Chocolate Sheet Cake

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.

    • 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.
    • Whisk a bit of milk or water into plain, unsweetened yogurt until you get a buttermilk-like consistency (generally around ¼ liquid with ¾ cup yogurt).
    • Whisk together equal parts sour cream and water. This hack is particular good in Pancakes.
    • Whisk 1 ¾ 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:

Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

5 from 27 votes
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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 240 kcal
Author Lil' Luna



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup water hot




  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, hot water. Mix all together and pour into a greased 11x15 pan.
  • Bake at 350-375 degrees for 20 minutes.


  • Melt 1 cube (½ cup) butter in a medium pot.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa, 4-6 tablespoons of milk, 1 tsp. vanilla and 3½ cups (1 box) of powdered sugar (sift beforehand).
  • Mix well and spread over warm cake. Add sprinkles if desired.


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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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best chocolate cake I have ever made. Very moist. Using oil in the cake instead of butter or shortening makes this cake so light & fluffy 🙂 I used my 17 inch by 11 inch jelly roll pan (1 Inch deep) and it just fit. Baked at 350 F for 20 minutes. I increased the Cocoa & milk a bit in the frosting as we prefer a deep rich chocolate flavor. Turned out fantastic! Will definitely be making this one again and again in the future. Another awesome Lil’ Luna recipe added to my growing collection of regular & favorite recipes in this house. Thank so much Kristyn & family.

    1. 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.

    1. I haven’t made these into cupcakes, but the time would be less. I would start checking them at 12-15 min. Hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    I made mine in a 13 x 9, but cooked it a bit longer, close to 30 minutes. I always test with a toothpick. This is the second time I have made it and it was wonderful. This time I made the icing as well which was nice a simple and tasty. Since I used a smaller pan, I made a bit less icing.

    This is my second go-to recipe from this site. The red enchilada sauce it excellent as well. I made the cake as I had buttermilk I was going have to toss, it was a hit all around!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this after my friend brought this to our church activity day group! Its so incredible. Moist but not too heavy and super easy to
    Throw together for a quick dessert!

  4. 5 stars
    Cake is not normally a go to in our home, but this recipe is amazing! We can’t stop eating it and it’s so simple to make.

  5. 5 stars
    Oh. My. Goodness!! This cake is absolutely amazing. I am mind blown! I am replacing this recipe with my old one!!

    1. Oh that’s good to know it turns out great with GF flour too. Thanks for sharing! So glad you enjoy the sheet cake.

  6. 5 stars
    This cake is amazing!!!! I have made several treats from Lil Luna and every recipe is SO good! It is my go-to when I want to try something new. You won’t be disappointed in any of the recipes!!

  7. I just made this recipe today and sadly, it was a hot mess. It raised as it baked and spilled over the sheet pan, falling to the bottom of the oven. The cake was a mess and my cleanup was even worse. I can not recommend this recipe and obviously will not use it again. The chocolate flavor was not very strong, from the little bits I ate from the pan. I’m very disappointed.

    1. Hi Lee! So sorry to hear you didn’t have a great experience with the recipe. Thanks for the feedback and for giving the recipe a try!

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