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CHOCOLATE TEXAS SHEET CAKE

Nov 13, 2022

My favorite “take” on classic chocolate Texas sheet cake, this delightful cake is so moist, ultra-chocolatey, and so easy to make (no mixer required!).

INGREDIENTS

CAKE:
2 cups (15 ounces) granulated sugar
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks) butter
1 cup water
5 tablespoons cocoa (see note)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream or buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FROSTING:
1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter
5 tablespoons cocoa (see note)
1/3 cup milk or buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 1/2 cups (14 ounces) powdered sugar (to avoid lumps)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, rimmed baking sheet/half sheet pan (about 11X17-inches). Set aside.
For the cake, in a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, baking soda and salt.
In a medium saucepan, add the butter and water. Sift in the cocoa (to avoid lumps). Bring the mixture to a boil. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake is evenly baked and springs back lightly to the touch (watch closely; your oven may cook hotter and the cake may need even less time).
While the cake bakes, make the frosting. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, milk (or buttermilk), vanilla and salt. Heat, stirring cosntantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar gradually until the frosting is smooth (if your powdered sugar is extra clumpy, sift it in to avoid lumps in the frosting). Keep the frosting warm if the cake is not finished baking.
Pour the warm frosting over the warm cake and spread evenly. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

NOTES
Cocoa Powder: my recipe for Texas sheet cake has slightly more cocoa powder than other recipes out there. I like the extra boost of chocolate flavor without it being overpowering, but you can dial the amount of cocoa powder back to 4 tablespoons (for the cake and the frosting) if you want. Natural, unsweetened cocoa powder (i.e. Hershey’s) works great for both the cake and the frosting. As a slight variation, I’ll often sub in 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa in both the cake and the frosting for a deeper, richer chocolate flavor.

Pan Size: while a half sheet pan (11X17-inches) is commonly used for Texas sheet cake, you can also bake the cake in a jelly roll pan (15X10-inches) or a 9X13-inch cake pan for thicker cake and frosting layers (increase baking time as needed). If using a jelly roll pan, make sure the sides are high enough so the batter doesn’t overflow.