The BEST Texas Sheet Cake you will ever have! Fudgy chocolate cake meets a rich chocolate glaze and crunchy pecans in this Southern classic! If you love this, you will also love this Coca Cola Cake, Chocolate Birthday Cake and Hot Milk Cake.
I grew up in a Southern household, so I’m no stranger to heavy meals and large portions, but Dallas has changed the game since everything is bigger in Texas. There ain’t nothing like a hearty bowl of Texas chili or a rack of home-smoked ribs smothered in BBQ sauce! Hold up, my mouth is watering.
One of my latest Texas-sized obsessions has been this recipe right here: Texas Sheet Cake! Served in impossibly large squares, this cake is an absolute God-send. We’re talking succulent chocolate cake and a thick, pecan-studded chocolate glaze on top here!
That’s enough talk, I think it’s time you try some for yourself folks.
Written by Courtney Whitmore, the founder and editor of Pizzazzerie (a go-to guide for entertaining in-style), Southern Entertainers Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes for Modern Gatherings is a must-have for any home cook! Courtney’s latest project is a compilation of over 75 recipes perfectly suited for year-round entertaining with Southern charm.
This awe-inspiring book is full of entertaining tips and tablescape inspiration. Discover modern twists to heirloom recipes or keep it classic with recipes like the one featured here today!
HOW TO MAKE A TEXAS SHEET CAKE
When I have a sweet tooth, but I’m wanting something that’s also quick and easy, there are a few recipes that come to mind. Texas Sheet Cake is one! Courtney’s chocolate-rich, buttery cake is not only delectable, but it’s flavor reminds me of home.
If you’ve never had a heavenly square of Texas’ finest chocolate cake, you’re in for a treat!
Here’s what we’re working with today:
- Butter is melted along with the cocoa powder and water to create an indulgent base for this recipe. Melted butter makes for that perfect fudgy, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth texture.
- Water thins out the batter a bit, which makes the difference between a fudge brownie and a chocolate cake.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder is a key ingredient here! Be sure to use high-quality, dark cocoa powder. Ghiridelli, Guittard, and just about any Dutch-processed cocoa are great options.
- Light Brown Sugar introduces that slight molasses flavor, while also adding in sweetness.
- Vanilla Extract is an aromatic flavor-enhancer. If you’ve run out,I find that maple syrup is a good replacement.
- All-Purpose Flour creates structure! Be sure to properly measure your flour, too much and the cake will be dry.
- Granulated Sugar contains less moisture than light brown sugar; it adds sweetness without the worry of any extra moisture seeping out.
- Salt balances out sweetness. Kosher salt is best but sea salt will also work.
- Baking Soda is a leavener. Use fresh, active baking soda, otherwise the cake won’t rise properly.
- Sour Cream adds extra fat to the cake, which will make it moister. The tangy flavor also makes for a fun bite!
- Large Eggs add structure, leavening, and flavor to any baked good. Bring your eggs to room temperature before baking.
- Homemade Chocolate Glaze is made with butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. The combination of these ingredients creates a smooth, luscious topping for the cake.
- Chopped Pecans layer in a fun crunch, and an irresistibly nutty flavor. Go the extra mile and toast the pecans for an extravagant touch!
Texas Sheet Cake goes by many names: Buttermilk Brownies, Mexican Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Sheet Brownies, Texas Cake, etc. Each variation still resembles the original with a couple changes throughout the recipe.
Feel free to personalize this recipe by making a few of your own adjustments! Use the batter to make cupcakes, replace the pecans with walnuts, or use a different frosting! Want more chocolate? Sprinkle chocolate chips throughout the batter! The possibilities are truly endless.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER SHEET CAKE
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 months.
GRANDBABY CAKES’ BEST SOUTHERN CAKE RECIPES
The South is known for its illustrious, decadent dessert recipes. Some Southerners might even say that cake is a food group all of its own!
If you’re as enthusiastic about sweet, tender cakes as I am, give a few more of my classic cakes a try:
- REAL DEAL SOUTHERN CARAMEL CAKE
- HUMMINGBIRD CAKE
- OLD-FASHIONED BUTTER POUND CAKE
- SWEET POTATO SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE
Texas Sheet Cake
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 (13x18 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 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 cake using a rubber spatula.
- Top with pecans. Allow to set and cut into squares.
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.
Sorry I meant boiling milk, butter and cocoa. Not sugar.
Mary Katherine Meyers says
Yum and Yum….I was looking for a recipe that like my mother’s version and this recipe NAILED it. thanks. km
Delicious! Since I’m a Mississippi girl, I turned your Texas sheet cake into a Mississippi Mud cake and it was perfect. Everything the same on your recipe, but I added marshmallows as soon as my cake came out, then the toasted pecans, then wonderful fudge icing! Thank you!
This was delicious! I made it in a Bundt pan and did a pour-over with the frosting. Granted, I did have to keep scooping up the pool of frosting and pile it onto the top, but when finish it was beautiful and tasted amazing! I added a tablespoon of espresso powder to the cocoa in the cake recipe, which helped bring out the flavor of the chocolate. I also used gluten-free flour. Cake was moist and flavorful. Highly recommend this recipe.
This looks so yummy and scrumptious! My hubby and I are going to love trying t(is sheet cake! So excited!
I have never made a sheet cake, but it seems my chance! Your recipe sounds amazingly delicious, and I will make it this weekend.
This is my all-time favorite cake and I’m glad I’m not alone! I am going to the kitchen to make one of these babies right now. Heaven in a pan.
I can’t wait to try this, I love a cake topped with nuts!
Oooh always here for a giant chocolate cake! I love how thick the frosting on this one looks – it’s like fudge!