Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

20 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Texas Sheet Cake is a Southern classic dessert with an easy rich chocolate cake base baked in a sheet pan with a sweet chocolate frosting and crunchy walnuts.

Calling all Chocolate Cake lovers, this supersized Cake Recipe is just for you! This easy American dessert favorite can feed a crowd and is ready in just 30 minutes!

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake


A Texas Sheet Cake is a classic Southern dessert recipe right up there with Red Velvet Cake, Key Lime Pie, and Peach Cobbler. Full of rich chocolate flavor, this giant Texan cake is perfect for block parties, summer barbecues, and potlucks.

This Texas Sheet Cake recipe is made with simple pantry items like unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, and sour cream. The frosting is even more cocoa powder, milk, and lots of powdered sugar. Some recipes use buttermilk but sour cream gives the same tang without having to get a special ingredient.

This party sized chocolate cake is great for making ahead. You can freeze a frosted, baked Texas Sheet Cake for up to 3 months. Wrap the cooled sheet pan tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Remove the covering when thawing (at room temperature) so moisture doesn’t collect.

A Texas Sheet Cake is the best potluck dessert! It travels well in the car, feeds a lot of people, and can be out at room temperature all day. If you are serving at home, try a warm cake slice with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream for a tasty summer time dessert.


What is different about this cake?

What makes a Texas Sheet Cake different from other chocolate cakes is that it’s baked on a large sheet pan or jelly roll pan. This creates a thin cake about as thick as brownie. It bakes quickly, just 20 minutes, decorating is super easy since you don’t have to worry about layering or removing the cake from the pan to frost.

The trick to a Texas Sheet Cake isn’t just the size of the pan, it’s pouring that frosting at exactly the right time. If the cake is too hot, the glaze seeps in too much and you don’t get a thick layer of chocolatey goodness. If the cake is too cool, it doesn’t seep in at all and your cake isn’t as moist.

Texas Sheet Cake looks like a Fudge Iced Brownie but don’t be fooled, this moist chocolate treat is all cake! You’ll still want to serve it with a fork and small plates, at least the first day. Kept at room temperature, the cake will get more firm but the frosting layer keeps it from drying out for at least 3 days.

Texas Walnut Chocolate Sheet Cake slice on wooden plate


    • White Cake: To make a White Texas Sheet Cake, leave out the unsweetened cocoa powder and use almond extract in the cake batter and the frosting instead of vanilla extract.
    • Baking Pan: If you want a thicker cake, bake in a 13×9 inch baking pan for 28-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean with moist crumbs.
    • Brown Sugar: To make a richer cake, substitute 1 cup white sugar with 1 cup brown sugar.
    • Chocolate Chips: For more chocolatey goodness, stir in a ½ cup dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips into your cake batter. Try peanut butter chips for a tasty peanut butter chocolate combo.
    • Toppings: Instead of walnuts, sprinkle your cake with toasted pecans, chopped almonds, shredded coconut, or simply dust with powdered sugar.
    • Buttermilk: Substitute the sour cream with ½ cup buttermilk and 1 extra tablespoon butter for a more authentic Texan chocolate cake.
    • Coffee: Bring out more chocolate flavor by adding 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or substitute black coffee for the water.



  • Serve: Cover your sheet pan with plastic wrap and keep Texas Sheet Cake at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • Store: A Texas Sheet Cake can be refrigerated, covered tightly, for 1 week. Bring to room temperature to serve.
  • Freeze: Wrap cooled cake tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw uncovered on the counter.

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake is an easy chocolate cake recipe baked in a sheet pan. Rich moist chocolate sheet cake with a sweet chocolate frosting and crunchy walnuts.
Yield 20 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Chocolate Cake Batter

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Chocolate Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10x15 inch sheet pan or jelly roll pan.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat in the sour cream and eggs. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter on low in a saucepan, add the water and 5 tablespoons cocoa. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat.
  • Allow to cool slightly, then stir cocoa mixture into the egg mixture, mixing until blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Frost cake while warm and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.


  • In a large saucepan, combine the milk, 5 tablespoons cocoa and ½ cup butter. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  • Stir in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla, mixing until blended. Pour frosting over warm cake. Top with walnuts.


Spread chocolate frosting over warm cake, about 10 minutes after you pull from oven.


Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Texas Sheet Cake

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

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

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. We recommend the 10×13 jelly roll pan but if you’d rather enjoy a thicker version use a 9×13 cake pan.

    1. I haven’t tested it so I’m not comfortable giving a recommendation. If you decide to try, I’d love to know what worked for you. Thanks!

  1. This is the BEST cake. My mother in law gave me a recipe similar years ago, but I couldn’t find it. Bookmarked so I can make this again. Thank you.

  2. I love a good sheet cake, and yours looks like a winner!! The only thing I don’t have at home is sour cream, so that is going on my shopping list!!

  3. I grew up on sheet cakes and love them more than the other kind, I think! They’re always so moist and flavorful. And I think I might eat the whole sheet when I make this….thanks for the freezer tips (life management)!

  4. This yummy dessert was gone so fast here at the house. It’s definitely one of the house favorites. Thank you!!

  5. Although I have the Texas Sheet Cake recipe, I’m delighted to find these variations!!! Thank you very much! Please saty safe. An other ‘thanks’ for a great website!!