Chocolate Cake Recipe FAQ
Yes! Simply substitute gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour mix for the all-purpose wheat flour.
Yes, you can! Substitute almond or cashew milk mixed with 1-2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, for the buttermilk. Then use vegan butter instead of regular butter.
Absolutely! Just omit the nuts. The glaze will still taste wonderful.
Yes, amazingly well! Be sure to thaw it at room temperature before cutting and serving.
It will last up to four days sitting out at room temperature. Covered, of course. Or it will last up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
More Easy Chocolate Cake Recipes
- Quintessential Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Banana Coconut Cake
- Mini Chocolate Blackout Cakes
- Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Cake
- Brownie Cake with Mint Chip Frosting
More Sheet Cake Recipes
- Chocolate Mint Texas Sheet Cake
- Samoas Texas Sheet Cake
- Spiced Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Apple Sheet Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
- For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 X 18 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
- Set a small saucepot over medium heat. Add the coffee, butter, and cocoa powder. Whisk well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, whisk and boil for 30-60 seconds. Then remove from heat.
- Pour the cocoa mixture into the flour mixture. Whisk well. Then whisk in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, until very smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the center is puffed and set.
- For the Icing: While the cake is baking, place the chopped pecans in a medium saucepot. Set over medium heat. Toast the pecans, tossing every few minutes, until you can smell the pecans toasting.
- Then add the butter, buttermilk, and cocoa powder. Whisk well and melt. Once the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla, and whisk in the powdered sugar, a little at a time. Make sure the only clumps left are the pecans. Keep warm.
- Once the cake comes out of the oven, pour the hot icing over the cake, and quickly smooth it over the entire surface of the cake. (It’s ok if the cake is very warm.)
- Let the cake cool and the icing set, 30+ minutes. Then cut and serve. (35 small pieces or 24 large pieces)
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