Texas Sheet Cake With Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

classic Texas style sheet cake
Diana Rattray
  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 24 Servings
Ratings (44)

This is a classic chocolate buttermilk Texas sheet cake with a chocolate buttermilk frosting. Finish this cake with a sprinkling of chopped pecans or leave them out.

Note: The frosting is a little scant for a larger sheet cake, so do feel free to double the frosting, and add more milk, as needed. It should be almost thin enough to pour onto the cake. It will firm as it cools.

If you don't have buttermilk, there are several ways you can substitute. See the buttermilk substitutes below the recipe.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (9 ounces)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (see below for substitutes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk, or as needed
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, about 3 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

How to Make It

Prepare the Cake

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour a 10-by-15-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan); set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1 cup of water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  5. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the chocolate mixture into the dry mixture until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, 1/2 cup of buttermilk, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin). Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  1. Bake in the preheated oven about 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  2. Spread the warm chocolate frosting (below) over the warm cake, spreading evenly. Place cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly before cutting.

Makes about 24 servings.

Make the Frosting

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup butter, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/3 cup of buttermilk. Blend well and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  2. Sift 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and add it to the cocoa and buttermilk mixture along with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth, adding more buttermilk or confectioners' sugar, as needed.
  3. If desired, stir 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans into the warm frosting or top the frosted cake with chopped pecans. 
  4. Spread the warm frosting over the cake.

Buttermilk Substitutes

If you don't have buttermilk, there are several ways you can substitute. Here are a few:

  • Sour Milk: For 1 cup of sour milk, put 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup. Add milk to the 1-cup line and let it stand for about 5 minutes. It will look curdled, but it's fine to use in the recipe.
  • Sour Cream: For 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, combine 3/4 cup of sour cream with 1/4 cup of water
  • Yogurt: For 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, combine 3/4 cup of plain yogurt with 1/4 cup of water. For this cake, you may use vanilla yogurt or plain yogurt.