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Our favorite chocolate sheet cake recipe. It’s simple, moist, delicious and serves a lot making it our go-to party dessert – perfect with ice cream.

This is our most-requested dessert for family functions! This classic sheet cake is simple, moist and topped with an irresistible frosting making it great for holidays, BBQs and parties.

Chocolate Sheet Cake on plate

best-ever Sheet Cake

I think it’s pretty hard NOT to like cake. It’s just so good… and today’s recipe is probably the dessert that I consider the most addicting of any I’ve ever made before. It’s true – this Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake is the BEST EVER, and it’s easy (Also be sure to check out our White Sheet Cake recipe).

If you don’t believe me, just try it. I promise it will not disappoint. We got the recipe from a family friend years ago, and it quickly became a favorite.

This particular cake makes a lot, so it’s become a staple for get togethers and birthday parties (it’s big where the word Texas comes in). 😉 We change out the sprinkles based on the occasion and usually serve it with different kinds of ice cream. If you like chopped pecans you can add those too!

If I’m going to be honest, I can’t have this cake laying around at my house, because I will literally eat the whole pan. It’s just so soft, so flavorful and SO addicting!!

Sheet Cake Ingredients in bowls

How to Make Sheet cake:

Although this cake is made in a jelly-roll pan and is made with classic pantry ingredients, we omit the pecans which are classic in a Texas Sheet Cake recipe.

Can you add the pecans if you like them? Of course!! We just have so many kids in the family that sprinkles tend to get a better response than the nuts. But as I mentioned, we tend to have all these ingredients on hand which means we make this all the time!

To make this cake, mix the flour, sugar, Hershey’s baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk and hot water and mix all together.

Pour this into a greased jelly roll pan or an 11×15 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

While cake is still warm, make frosting by combining butter, cocoa, milk, vanilla and powdered sugar in a small pot. Heat and whisk until butter is melted and there are no more clumps. Pour over the warm cake and top with sprinkles right away before the frosting sets.

Can you add nuts? Of course! Most classic Texas sheet cake recipes have chopped pecans in the frosting. Our kids just happen to like sprinkles better so that is why we use them. 😉

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

Buttermilk Substitute

This recipe calls for buttermilk, but that is the one ingredient that many don’t always have on hand. Although there really isn’t anything that tastes JUST like buttermilk, there are plenty of buttermilk substitutes than you can use in a recipe.

  1.  ACIDIFIED MILK
    • Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup, and add enough milk until it measures 1 cup. Stir, and let sit for five minutes before using.
  2. WATERED-DOWN YOGURT
    • Whisk a bit of milk or water into plain, unsweetened yogurt until you get a buttermilk-like consistency (generally around 1/4 liquid with 3/4 cup yogurt).
  3. WATERED-DOWN SOUR CREAM
    • Whisk together equal parts sour cream and water. This hack is particular good in Pancakes.
  4. CREAM OF TARTAR AND MILK
    • Whisk 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar into one cup of milk.

Even though this cake may be the demise of any diet or healthy eating I’m trying to accomplish, it’s also my cheat treat! I really don’t think you can find a cake that is more soft or scrumptious!

How to store + FREEZE sheet cake?

STORING. If properly stored, which means tightly covered or in an air-tight container, sheet cake can last on the counter for up to 3 days. Place in the fridge and it should last for up to 1 week.

FREEZING. You can freeze sheet cake, but we recommend not frosting it. Wrap the cake with aluminum foil making sure none of the cake is exposed. Be sure to roll the foil seam slowly and press all the ends together to preserve its freshness, then place in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe on white plate

We love having friends and family over and typically turn to our sheet cakes to feed so many people. This is definitely one of our favorites, but be sure to check out the rest of the sheet cakes found on the site. They’re all delicious and feed a crowd.

For all my gluten-free friends, be sure to check out this Flourless Chocolate Cake.

For more sheet cake recipes, check out:

More Collections: Cakes That Feed A Crowd

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5 from 38 votes

Chocolate Sheet Cake

By: Lil' Luna
Topped with chocolate buttercream, our most favorite chocolate sheet cake is simply delicious and feeds a crowd!
Servings: 24
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Ingredients 

Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot water
  • cup vegetable oil

Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • sprinkles, for topping (optional)
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Instructions 

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Mix 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, ½ cup cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
  • Add 2 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup hot water, and ⅔ cup oil. Beat with a hand mixer until combined and smooth (it should be runny). Pour into a greased 11x15-inch baking dish.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Frosting

  • Melt ½ cup butter in a medium pot over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 5 tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  • Add 3½ cups powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
  • Remove from the heat and pour over the warm cake. Spread frosting quickly and add sprinkles right away, since frosting sets up quickly.

Video

Notes

Make ahead of time. Make the cake as instructed, but do not add frosting. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and store on the counter for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, make frosting and add it to the cake.
Feed a crowd. This cake makes a lot, so it has become a staple for get-togethers and birthday parties in our house. We change out the sprinkles based on the occasion and usually serve it with different kinds of ice cream. If you like chopped pecans, you can add those too by mixing them into the frosting before spreading it onto the cake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 223kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 253mg, Potassium: 70mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 160IU, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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102 Comments

  1. Leah says:

    Would this cake be okay to cool, flip out of the pan, freeze and decorate with buttercream instead?