There are other chocolate Texas Sheet Cake recipes out there, but the one absolutely ESSENTIAL addition to this recipe is the cinnamon–don’t even think about leaving it out. Chocolate and cinnamon, you ask? Just do it. You won’t be sorry. In my home growing up, Texas Sheet Cake was the “Oh, crap, I have a baby shower/birthday party/church function to attend and I’m supposed to bring a dessert” default. It’s a good thing this cake is so dang good–it definitely compensates for the fact that someone’s special day was forgotten.
- Shortening – You’ll notice this recipe calls for both butter and shortening. Different fats produce different results in baked goods. This combo works best for this cake!
- Baker’s Chocolate – Look for this near the chocolate chips on your store’s baking aisle. Notice that this chocolate is the unsweetened variety.
- Milk/Buttermilk – While the fat content in milk can affect the consistency of the finished product, it’s not going to make enough of a difference to buy something special. Use whatever milk you have on hand.
How To Make Texas Sheet Cake
- First we’re going grease a 11 x 17 jelly roll pan (you can also use a 9×13 pan, but you may die of sugar shock–there’s something to be said for spreading the love in this recipe). Then we’re going to melt some butter, shortening, chocolate, and water together in a saucepan.
- In a separate small bowl, we’ll combine some flour and baking soda.
- Then in a large mixing bowl, we’ll blend together some sugar, buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla and then the chocolate mixture.
- Next we’ll add the flour mixture, mix very well and pour into our prepared pan.
- Then the cake goes into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes or until a pick comes out clean. Five minutes before cake is done, we’ll make our frosting.
- For the frosting, we will combine some milk, chocolate, and butter in a medium-large saucepan. That mixture will be heated until bubbles form around the edge. Then we’ll remove it from the heat, add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth. If desired, you can add 1 cup nuts directly to the icing (preferably chopped walnuts or pecans). While icing is still warm, pour over cake.
- This White Texas Sheetcake would be great served alongside its chocolate counterpart if you want to give guests options. It’s also excellent topped with red and blue berries for any Patriotic holiday!
- If you’re setting up a dessert table, consider adding some fruit skewers or these Stuffed Strawberries as a lighter option.
- Can I make this cake dairy free? I have not tested a dairy free version of this cake, so I can’t make any promises! Feel free to try it with your choice of dairy free milk. For the butter, choose a dairy free substitute that has a similar fat content to butter. If you try it out and and works well, let me know so we can update this post!
- How far ahead of time can I make this cake? This cake is delicious while still warm, but if you have a crowd to feed and need to prep ahead, you’re in luck! Make it up to 24 hours in advance. I recommend storing it in the sheet pan with a sheet pan lid that won’t touch the frosting. In a pinch, try spacing some toothpicks evenly around the the top of the cake to hold a layer of plastic wrap away from the frosting.
Did You Make This?
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Texas Sheet Cake
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
This easy Texas Sheet Cake is perfect for feeding a crowd! Chocolate and cinnamon come together under a layer of luscious chocolate frosting that will have everyone returning for seconds.
½ cup shortening
2 1-ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup butter
2 1-ounce squares baking chocolate
1 pound powdered sugar
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 11 x 17 jelly roll pan (you can also use a 9×13 pan, but you may die of sugar shock–there’s something to be said for spreading the love in this recipe).
Combine milk, chocolate, and butter in a large (or medium-large) saucepan. Heat until bubbles form around the edge. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. If desired, add 1 cup nuts (optional, preferably chopped walnuts or pecans). While icing is still warm, pour over cake.
Not most seasoned baker over here… I made this recipe but used milk chocolate baking bar Ghirardelli The batter turned out very light in color. Is the milk chocolate the problem? I ended up adding cocoa powder and some sugar to try to help fix it but I have no clue what’s going to happen. Can I get some insight? Shoot!!
Yeah, the milk chocolate is the problem—it has added fat and sugar. You’ll definitely want to use the unsweetened chocolate next time. How did it turn out?
I can’t wait to bake this! What does the measurement 1lb powdered sugar for the frosting mean?
I doubled the recipe and made two sheet pans, one to take to a pot luck and the other for my family. I cut the one I kept and put it in the freezer for my kids’ lunches. Used cocoa power and it tured out great! (3 Tbsp cocoa plus 1 Tbsp butter = 1 oz unsweetened chocolate).
This cake is so easy, turns out great every time, and is incredibly good! As with any chocolate cake I make (from mix or scratch), I substitute coffee for the water. You don’t taste the coffee in the cake, but it enhances the chocolate flavor. I keep a small bottle of instant coffee grounds in my pantry for times that I don’t have brewed coffee in the coffee pot.
Just need clarification about the chocolate baking squares…should they be unsweetened or semi-sweet baking chocolate? Thank you for your assistance.
Is there a print button here that I am totally missing? LOVE this and want to keep it in a recipe box!
Just wondering, is there a difference in flavor or texture with unsweetened vs. cocoa powder? Can they be interchanged?
They *can* be interchanged, but you have to rehydrate the powder with oil and water and I can’t remember exactly what the proportions are–check the packaging or google it. 🙂
Just in case anyone else has a “I-need-this-cake-and-I-need-this-now moment” and then discovers they also do not have chocolate baking squares:
1 oz unsweetened baking square = 3 tbls cocoa powder + 1 tbls fat (butter, shortening or oil)
Can you clarify your recipe please does it say 21 oz squares baking chocolate ?
2 1 oz squares or baking chocolate ?!!! Ie 2 oz!
Many thanks x
21 Oz of bakers chocolate would be a TON of chocolate and be very bitter, I would say that it is 2x 1oz pieces.
two 1 ounce squares 🙂
I am a native Texan and grew up eating this cake! My grandmother Yancey would add chopped pecans to the frosting. I never could wait for the cake to cool before cutting into it had to have a piece while it was still hot! Yum! Thank you for posting and bring back memories!
Can I make this with regular shortening or do I need butter flavored? I’ve got everything ready but the shortening..
I shared this recipe on my blog! Made it for my mom’s birthday, it’s one of her favorites. She loved it. =) Thanks!
I’m from Texas (still live here, don’t plan on going no where else either) and my Mom makes a amazing sheet cake that sounds alot like this one… except she doesn’t use crisco.
I can’t wait to get your book… I keep meaning too!
Our family has always made this for get-togethers or giving out with candies at Christmas time. We always liked crushed peanuts on top. Everybody loved it.
I love Texas Sheet Cake! I've been wanting to make it for ages, but didn't know where to find a recipe (except Google, and didn't want to make a bad one) So glad you linked back to it.
I'm looking to make a 2 layer square cake for my son's 2nd birthday. Would this be doable with the cake recipe? If not, do you have any layer chocolate cake recipes?
Love your blog!!
I just made this for a church potluck. YUM definitely a keeper! Thank you for the recipe!
Chocolate is a girl’s best friend! Love you Kate!
Mmmm this looks WONDERFUL. I don’t think I have ever met a Texas sheet cake that I didn’t like- or any cake that I didn’t like, really!
Good luck with the SB diet. The first time I tried it, I lost about 40 lbs the semester I was home, it was great! That happened because i followed it religiously. Now the best I can do is about 4 days on phase one before I eat a donut 🙁 If only I would just stick with the changes I made when I was on it!
(BTW, I reccomend it to anyone that has the desire to really change their eating habits! And that doesn’t mean that you will never be able to try this awesome cake, either 🙂
Erika- email us at [email protected] and we’ll chat south beach 😉
So how is the South Beach diet? Would you recommend it? Do I need to buy the book if I’m going to do it? I need some help!!
Texas sheet cake was my mom’s default dessert when I was growing up, too! I love it, and I’m diabetic, so I might just have to “make this for my family” and steal a bite or two.
I’m really good at phase *1* of southbeach, but that’s about as long as I can take of life without unrefined carbs, lol. Good luck!
The cake sounds great- I love Texas sheet cake!
yum, that looks really good. I can’t resist a good chocolate cake. I usually just make mine from a box so this will be fun to try.
Are you sure that’s not part of south beach? Looks super good!
We had a similar go to cake in my family! Our Texas cake was made with cocoa, but it was baked in a sheet pan, and the frosting was similar. It was always a crowd pleaser!
When you said “Texas” sheet cake, I was envisioning, I don’t know, a yellow cake in the shape of Texas with a weird kind of frosting on top. I didn’t realize it meant chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Life would only be better right now if I had one sitting in front of me with a fork in my hand!
My mother-in-law makes a mean texas sheet cake!! This recipe looks divine, so I will be trying it! Thanks!