Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

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This Texas chocolate sheet cake is a family favorite and is always a hit when served. Kids and adults both enjoy endulging. It is an endulgance since it is so rich. Serve it with vanilla ice cream to cut the sweetness! That is my favorite way! .

This is my mother’s Aunt Lillie’s Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe that I am fortunate to have and able to share with you.

I remember eating this growing up when Aunt Lillie would make it and bring it to family gatherings at my Aunt Emma’s house. I remember playing with my cousins in the yard and coming inside for piece of yummy chocolatey goodness. Fortunately she gave mom the recipe before she passed.

It contains a small amout of cinnamon, of which I am not a huge fan. In this case, however, it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. I think it is in the movie Chocolat, with Johnny Depp, that the store owner mixes cinnamon in her hot chocolate to enrich the flavor. It works!

How I obtained this secret Texas chocolate sheet cake recipe!

I remember helping mom make this growing up, but I didn’t get the recipe until recently. A couple of years ago mom had a milestone birthday (sorry, can’t tell you which one) and I wanted to make this for her. So, I convince her that I was craving it and she gave it to me. Of course, I make one for Steve and I first to make sure I got it right before I made it for her big party. (wink, wink) I couldn’t serve an untested recipe, right?

Family approved!

Being the oldest of my five siblings they test and approve of how my cake turnes out for the party. That is always the big test when one of us makes one of mom’s recipes. I usually put the nuts on top when making it for family and only put them on half of the cake. One of my brothers is allergic to pecans, so this way he can still enjoy the chocolatey goodness of this sheet cake.

There is debate over what pan to use while baking. Since it is a sheet cake, some think it should be in a thin, cookie sheet deep pan. The recipe says to bake it in a 9×13. I think it is purely your own preference. It is very rich, so thinner may be an advantage.

Even though I consider this a secret recipe my mom gives me permission to include it here.

Gather your ingredients

texas chocolate sheet cake

Here I use powdered buttermilk, I like to keep it on hand so I don’t have to remember to buy buttermilk. You may of course use fresh!

Once you gather your ingredients, mix the dry together in your mixing bowl. I absolutely love my stand mixer! Here is the one I use. Next, melt your butter in the hot water with the cocoa in a saucepan on the stove. (Mom uses her microwave these days but I like to melt on the stove.)

Once your butter is melted and mixed with the cocoa, remove from heat and continue mixing. Next, add the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and the chocolate. Let your mixer work and incorporate everything together into a smooth, thin batter.

Into the preheated oven it goes for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This sheet cake is iced while it is still warm, so let’s get going on the icing!

sheet cake icing ingredients

I have all my ingredients measured and ready to go!

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake
HEAPING tablespoon

Start by melting the butter over medium heat. Add the cocoa and milk to the melted butter and stir until smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture over your powdered sugar and stir until smooth, then add the vanilla.

Add the chopped pecans, or any type of nuts that you prefer (or leave the nuts out) and stir until mixed.

Pour icing over warm cake and let cool.

Enjoy this rich, delicious, Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake!

Chocolate Icing for Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake
Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

Old fashioned Texas Sheet Cake
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine home cooking
Servings 16


  • mixer
  • medium sauce pan
  • cake pan



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa (HEAPING)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)



  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • Grease and flour 9×13 cake pan
  • Combine water, butter, and cocoa in sauce pan and heat over medium heat until melted and mixed
  • Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl
  • Add buttermilk and eggs, mix on low speed until combined.
  • Pour in cocoa mixture and mix
  • Add vanilla and mix
  • Batter will be thin!
  • Pour into cake pan and bake 30-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center come out clean.
    toothpick clean


  • Combine butter, cocoa, and milk in saucepan, heat until melted and mixed
  • Pour over powdered sugar and stir until smooth
  • Add vanilla and pecans
  • Pour over WARM cake
    texas sheet cake
Keyword cake, chocolate, desserts
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