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An image of a slice of chocolate Texas sheet cake on a plate.
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4.44 from 16 votes

Texas Sheet Cake

This chocolate Texas Sheet Cake recipe is a potluck favorite that is baked in a single sheet pan! The light and fluffy cake base is topped with a poured chocolate icing that you can make with or without pecans for extra texture and crunch!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 Servings
Calories: 469kcal
Author: Amy Nash

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup buttermilk*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts finely chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, rimmed 12x18-inch baking sheet (aka a half sheet pan).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, butter, and cocoa powder and bring to a boil, stirring to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Add the buttermilk (or sour cream, see note), eggs, and vanilla, and mix until combined. You can do this with a hand mixer to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the cake springs back lightly to the touch and has barely started to pull away from the sides of the pan. Do not overbake!

Icing:

  • When the cake is almost done baking, start to make the icing. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, cocoa powder, milk, and salt. Heat, stirring constantly, just until the mixture comes to a simmer.
  • Immediately remove from heat and add the vanilla, then whisk in the powdered sugar until the icing is smooth. Stir in the chopped nuts. If the cake isn't ready yet, keep the icing warm and stir it every so often so it doesn't harden on top.
  • Let the cake cool for 10-12 minutes, then pour the hot icing over the warm cake and spread it evenly with a spatula. Let the frosting set for 20 minutes before cutting the cake into squares. The frosting will completely set after 1-2 hours.
  • Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

Notes

* Sour cream can be used in place of buttermilk in this recipe.
I will sometimes sub in 1 tablespoon of Dutch-process cocoa powder for 1 tablespoon of the unsweetened cocoa powder, if I have some on hand, for a deeper chocolate flavor in the cake and frosting.
You can also make this sheet cake in a standard 10x15-inch jelly roll pan by baking for around 20 minutes or in a 9x13-inch baking dish by baking for 23-25 minutes.
You can store any leftover cake in an air-tight container for up to 3 days, either at room temperature, or in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg