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A slice of Texas Sheet Cake on a plate dolloped with whipped cream

Wilson Family Texas Sheet Cake

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 if not more 1x


An American classic. A thin layer of chocolate cake topped with warm chocolate pecan frosting. 



For the Cake:

  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup (100 grams) finely chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cups (151 grams) butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (312 grams) powdered sugar


  1. Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 18×13 sheet cake pan. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. 
  3. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour warm chocolate over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool. 
  4. In a large liquid measuring cup,  whisk together the buttermilk, beaten eggs, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate/ flour mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan, spread evenly and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs not wet batter.
  5. While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans well. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Add the pecans.
  6. Pour the warm frosting over the warm cake. Allow to cool and set for at least 30 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy! To store, wrap the cake in plastic wrap or foil and keep in the refrigerator or at room temperature.