Photo: Oxmoor House
20 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

This class Texas sheet cake recipe features a homemade chocolate cake layer topped with chocolate frosting and chopped toasted pecans.  Its rectangular shape makes this cake perfect for serving to a crowd.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2

Coat a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray, and dust with 2 teaspoons flour. Set aside.

Step 3

Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add to flour mixture. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs; beat well. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack.

Step 4

Combine 6 tablespoons butter, fat-free milk, and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. Spread over hot cake. Sprinkle cake with pecans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Chef's Notes

This recipe was tested again for Cooking Light, Lighten Up America! and was baked in a 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan at 375° for 17 minutes.

Ratings & Reviews

July 09, 2016
Yes if you like another type of nut, but take TX out of the name because we don't do walnuts very much - they don't grow here; pecans do.

August 03, 2016
It's only a quarter cup of pecans. That's about 1/10th of a pound or so. Where I live pecans are about $12/lb. so that's only about $1 or so. 

January 22, 2016
The soda and the sugar are mentioned when it says " Combine 2 cups flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl" . That includes the sugar and the soda. This means add the flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon, and the salt. Usually all cakes will tell you to mix the dry ingredients together first. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry as the recipe instructs. Try it again and I bet you will love it. It is one of the best cakes I have ever made. I hope this helps. :)

Nessababy's Review

February 20, 2013
This is the exact recipe I have used in the past to make a coca-cola cake except that it used water in the cake batter (when cooking on the stove) and milk in the icing batter. For a coca-cola cake, you'd substitute coke both those places and it makes it oh that much better. Its not lighter but this cake isn't very light to begin with. I did cut back on the sugar about 1/4 cup and I think next time I'll go even to 1/2 cup. Its a fantastic cake!

EmmaLee75's Review

February 08, 2013
My family loved this cake - they couldnt even wait for it to cool completely before eating some and having seconds. I really enjoyed the fudge-like frosting and how it 'soaks' into the warm cake. Would be interested to try this in a jelly roll pan to get the higher fudge to cake ratio as one reviewer mentioned. A tip - make sure you fluff your powdered sugar before measuring it out, You could easily add too much if it is packed down.

I heard that pecans are expensive, what should I do?

March 31, 2016
can I use something to substitute the pecans? 

NavyWife10's Review

September 08, 2011
I grew up in Texas where every Sunday afternoon the sweetest granny brought Texas Sheet Cake to church luncheons. Later in life I was hoping to run across a great recipe for this cake while trying to relive a little bit of my youth...this is the one!! Some reviewers have rated this as too sweet and maybe for them it is...but for me, this recipe is perfect.

Loonmuffin's Review

November 03, 2009
Absolutely addicting! This cake never lasts long at our house. Very easy to make.

anglhart's Review

February 19, 2012
i love this recipe the only thing i do different is i dont really care for the cinnamon i like it much better with out it but its awesome either way .....

eatgood's Review

April 08, 2012
I want to add my 2 cents because this recipe is easy and never fails to make guests very happy. I look forward to occasions where this cake is an appropriate offering but I always give the leftovers away. It's addictive. Licking the frosting bowl is a more-than fair trade. If you have fresh, intense cinnamon (sometimes I do), reduce amount just a tad. Otherwise a tsp is great.