The Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe: The Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipe Ever by Ann Marie Patitucci

Cakes/Cupcakes Desserts
4 months ago

The Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe: The Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipe Ever

Are you a fan of chocolate sheet cake? Here’s one of The Pioneer Woman’s most popular dessert recipes, her chocolate sheet cake recipe. In fact, it happens to be one of her daughter Alex’s favorites!

This chocolate sheet cake recipe, also known as Texas Sheet Cake, is to die for. After you bake it, take Ree's advice and eat a piece and "totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever."

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 



  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa powder
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 whole beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 3/4 sticks butter
  • 4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 - 3 cups powdered sugar (to reach desired spreading consistency) 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. 
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa and stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture and stir lightly to cool.
  3. In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/cocoa mixture. Pour into a 18x13-inch sheet cake pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
  4. While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together and pour over warm cake. Cut into squares.

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Donna John
Mmm! Love Ree Drummond!
Ann Marie Patitucci
She has so many great recipes!!
Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Um, my mouth is totally watering. Must Make This Cake! Thanks for sharing the delish recipe, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead . Ree's recipes are awesome!
I’m totally wigging out about this recipe! 😋
Star Fall
Yummy going to try it never used butter milk in cake
Kris LeBlanc
Ann Marie and everyone,
Just FYI, this is not “really” Ree Drummond’s recipe.
It has been a favorite recipe for decades and is most known as Texas Sheet Cake. I’ve been making it since high school.
You can find it in many church and Womens club cookbooks. I’m sure that’s where Ree “found” it too. LOL
It’s even better with a teaspoon of cinnamon in the cake, that’s how we give it that Texas Twist !
Ann Marie Patitucci
Thanks for the cinnamon tip, Kris LeBlanc !
Mary D'Entremont
I agree with Kris! I’ve been making this Texas Sheet Cake since 1990 when my sons Allen High school teacher gave it to me.
Am I reading the amount correctly for the powdered sugar, 1 pound minus 1/2 cup. Just seems strange mixing measurements.
I always just used most of the 2lb bag. It's baked in a big cookie sheet, and you really need a lot. This frosting melts into the cake and you end up with almost a fudge top and decadent cake, both sort of equal in size.
Yeah, it would have been nice if the author had proofread the recipe before posting it. I made the icing as it it was written with 1-lb of powdered sugar and it was way too thin/soupy while barely covering the sheet cake.
Ann Marie Patitucci
@ChasinJasin: Thanks for your question. Yes, "1 lb. (minus 1/2 cup) powdered sugar" is what the Pioneer Woman states in her recipe. It is not a typo; it is from her chocolate sheet cake recipe, which can be found on her web site.
It's misleading because pound is plural for some reason in the ingredients above. For me, 1-lb of powdered sugar made the icing very thin/runny with little coverage on the cake. As another reader commented she used nearly 2 cups which seems like it would yield icing with better consistency.
I have had this recipe memorized since the mid 70's and along with my aunt's Cheese Cake recipe are essentially the only cakes that my mom ever wants me to bake for her. This Texas Sheet cake is wonderful and don't forget to poke a zillion holes into the cake and pour the HOT frosting onto the HOT cake! You will never bake any other chocolate cake again!!
BTW, we never used buttermilk for anything. We added either vinegar or bottled Lemon Juice to the milk and made it sour! 1 tablespoon or so should do it and let sit 5 minutes or as long as you want. Lots of happy memories with this cake!!!!!

Ann Marie Patitucci
Thanks for sharing this with us, amybecky1 !
Besides the typos, there's a big mistake with the amount of powdered sugar used for the icing. It should be 2-lbs instead of 1. Not knowing this, I made the icing as it was written and it was very thin/soupy, barely covering the sheet cake. It's also not as sweet. Ugh.

I always substitute hot water with hot coffee for any chocolate cake recipe. I also added the 1 tsp cinnamon recommended in the comments.
Donella Callen
My mother had made this cake in the 80's. She would make hers in a 9×13. Made it more moister. This was my dad's favorite.

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