Crowd Pleasin’ Texas Sheet Cake

Given the character name “Belle Starr” for Anna and Vince’s Wild West Great Eight themed dinner (post is coming soon), and my husband Phil, gun fightin’ “Doc Holliday,” I knew that it was going to be a sure fire Texas BBQ!

Texas Sheet Cake

With the menu set with the best of the ranch fixins’, Belle (that’s me!) was happy to saddle up and bring the dessert…Texas Sheet Cake. And a sheet it was! A chocolate lovers dream. The frosting, poured directly onto the cake as it comes out of the oven, flows evenly and smoothly, ready for those chopped nuts to take their place!Texas Sheet Cake

This recipe has just the right amount of sweetness. Not so sweet that it’ll make your teeth hurt…but if it does, may I recommend a fine dentist on the range? His name is Doc Holliday. By hook or by crook, he’ll fix you right up!

Texas Sheet Cake

Special equipment:

15" x 10" x 2" baking pan

Serves a crowd!

Author Debbie


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, lightly packed
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa, lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted, (such as walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts)


  1. Grease pan.

  2. With oven rack on center self, preheat oven to 375° F.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt unsalted butter over medium heat.

  4. Whisk in cocoa. Add oil and water and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 30 seconds.

  5. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.

  6. Sift flour in a large bowl, together with the sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until fully incorporated.

  7. Pour the slightly warmed cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined.

  8. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl together with the buttermilk and vanilla.

  9. Gently stir the buttermilk mixture into the batter.

  10. Pour the batter into a greased pan and place in the center of the oven.

  11. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the top is firm and a wooden skewer, when inserted in center, comes out with moist crumbs.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting:

  1. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a small saucepan.

  2. Sprinkle the cocoa over the melted butter while whisking to combine. Bring to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for 30 seconds.

  3. Remove pan from the heat and vigorously whisk in the milk and vanilla.

  4. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar, whisking continuously.

  5. As soon as you take the cake from the oven (it has to be hot for the next step), pour the hot frosting over the hot cake and quickly sprinkle with the nuts.

    Texas Sheet Cake
  6. Try not to jiggle the cake before it sets or you'll leave waves in the frosting.

  7. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Recipe Notes

Gr8 Do-Ahead Tip:

Well wrapped and stored at room temperature, this cake keeps for up to 5 days.

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