Easy Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

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Texas Sheet Cake, a cross between your grandma’s chocolate cake and a decadent brownie, will leave no sweet tooth unsatisfied.

Like all things chocolate, Chocolate TrufflesGerman Chocolate Pie, or even Fruit Kabobs with Chocolate Drizzle, this decadent dessert is sure to be a hit! But made in a Texas sheet cake pan you won’t have to worry about running out!

Texas Sheet Cake with icing on a blue plate

Texas Sheet Cake


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What is Texas Sheet Cake?

No one really knows how the Texas Sheet Cake got its name. Honestly, they’re not even sure it originated in the Lone Star State, but there’s little arguing that it’s a monster-sized sweet treat, and everything is bigger in Texas.

Some ingredients are common and help you identify a classic Texas Sheet Cake when you see one: plenty of butter (or margarine, depending on whose hand-me-down recipe you’re using), buttermilk (though a sour cream substitute is a recent adaptation), and the large baking apparatus that produces a cake merely one-inch high.

The cocoa factor is “light” compared to your average bake-sale favorite but equally as rich thanks to a cooked, fudgy icing. The “cake” is baked in a jelly roll pan so the time between baking and indulging is significantly less than your average three-layer confection.

No need to get things to room temperature, dirty a bunch of bowls, or waste an hour waiting on something to bake just so you can wait some more before frosting. In short, Texas Sheet Cake is everything you ever wanted in a decadent, chocolate dessert.

Texas Sheet Cake in a Jelly Roll Pan with icing


COCOA For this recipe we use natural unsweetened cocoa powder but depending on the rich chocolate flavor you are wanting you can use dark cocoa powder, a dutch-processed cocoa powder, or whatever you have on hand!

Bump up the flavor in both the cake and the sweet, fudge-like icing by adding a little instant coffee. The common bitter, slightly fruity qualities of coffee and chocolate work really well together, and this trick means I can add more chocolatey goodness without changing the texture by adding more cocoa powder.

COFFEE You can easily substitute espresso powder instead of instant coffee, but keep in mind you should use a little more than the recipe calls for. Espresso powder is made from grounds that have already been brewed, so they lack some of the oomph the unprocessed coffee grounds have.

ICING The icing gets poured onto the cake while they’re both still warm, so they really fuse together in a tasty way. The icing that rests on top, though, has the lovely texture and creamy quality of a gooey, soft fudge.

Leave a spoonful in the pan just for you (after the cake’s sufficiently iced, of course) to get your palate ready for the deliciously chocolatey assault that’s coming.

MIX-INS Add a cup of toasted, chopped pecans to the icing before pouring it over the cake for a little Texas-approved crunch!

How to Make Texas Sheet Cake

This cake is large in size and in flavor, but short on time! Ready in under an hour, it’s a delicious dessert for any occasion.

  1. Melt butter with coffee and cocoa powder (per recipe below).
  2. Mix in dry ingredients, then fold in the wet ingredients.
  3. Pour in a Texas Sheet Cake Pan and bake until cooked through.
  4. Prep the icing and pour over the warm cake.

Let cool completely before slicing and serving!

Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate with a fork

How Many Servings Are in a Full-Sheet Cake?

An actual full sheet cake is typically 18” x 24” x 2” and will serve approximately 70 – 80 people. A full Texas sheet cake pan (which is roughly the length and width of a baker’s half sheet cake) will only serve about 16– 2o people since it’s only half the height of its namesake cake.

Let’s be honest, though, the number of servings totally depends on how big you like your pieces of Texas sheet cake and just how many people you’re forced to share it with. It’s so quick to put together that it will become your go-to treat when you do have to share it, though.

I hope you love this decadent recipe as much as I do!

Favorite Cake Recipes

Pineapple Sheet Cake – moist, sweet & creamy

Banana Pudding Poke Cake – perfect make-ahead dessert

Caramel Apple Sheet Cake – deliciously spiced!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake – made from scratch

Lemon Orange Cake – old fashioned bundt cake with a pop of flavor!

Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate with a fork on the side
4.5 from 2 votes
Servings: 20 servings
Texas Sheet Cake
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
Author: Kathleen
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Texas Sheet Cake
Texas Sheet Cake, a cross between your grandma’s chocolate cake and a decadent brownie, will leave no sweet tooth unsatisfied.
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan, then add coffee and 5 tablespoons of cocoa. Once the mixture comes to a boil, move it off the heat and gently stir in dry ingredients.
  3. Fold in sour cream, then add eggs and vanilla, stirring until combined.
  4. Pour batter into a lightly greased 10”x 15” pan and bake 18-22 minutes. When the cake is done, a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
  5. Place cake on a cooling rack and prepare glaze.
  1. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large saucepan. Stir in milk and cocoa. Bring mixture to a boil, then remove from the stovetop.
  2. Using a hand-mixer or whisk, add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla, then pour over the warm cake.
  3. Let the cake cool completely, then enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Amount per serving (1piece) — Calories: 333, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 248mg, Potassium: 66mg, Carbohydrates: 47g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 37g, Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 489%, Vitamin C: 1%, Calcium: 20%, Iron: 1%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

REPIN this Decadent Sheet Cake

A slice of Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate with a title

A slice of Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate and a fork on the side with writing
A slice of Texas Sheet Cake on a blue plate and Texas Sheet Cake prepared in a sheet pan under the title.


Kathleen is a recipe developer, passionate home cook and the author of the blog Gonna Want Seconds. She has been married to her best friend for 32 years and has two great kids, two Bernese Mountain Dogs, a Quarter Horse and a little green parrot. She is obsessed with cookbooks, cowboy boots, red wine and vintage costume jewelry. Kathleen’s recipes are all tried and true, tested and tweaked and, most importantly, family and friend approved!

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