Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake


The Texas Chocolate Sheet cake is a super easy and delicious chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and you likely have everything you need to make this cake in your pantry already!

Texicali Chocolate Sheet Cake
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This cake is our version of a traditional Texas Sheet Cake, but with a little bit of a twist. The recipe for this cake is originally one my (Angela’s) mom used to make for me growing up in California. We called it “Mom’s Chocolate Cake” and had no idea that this was based on a recipe for Texas Sheet Cake. Over the years, my mom has modified the recipe to a very similar version of this, but we made a few small changes that make this recipe extra chocolatey!

How to make the Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

We all need chocolate cake on a Monday at noon right?? The best part about this cake is not only how delicious and easy it is, but you probably don’t have to go to the store either! Check your pantry and get to it! And don’t worry, if you aren’t much of a baker, you can easily make this cake. Just follow the recipe and you will be fine!

Milk or Buttermilk?

A traditional Texas Sheet Cake uses buttermilk, but let’s be honest, who has buttermilk in their fridge usually? Likely very few of you. If you have it, feel free to use it, but this recipe is just fine with good ol’ regular milk. Again, we are trying to save you a trip to the store. We use whole milk in this recipe, but you can use whatever is in your fridge. There are also recipes online with buttermilk substitutes, which typically involves added a touch of lemon or vinegar to your regular milk. Do that if you want to, but again, we use regular milk and it is still so incredibly good!

Texicali Chocolate Sheet Cake in a 26x18 inch sheet pan
Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake in a 17×12 inch sheet pan

If I don’t like coffee, do I have to use espresso powder in this cake?

Short answer: no, you can omit espresso powder.

Longer answer and convincing explanation: Many bakers know that when making anything with chocolate, the addition of a small amount of instant espresso powder or brewed coffee to the recipe doesn’t actually make it taste like coffee at all! You would probably be surprised to learn that there is instant espresso in this recipe after tasting the cake. The instant espresso powder actually deepens the chocolate flavor and makes it taste more decadent! We add espresso powder to many of our chocolate recipes, and this uber-chocolatey sheet cake is the perfect vessel for the added espresso. But if you are worried, you can omit the espresso powder without any other changes. I encourage you to try the cake this way first though. The brand we buy is Medaglia D’Oro.

A whole sheet of cake, Baxter? Can I freeze it?

Yes, freeze away! We always do. If you didn’t catch that reference in the heading, you need to go watch Anchorman again. Or if you did catch it, go watch Anchorman anyway!

We typically make this cake, cut it into squares, then take a few pieces out to eat for a few days and we freeze the rest! It tastes just as good out of the freezer – once defrosted of course! And then you can eat more cake, more often, and just become a happier person overall!

A slice of Texicali Chocolate Sheet Cake
Texicali Sheet Cake

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

5 from 2 votes
Course: DessertsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Cake Batter
  • 2 cups 2 sugar

  • 2 cups 2 flour

  • 1 tsp 1 baking soda

  • 1 tsp 1 cinnamon

  • 1 tsp 1 espresso powder

  • 2 2 eggs

  • 1 1 egg yolk

  • ½ cup milk

  • 2 tsp 2 vanilla

  • 1 cup 1 (2 sticks) salted butter

  • 4 tbsp 4 cocoa powder

  • 1 cup 1 water

  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 2 tbsp 2 cocoa powder

  • 6 tbsp 6 milk

  • 3.5 cups 3.5 powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Add butter, cocoa and water to a saucepan over medium low heat. Slowly bring to a boil and whisk until combined, then remove from heat and let cool.
  • Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and espresso powder together and set aside.
  • Mix eggs, vanilla and milk together in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Once chocolate mixture cools, add to flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • Add egg mixture to chocolate and flour mixture until combined.
  • Butter and flour a 17 x 12 inch sheet pan, then pour batter in the pan.
  • Bake for 25 min. While cake is baking, make the frosting.
  • Chop pecans and toast in a dry skillet on medium high for 5 min. Set aside to cool.
  • Heat butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and milk in sauce pan over medium low until completely melted and combined.
  • Pour over powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix on medium speed until combined.
  • Remove cake from oven and let cool 5 minutes then pour frosting over cake. Sprinkle pecan over frosting. Allow cake to cool in pan before serving.

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Join the Conversation

  1. Why is the baking soda measurement written twice?

    1. Angela and Mark Author says:

      Hi Alexis! Thanks for catching that! I’ve fixed the recipe. Baking soda should have only been on there once.

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