Chocolate Sheet Cake

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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 Cakeย 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). ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 11×14 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 1/4 liquid with 3/4 cup yogurt).
    • Whisk together equal parts sour cream and water. This hack is particular good in Pancakes.
    • 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 thisย Flourless Chocolate Cake.

For more sheet cake recipes, check out:

Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

5 from 15 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 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


  • 1 cube butter
  • 4-6 tsp cocoa
  • 4-6 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar



  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

  2. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, hot water. Mix all together and pour into jelly roll pan.
  3. Bake at 350-375 degrees for 20 minutes.


  1. Cook in pan - Melt 1 cube butter, 4-6 teaspoons of cocoa, 4-6 tablespoons of milk, 1 tsp. vanilla and 3ยฝ cups (1 box) of powdered sugar. Mix and spread over warm cake.

Recipe Video


Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and Iโ€™m the mom of SIX stinkinโ€™ cute kids and the wife to my smokinโ€™ hot hubby, Lo. My momโ€™s maiden name is Luna, and Iโ€™m one of the many crafty โ€œLilโ€™ Lunasโ€ 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. Yes, the recipe calls for buttermilk, but if you don’t have buttermillk you can use milk + 1 tsp. lemon juice – works great too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. How many cups is a box of powdered sugar? They don’t sell “boxes of powdered sugar” in my area of Canada and I want to get the correct consistency.

  2. If I’m making two half sheet cakes, can I still use this recipe and divide the batter in half? I’m making two half ones for a party and would love to use this recipe!

    1. I think it would be fine if you have sheet cake pans that are about half the size of a regular pan. I don’t have any so I’m not sure of the measurements. :/

  3. Hey there! I need a little help. In the recipe it calls for 1 cube of butter. How much is that translated to tablespoons?

  4. 5 stars
    My most favorite chocolate cake recipe! You cant beat the moistness and chocolatey goodness of this cake. Everyone in my family loves this cake.

  5. 5 stars
    We love texas sheet cake. to make everyone happy, we do half the cake with nuts and half without. this is such a delicious moist cake an EVERYONE loves it!

  6. 5 stars
    Looks tasty but Would liek to ask i have half sheet cake pan with 2 inchs deep, so i think i should double the cakeningrs
    Is that right, thank you

  7. 5 stars
    I have 6 siblings all who live within 10 miles of each other and Sunday dinners can be quite the production. I LOVE THIS CHOCOLATE SHEET CAKE Because not onLy Is it easy to maKe and feeds everyone its also yummy!!!

  8. Had a lot of trouble. First…what was a cube of butter? We thought about 2 tablespoons off a 1/4 pound stick. But I wondered if that was enough for the frosting. Googled it. No, it’s 1/4 pound stick. Then the oven temperature. A 25ยบ range, 350ยบ to 375ยบ What??? Then 4-6 Tablespoons cocoa and milk for the frosting. From 4 to 6 is a 50% difference. It was a frustrating mess. Didn’t focus in on the frosting recipe until the cake was in the oven.

  9. 5 stars
    I have an urgent question!! I’ve made this cake numerous times with complete success. I would like to make it tonight but I’m out of vegetable oil. could I use unflavored coconut oil instead?

  10. When I was making this cake the batter came out a little watery.
    Is that typical? not sure if I did it right. hoping to impress my friends for a Valentine get together.
    Thanks I love the website.

  11. Hi Kristyn, I am having problems with this recipe and I don’t know what I am doing wrong. First, I use the ingredients on the back of the lemon cake mix box, which is 1 cup water, 3 eggs, and 1/3 cup oil. Then I add the cup of but5termilk and other ingredients. I put in a 350 degree oven and bake, and bake and bake. It took almost 45 minutes in a 9 x 13 pan. May I should have used glass. At any rate, while it’s cooling, it just flops down to about an inch height, making me think that it fell. Then I make the icing, and when it’s done, it has a grainy texture which I attribute to the dry 2 tbsp of lemon jello mix. My friend loves this cake but I am always embarrassed to take it to her because I think it has fallen, but she says it’s so good and begs me to make it for her. With the info I’ve given you, can you tell me why the cake ends up an inch high when it comes out of the oven to the top of a sheet pan, about 2 inches? Help!

  12. I decided to be cautious because my oven runs a little hot so i baked my cake at 350F for 20 min and when I checked on it it was still entirely liquid. So i bumped the heat up to 375F. Iโ€™m hoping it still turns our alright, ive never made a sheet cake before (but plenty of others with a hich success rate) so im just hoPing it was a temperature problem. The frosting is already done and tastes delicious.

  13. 5 stars
    Made this cake today to take to family dinner and it’s great. Very quick to put together too. I’ll definitely make this recipe again.

  14. Hi! I have a question…i swear i made this cake and loved it, especially the FROSTING but i donโ€™t remember adding the VEGETABLE oIl. Is this a recebt change? Thanks!

  15. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.