Texas Sheet Cake is a classic favorite cake that’s enjoyed all over the US! This recipe yields a moist, decadent cake with a glossy chocolate frosting!

Simple and decadent, this is the best chocolate sheet cake you’ll ever try! If you’re feeling super indulgent, add some whipped cream!

Texas Sheet Cake on a plate with a fork

The Very Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Maybe you think I’m exaggerating up there. Calling this the “best” Texas Sheet Cake. But just wait until you try it! While these popular cakes generally follow a standard recipe and there isn’t a lot of room for deviation (not if you want to call it a true Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake, anyway), I’ve made a few adjustments to this classic cake that make it better than any you’ve tried before.

Here’s what we did differently:

  • Increased Moisture: My chocolatey cake base is made with a combination of brown sugar and white sugar; the added brown sugar adds moisture and richness to the cake.
  • Enhanced Flavors: A splash of vanilla adds a depth of flavor, and a sprinkle of instant coffee grounds doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee but enhances the rich chocolate tones (I use this same technique to add flavor to my popular chocolate cupcakes and it’s also used in this chocolate poke cake!).
  • Extra Chocolate-y: The chocolate flavor is amped up thanks to extra cocoa powder in the batter. Texas Sheet Cake is a chocolate-lover’s dream.

This recipe is believed to have southern origins (some of my most favorite recipes do, like peanut brittle and hush puppies!) but there’s some debate on whether or not that’s actually true or not… more on that below!

Texas Sheet Cake with icing being poured on

More Chocolate-y Goodness:

Why Is It Called A Texas Sheet Cake?

As it turns out, the history behind the name is actually pretty unclear. Some cake historians argue that it’s named for its size. A Texas Sheet Cake is baked in a 10×15 jelly roll pan, making it larger than your average cake!

It’s questionable where the cake even originated, it might not have been in Texas at all! If you have any knowledge of or ideas about where the name came from, I’d love to hear it in the comments!

Does Texas Sheet Cake Need to Be Refrigerated?

This Texas Sheet Cake does not need to be refrigerated and will keep at room temperature for several days. Store it covered or in an airtight container so it doesn’t dry out.

If you need to store this cake longer, it can be kept refrigerated, but keep in mind that refrigerators tend to dry out cake, even if the cake is stored in an airtight container.

Can You Freeze Chocolate Sheet Cake?

You sure can. Cool the Texas Sheet Cake completely, then cover with plastic wrap. It will keep well for about 2 months in the freezer. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Texas Sheet Cake on a sheet pan with a piece taken out

Making a Texas Sheet Cake from scratch is easy and delicious! Make two; one for now and freeze one for later!

Texas Sheet Cake on a plate with a fork
5 from 22 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake is a classic decadent chocolate cake with a rich chocolate icing!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Servings 15 slices
Author Samantha


  • 1 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon instant coffee optional
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Texas Sheet Cake Frosting:

  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup butter cut into pieces
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifting is recommended (after measurinto avoid any lumps)
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and thoroughly grease and flour a 10x15 jelly roll pan (or spray with baking spray).
  • Combine butter, water, and cocoa powder in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat and cook until the butter is melted. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • While butter/cocoa mixture is cooling, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and instant coffee in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Stir this into your dry ingredients until combined.
  • Once the chocolate mixture has cooled for at least 15 minutes, stir into your flour/sour cream mixture until mixture is smooth and completely combined.
  • Spread batter into prepared jelly roll pan and bake on 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  • Once cake has finished baking (or several minutes before), begin preparing frosting.
  • Combine milk and butter in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium/low heat until butter is melted. Once butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until combined. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour over cake while cake is still warm.
  • Allow frosting to harden (about one hour) and then slice and serve!
5 from 22 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 489 | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 660IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Texas Sheet Cake on a plate with a fork and writing

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Texas Sheet Cake in a sheet pan and with icing being poured on with a title


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. This has been our sons birthday cake for years. He is now 55 and still wants “his cake”. I use buttermilk instead of sour cream but sure it is the same delicious result. And he likes nuts in the frosting, We aim to p,ease, right?

  2. I make this cake to take to the USO, the troops love this cake and can’t get enough !
    Just like at home.5 stars

  3. Made this about a month ago for me and my boyfriend who has to suffer through my usual gluten free box cakes mixes for me. Well this was my first “From Scratch” cake using 1:1 gluten free flour and it came out amazing!! He said he never would have guessed it was gluten free! Sooooo delicious! Today I’m doubling the recipe and making two of these for my mom‘s 70th birthday tomorrow! Now it’s time to amaze the family! Lol! Thanks Holly!

    1. So so happy to hear that, Melissa. Send our birthday wishes to your mom, we hope she loves her cake!

  4. Do you put dry instant coffee in or do you dissolve coffee in water before adding it? Thx!5 stars

  5. Do you think this would work in a 13 X 9 pan? If so, any idea on the baking time? This looks amazing!!

    1. We’ve only made this in a 10×15. A 9×13 should work but you’ll need to add a few minutes to the cook time.