Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe makes a cake delicious, decadent cake that is terrific for a crowd.

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe. Buttermilk is in the homemade from scratch chocolate sheet cake and the Chocolate Fudge Frosting.

I was introduced to this Texas Sheet Cake Recipe in the late 1960's, when our family was camping and cooking on Yaupon Beach in North Carolina, a long way from Texas, where it is alleged to have originated.

Yes, we were allowed camping on the beach back in the day. 

That was so much fun for the family and friends.

A local resident lady brought this cake to the party and we thought it was amazing!

It was so light, moist and full of yummy chocolate flavor.

She gave me the recipe handwritten on an index card that simply read, Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Years later, I saw this exact recipe listed in cookbooks and magazines called Texas Sheet Cake.

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

  • 1 cup butter

  • 1 cup water

  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring 1 cup butter, water, and 4 tablespoons cocoa to a boil in a large saucepan.

Remove from heat and while still warm add flour and granulated sugar.

Mix well.

Add eggs, 1/2 cup buttermilk, baking soda, salt and vanilla. 

Blend well.

Pour into a greased and floured baking sheet cake pan* and bake in a preheated oven 350 F. for 20-25 minutes or until done.

Test if done by inserting a knife into center of pan.

The knife should come out clean.

Be careful not to overbake cake.

Remove the cake from the oven leaving it in the pan to frost immediately, while it is still warm.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • 1 stick butter

  • 6 tablespoon buttermilk

  • 4 tablespoon cocoa

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 lb. powdered sugar

  • 1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat.

Add buttermilk and cocoa.

Blend well and remove from stove. 

Stir in vanilla.

Then add powdered sugar and stir until well blended.

If you are adding chopped pecans to your cake,  you can stir them in with your frosting or frost the cake first and then sprinkle the nuts on top. 

Served warm or cold, this is a delicious cake.

*You can use different sizes of sheet cake pans for baking this Texas Sheet Cake.

*I bake it in a 13" x 9" x 2" deep pan.

I prefer my layers to be thicker.

Some folks use a 15" x 11" pan because they prefer the cake to be thinner or they want to cut it into more (smaller) serving sizes.

A few folks bake it in an 18" x 13" size pan.

This makes it look more like a cake type brownie.

When using the larger, thinner size pans. adjust your baking time down 5 minutes or more.

Watch it carefully.

A Little History For You

Historians cannot agree when or where the Texas Sheet Cake Recipe originated or why it was given the name of the state.

One detailed and thoroughly researched online website states that the name "Texas Sheet Cake" began appearing in the mid 1980s.

Yet, I received a handwritten copy of this recipe, excluding it's name in the 1960s, as mentioned above.

So that 1980s date of origin is not accurate in my opinion.

The same historical website lists a cake recipe called Mrs. Elkins' Sheath Cake.

The only difference in my cake and Mrs. Elkins' is she used 1/2 margarine and 1/2 shortening for the fat and no salt.

She also had 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in her ingredients list.

I believe my recipe came from the publication of her recipe published by: --Mrs. William P. Dilworth, III

---Hunstville Heritage Cookbook [Junior League of Hunstville Inc.:Hunstville AL] 1967 (p. 260)

Around the time of this publication sheet cakes were also called sheath cakes.

No one knows exactly why they were called Sheath Cakes either, even though there are several theories floating around.

So, this amazing, delicious Texas Sheet Cake Recipe remains a Mystery!

Variance Of Recipe 

In online reviews of this wonderful cake there are some good tips for adding a little more flavor to your liking. 

  1. Double the amount of cocoa in the cake batter.

  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to both the batter and in the frosting.

  3. Substitute 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of Coca-Cola in the batter. 

  4. Substitute 1 cup of strong black coffee for the 1 cup of water called for in the batter.

  5. Add 1 8oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate Bar, cut in pieces, to the cocoa to melt in the boiled water. 

    This makes the ultimate Texas Sheet Cake Recipe.


Related Pages

Easy Cocoa Cake

German Chocolate Cake

Marble Cake Recipe

Wacky Cake

Return to Old Fashioned Cake Recipes


What's New

  1. Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

    Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake
    Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe. The best cinnamon coffee cake baked in a bundt pan is irresistible with golden raisins, pecans, and cinnamon.

    Read More

  2. Chicken Alfredo Recipe

    Chicken Alfredo Recipe is Fettuccine Alfredo made with chicken and homemade noodles in a thick sauce of Parmesan and Romano cheese, cream, butter, garlic and parsley.

    Read More