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Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with Buttermilk

Texas chocolate sheet cake with buttermilk is one of those desserts that you just have to make every now and again because it’s so amazingly rich and delicious.

A slice of chocolate sheet cake on a white plate in front of the cake.

Bring it to a potluck once and people will be asking for a repeat of it for every gathering–it’s that good.

If you’re looking for a true southern treat, Texas chocolate sheet cake will be right up your alley. It’s an easy moist recipe, and the perfect cake for birthdays, holidays, or any time of year.

And, the rich and decadent chocolate buttermilk frosting contains chopped walnuts on top of the delicious sheet cake.

Sheet Cake

This really is one of my favorite cakes because it’s so rich, moist, and perfectly chocolate. 

The best part? You most likely have all of the ingredients right there at home to make the cake and creamy frosting.

Texas chocolate sheet cake in a gray metal sheet cake pan

Sheet Cake Ingredients

The cake is made with cinnamon and buttermilk and is topped with a creamy buttermilk frosting. The walnuts add a little bit of crunch for a tasty recipe for Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake. 

An old fashioned chocolate sheet cake is easy to make. There are a few steps, but you are going to love how it turns out. 

I don’t tend to do well with layer cakes–I mess them up easily–so I like to stick more with cakes that I know are going to turn out well for me, look pretty, but mostly taste really, really good. 

And this one does, I promise. 

How many people does a sheet cake feed?

A full sheet cake will typically feed around 90 to 96 people, depending on the size that you cut the slice. This is for a 2″ x 2″ slice of cake (which is way too small in my book–I love big pieces of cake).

How big is a half sheet cake?

A half sheet cake will typically feed about 40 people with a 2″ x 2″ piece.

Most sheet cakes that you come across at weddings and events are more than one layer and the host will cut them into these smaller pieces, so you will get quite a few out of the cake.

I wrote this sheet cake recipe post planning for around 24 servings because I like to cut the slices a little larger than normal, and it’s not a double-layered cake.

Most sheet cakes are a double or triple layer, so it will be a little more filling, as well.

Sheet Cake Sizes

Quarter Sheet Cake9″ x 13″Serves up to 12
Half Sheet Cake13″ x 18″Serves up to 24
Full Sheet Cake18″ x 26″Serves up to 48
Servings are for 3″ x 3″ cake pieces
A slice of Texas chocolate sheet cake on a white plate with a fork.

What Do I Need To Make Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake?

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Water
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • Ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Powdered sugar
  • Chopped walnuts (optional)

How To Make The Sheet Cake

Flour in a large metal mixing bowl for sheet cake.

Start by adding the flour to the bowl.

I start off by getting the dry ingredients, and the buttermilk, ready. You are going to be boiling a few of the sheet cake ingredients and will need to pour them into this bowl, so it’s good to go on ahead and get it ready and set it aside. 

Sugar and flour in a large metal mixing bowl for sheet cake.

Next, add the sugar to the bowl.

Flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large metal mixing bowl for sheet cake.

Add the baking soda. 

Baking soda helps the cake rise. I made some biscuits the other night and completely forgot to put in the baking soda and had some super flat biscuits, so it does make a difference.

Salt in a measuring spoon.

Pour the salt into the mixture.

Cinnamon in a metal mixing bowl with sugar and flour.

Cinnamon is the next ingredient.

This is optional. The cinnamon just adds a bit of a different flavor to the sheet cake. If you’re not a big cinnamon fan, just leave it out, it will still taste amazing. 

Two eggs in a bowl with flour, sugar, and cinnamon.

Next, add the eggs to the mixture. 

Buttermilk, vanilla extract, eggs, flour, and sugar in a metal mixing bowl.

Pour the buttermilk and vanilla extract into the mixture. Mix everything together and set aside. You will be adding the boiling chocolate to this mixture.

Sticks of butter melting in a saucepan for sheet cake.

In a saucepan add the butter and melt it on medium-high heat. 

Unsweetened cocoa in a saucepan with melting butter.

Add the cocoa and water to the melting butter. 

I used a whisk to stir everything together and try to get most of the lumps out.

You will be able to mix everything together again once you pour it into the buttermilk mixture, so if you don’t get all of the lumps out in this step, that’s ok. 

Boiling chocolate sheet cake mixture. in a saucepan.

Bring the mixture to a boil. 

Once the butter mixture boils, remove it from the stove. 

Pouring the chocolate mixture for sheet cake into the flour mixture.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the buttermilk mixture and stir together. 

I kept the buttermilk mixture in my Kitchenaid mixer bowl and poured the chocolate mixture in so I could easily mix it again. 

Chocolate cake batter in a metal sheet cake pan.

Pour the cake mix into a greased jelly roll pan. 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean. 

My jelly roll pan is about 14″ x 10″ x 1″. You really need something at least that large to hold the cake mix

If you want to put it into a casserole dish with sides measuring more than one-inch, you can do that as well. Your cake will be a little thicker, but just as delicious. 

Making the Chocolate Buttermilk Icing

I make the frosting while the cake is baking because you’re going to want to get the frosting on the cake while it’s warm so it spreads easier. 

I start making the frosting about five minutes before the cake is done baking. 

Melting butter in a saucepan for frosting.

Grab the saucepan again and melt the butter. 

Unsweetened cocoa and melted butter in a saucepan for frosting.

Next, add the unsweetened cocoa and buttermilk to the saucepan. 

Mix everything together and bring to a boil. Once it boils remove it from the stovetop. 

Powdered sugar in a saucepan with butter and coca for frosting.

Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla. 

I used a hand mixer to blend everything together. You can end up with some lumps from the powdered sugar if you decide to mix by hand, so using the mixer helps give you a more creamy frosting. 

If you’re not comfortable using a hand mixer in your saucepan, just transfer the frosting to a bowl. 

Walnuts on top of chocolate frosting in a saucepan.

If y’all would like to add walnuts to the frosting, now is the time. 

Texas sheet cake in a sheet cake pan with chocolate and walnut frosting.

Mix it all together and spread on the cake while it’s still warm.

A piece of chocolate sheet cake on a white plate.

Recipe Card for Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with Buttermilk

Check out the Texas chocolate sheet cake with buttermilk recipe card below, grab those ingredients, and start baking! This is a great dessert.

Then, share your comments below and click here to share a picture of your cake on the Pinterest Pin!  If you made any changes or added something different, be sure to share with us so we can try it, too!

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Texas chocolate sheet cake with buttermilk

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with Buttermilk

Yield: 24 pieces
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with Buttermilk is a true southern treat. It's an easy moist recipe, and the perfect cake for birthdays, Christmas, or any time of year. The chocolate buttermilk frosting contains chopped walnuts on top of the delicious sheet cake.


Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 -1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 3 Tbsp. buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Grease a 14" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan or casserole dish.

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

  1. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to a large bowl.
  2. Next, add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla to the bowl and mix together. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-saucepan melt the butter on medium-high. Add the water and unsweetened cocoa powder and mix together. Bring to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat and pour into buttermilk mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour into greased jelly roll pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

  1. Add the butter to a saucepan and melt on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the unsweetened cocoa powder and buttermilk and mix well. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar to the saucepan. Mix with a hand mixer (add to a bowl to mix if you do not want to mix in the saucepan).
  4. Add the vanilla and mix together.
  5. Add the walnuts (optional).
  6. Spread on the warm cake.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 1g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Check out more recipes at:

Julia’s Simply Southern, South Your Mouth, and Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

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