The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever #chocolatecake #cakerecipes

A velvety, tender, perfectly chocolate Texas sheet cake made from a tried-and-true family recipe perfect for entertaining or just because!

This cake is so decadently delicious and sinfully addictive that we call it the dang devil cake! When you make it you won’t be able to stay out of it because it’s the devil, I tell ya!

The last time Mama brought this over to the house it was setting on the kitchen counter most of the afternoon while we visited and I cooked supper. I’d been looking at it most of the day and hadn’t let it tempt me too terribly.

Because I’d forgotten. I forgot it’s the dang devil!


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water or black coffee
  • 2 sticks butter (real, salted)

For the Icing:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (real, salted)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 1-lb box powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Cake:

  1. Grease a 10x15 baking pan (or spray with cooking spray) and preheat oven to 350 degrees. See notes below regarding other pan sizes.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate ingredients then set aside.
  3. Combine buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract to a small bowl then mix well and set aside.
  4. Add cocoa powder to a small saucepan then whisk in water or black coffee until smooth. Add butter then stir and heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour hot cocoa power mixture into bowl with flour mixture then stir to incorporate. Add buttermilk mixture then whisk all ingredients together for one minute.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan then bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven then prepare icing.

For the Icing:

  1. Combine milk, butter and salt in a small saucepan then heat until butter is completely melted. Remove from heat then stir in vanilla extract.
  2. Meanwhile, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa into a large mixing bowl (the sifting is optional but it prevents lumps in the icing). Pour hot milk/butter mixture into bowl with powdered sugar and cocoa powder then stir until smooth.
  3. Pour icing over warm cake. Let cake rest for a few hours before serving to ensure the icing sets up some before cutting the cake.
  4. Once the cake is cool, cover then store at room temperature.


  • You can also prepare this in 18x13 half-sheet cake pan. If you do, reduce the baking time to 15-17 minutes then test with a toothpick for doneness.
  • I’ve never made this in a 13x9 pan though I’ve heard plenty folks say they make sheet cake recipes in them. If you try it, increase the baking time to 25-27 minutes then test with a toothpick for doneness.
  • A 10x15 pan is a traditional jellyroll pan. If your pan is very shallow, you may not be able to fit all of the icing on your cake (most are – Mama’s is – that’s ok) just include as much as will fit or let the icing cool a bit before adding to the cake so that it pours thicker.
  • I bought a 10x15x2 pan specifically for making this cake so that the icing goes on easy-peasy (traditional jellyroll pans are 10x15x1).
  • No buttermilk? No problem! Add 1½ teaspoons white vinegar to a small measuring pitcher then add milk until the total volume measures 1/2 cup. Let mixture set 10 minutes before using.
  • Feel free to top the icing with chopped pecans or sprinkles if you’d like!