Texas Sheet Cake

Boos, I dare you to resist a slice of this Texas Sheet Cake recipe. It’s just too good to pass up! It starts with a fudgy, super moist and tender chocolate sheet cake that’s topped with a rich chocolate glaze and crunchy pecans. There’s a reason why the South can’t get enough of a Texas Sheet Cake. Try it for yourself and see what the fuss is about y’all.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

A slice of Texas sheet cake on a white plate with a bite on a silver fork ready to enjoy

Living in Dallas has got me getting into all the Texas foods. From a hearty bowl of Texas chili (no beans y’all) to a chicken fried steak or a rack of home-smoked ribs smothered in BBQ sauce, I’m getting down on it all and perfecting all my recipes!

Now my latest Texas-sized obsession is Texas Sheet Cake! I see why the South loves it so much. It is seriously up there as one of my fave chocolate cakes ever because the texture is something that’s hard to describe. The recipe comes from Courtney Whitmore, the founder and editor of Pizzazzerie and its so good y’all.

What is Texas Sheet Cake?

Texas sheet cake is a classic Southern American dessert that really thrives on its simplicity. It is basically a thin chocolate sheet cake that’s topped with a warm chocolate glaze that almost soaks into the cake. I know that seems basic but what makes the cake super bomb is the texture. It’s beyond tender, gooey, and moist. Each bite melts in your mouth.

A Texas chocolate sheet cake with pecans on top against a white background with a napkin

The Lowdown on the Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Cuisine Inspiration: Southern
Primary Cooking Method: Baking
Dietary Info: This cake ain’t for my dieting boos
Key Flavor: Gooey, Rich, Tender, Moist and Chocolatey
Skill Level: Easy y’all

  • Feeds a crowd: When you gotta feed a whole bunch of folks, this is the move. That large sheet pan makes a ton of slices so serve it at a cookout.
  • Simple Ingredients: You are gonna find most of the ingredients right in your pantry boos. Make it when the mood strikes!
  • Not Hard Y’all: My beginner bakers can get down with this.
  • Beyond Moist: Ain’t nothing dry or crumbly around here. This is one of the most moist cakes you will ever make.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make This Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake Recipe 

Ingredients in white bowls to make a chocolate texas sheet cake recipe
  • Butter: Melted butter creates that perfect fudgy, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth texture.
  • Water: This is gonna thin the batter out a bit upgrading the texture.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Make sure you use high-quality cocoa powder so you can get that intense chocolate flavor. Ghiridelli and Guittard are great brands.
  • Light Brown Sugar: It adds a slight molasses flavor while sweetening up that batter.
  • Vanilla Extract: This is my fave aromatic enhancer. Get some good quality.
  • All-Purpose Flour creates structure! Be sure to properly measure your flour. Too much and the cake will be dry.
  • Granulated Sugar this is gonna double down on that sweetness
  • Salt balances out sweetness. Kosher salt is my go-to here but sea salt will also work.
  • Baking Soda is a leavener that gives the cake a slight lift. Use fresh active baking soda, otherwise the cake won’t rise properly.
  • Sour Cream adds extra fat to the cake, which will make super moist. I love a sour cream based cake because that tangy flavor is undefeated.
  • Large Eggs helps add more structure to the cake by helping to bind the ingredients together. Make sure you bring those eggs to room temperature boos.
  • Homemade Chocolate Glaze is made with butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. You pour it on warm and it creates such a smooth and luscious topping.
  • Chopped Pecans for a bit of texture. It adds such a fun crunch too.

How to Make Texas Sheet Cake

Step 1: Make the cake batter

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 F. Prep a jelly roll or half-sheet pan (13×18 inch) with nonstick baking spray.
  2. In a large saucepan, add butter, water and cocoa powder and heat over medium high. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.
  3. Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla then add in the dry ingredients of flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir it to combine in the saucepan.
  4. Next mix in the sour cream and eggs and continue to stir until it’s all combined with no lumps.
A collage of chocolate sheet cake batter being made on a stove top

Step 2: Bake the Cake

  1. Pour that silky batter into the prepared pan. Grab a spatula and spread the batter to the ends and fill in the corners.
  2. Bake for 15-20 minutes max and let it cool.
a collage of a texas chocolate sheet cake batter before and after it is baked in a sheet pan

Step 3: Make the Chocolate Glaze

  1. Add butter, cocoa powder and milk to a saucepan and let it come to a boil.
  2. Remove from the heat and add in that good vanilla.
  3. Next whisk in the powdered sugar until the frosting becomes super smooth. While its super hot, spread the glaze over the cake quickly with a spatula before it sets. And pick up the speed because it sets up super fast.
A collage of making a chocolate glaze on the stove before adding to a chocolate sheet cake

Step 4: Garnish it up!

  1. Top with pecans, allow those to set up then cut up in squares and serve it up.
The best Texas sheet cake recipe topped with pecans on a white background before cutting into

How to Serve Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

Recipe Substitutions

  • Cocoa Powder: If you want deeper chocolate vibes, dutch-processed cocoa powder is the move.
  • Brown Sugar: You can sub in equal amounts of granulated sugar or a dark brown sugar. If you use the dark brown sugar, it will just give more of that rich molasses flavor.
  • Sour Cream: Buttermilk is a great sub and so is greek yogurt.
  • Powdered Sugar: If you run out, you can make your own powdered sugar by grinding granulated sugar up.
  • Pecans: Swap these out all together if you have any allergic boos who want to enjoy this. You can also swap out for almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts if you prefer those nuts.
A slice of the best Texas sheet cake recipe on a spatula before serving

Recipe Variations and Additions

  • Peanut Butter: Ain’t no combo like peanut butter and chocolate. Swirl about a 1/2 cup peanut butter into the batter before you bake it up for a punch of nutty flavor!
  • White Chocolate: There are some great white chocolate powders you can use to turn this Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake into a White Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake. So good boos!
  • Coffee: Replace the water with coffee for strong mocha flavor and intense chocolate notes.
  • Booze it Up: Spice it up for the grown ups. Add a tablespoon or two of liqueur like Amaretto, Kahlua or even Baileys Irish Cream to the batter for a grown folks remix.
  • Chocolate Chips: Fold in a cup of chocolate chips for more intensity and melty chocolate in each slice.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure those eggs and sour cream are room temp so they blend perfectly into that smooth batter.
  • Sift the Dry Ingredients: For extra insurance, sifting the flour and coca powder will help that batter become silky smooth boos!
  • Prep that Pan: No one wants cake to stick so make sure you spray well with non-stick baking spray or use parchment paper to line the pan.
  • Cool the Cake Down: Make sure the cake cools down to just being warm so the glaze won’t melt off. It should also stay warm enough to keep the glaze from setting up too fast so it soaks into the cake more. About 15-20 minutes of cooling is all good.
  • Spread the Glaze While Warm: This glaze sets up fast y’all so you gotta work fast. Spread as soon as you finish cooking it up so it sets up beautifully.
  • Perfect Slices: Use a sharp knife that’s been run under hot water and dried to make clean slices.
  • Toast the Pecans: Totally optional but it gives the flavor and texture a lil somethin somethin.

How to Store Leftover Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • Room Temp: If stored properly, this sheet cake will last 3 days at room temperature (or refrigerated). Use a cake keeper or cover with foil. 
  • Fridge: You can store this there for up to 5 days. Just place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to let that frosting firm up then wrap with plastic wrap and place back in the fridge.
  • Freezer: Wrap the cake in aluminum foil, place in a (labeled) freezer-safe bag and keep it in the freezer. Once frozen, the cake will keep for 2-3 months. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What pan should I use?

A half-sheet pan is perfect for this cake. It will make sure the cake stays thin and bakes up evenly.

Can I make this Texas Sheet Cake recipe ahead?

For sure boos! Bake up the day before and make the glaze just before you want to serve it up. It only takes a few minutes to throw together and tastes better fresh if you can swing it. Warm up slices if you want to serve a bit warm.

How can I tell when my Texas sheet cake is done baking?

The toothpick trick works every time y’all! Just insert it into the center of the cake and if it still has moist crumbs but not wet batter, it’s good to go boos.

My Texas sheet cake recipe glaze is too thick? What should I do?

You can simply add in a bit of milk until it loosens and thins a bit. Don’t try to spread if it’s too thick. It will be too difficult y’all. It should be pourable.

Best Southern Cake Recipes

A close up of chocolate sheet cake recipe on white plate with moist texture of cake inside with some eaten with nearby fork

Texas Sheet Cake

The BEST Texas Sheet Cake you will ever have! Fudgy chocolate cake meets a rich chocolate glaze and crunchy pecans in this Southern classic!
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 16 servings


For the Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs beaten

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup pecans coarsely chopped


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a jelly roll or half-sheet (13×18 inch) pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large saucepan, combine butter, water, and cocoa powder over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add flour mixture to saucepan and stir to combine.
  • Add in sour cream and eggs, stirring until well combined and no lumps remain.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly to sides and corners. Bake 15-20 minutes or until set. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes while you make the glaze.

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • Add butter, cocoa powder, and milk to a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Next whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Working quickly, spread glaze over the slightly warm cake using a rubber spatula.
  • Top with pecans. Allow to set and cut into squares.


If stored properly, this sheet cake will last 4 to 5 days at room temperature (or refrigerated). Use a cake keeper or a plate and an overturned bowl to cover the cake. 
If you prefer to refrigerate, place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the frosting to harden a bit. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place back in the fridge. 
TIP: Looking to make it last a little while longer? Wrap the cake in aluminum foil, place in a (labeled) freezer-safe bag and keep it in the freezer. Once frozen, the cake will keep for 2-3 month


Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @GrandbabyCakes or tag #grandbabycakes!
Filed Under:  Cake, Dessert and Baking, Oven


  1. I remember my mom making this when I was growing up in Oklahoma. I might have to make it for the next family gathering!

  2. I made this today for the first time. I halved the recipe and used a 9×13 inch sheet pan. It was perfect. Halving the frosting was tricky though. The milk, butter and sugar quantities were so small that it got burnt. So I only brough butter and milk to a boil and sifted the cocoa with the sugar. It was yummm.

5 from 12 votes (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating