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The Best Texas Sheet Cake Recipes

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Texas sheet cakes are perfect for summer parties. They are easy to make, feed a crowd, and are easy to take with you. If you have only ever had chocolate, you are in for a surprise because there are so many flavors you can make. Here are some of the best Texas sheet cake recipes out there.

Collage of images with different kinds of Texas sheet cake.

Texas sheet cakes are perfect for so many reasons, starting with the fact they are so simple to make. There is no special equipment needed and you don’t even have to soften the butter.

Just get out a saucepan, bring the butter and water to a boil, whisk in the remaining ingredients and pour it into a sheet pan. That’s it, the batter is so easy to throw together.

History of Sheet Cakes

It looks like many earlier versions of the chocolate sheet cake were called “sheath cakes” and the recipe has been around since at least the mid twentieth. Barry Popic traced newspaper mentions of the cake to 1950.

It seems every church cookbook thereafter has a version of the chocolate cake. Some use cinnamon, earning them the name “Mexican chocolate cake.”

Stack of three pieces of chocolate Texas sheet cake with rich chocolate icing on top.

Some recipes swear by oleo, other use butter. But in the end the basic ingredients and baking method are similar for the chocolate version everyone knows and loves.

What makes it a Texas sheet cake

According to my mom, there are a few key points that make a cake a Texas sheet cake. If they don’t follow her rules, the term doesn’t apply.

The first is the batter must be made in a saucepan. There is no softened butter to cream or mixers required.

pouring peanut butter cake batter into sheet pan.

The batter must be simple and poured into a greased sheet pan. Generally the pan of choice is a 13×18″ half sheet pan, also known as a jelly roll pan.

However, my mom has been known to also bake them in a 10×15″ pan. The cake is a bit thicker, but otherwise similar. Just add a few minutes to the bake time to account for the decreased surface area and increased depth.

Why is it called a Texas sheet cake?

Nobody knows for sure where the Texas in Texas sheet cake came from. But I think it’s because of the large size and they make everything bigger in Texas.

Icing Your Cake

Another hallmark of a Texas sheet cake, is the poured over icing. Of course you can top the cake with buttercream or whatever frosting you desire.

However, keeping with tradition requires another saucepan. When the cake is partially cooled, but still warm you melt butter on the stove.

Pouring lemon icing over sheet cake.

Stir in powdered sugar and whatever flavorings you are using and pour it over the cake. All it takes is a little bit of spreading and a smooth delicious icing will be pretty and delicious.

Add some chopped nuts or sprinkles to make it extra fun, or leave it smooth and glossy. You will see some fun ideas in the recipes below.

Serving Sheet Cake

The cake is generally served right out of the pan. That makes it low stress, low mess and no fuss.

It also makes it easy to transport to events like potlucks, BBQs and family reunions. Plus the large size means it is easy to cut quite a few pieces, so it is perfect for a crowd.

Feel free to add a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream if you want. Or eat it as is, it doesn’t need anything else.

Now the only question left is which version are you going to make first? Our favorite ideas are listed below.

If you have ever tried another version of a Texas sheet cake that isn’t listed here, I would love to hear about it. Please tell me about it in the comments so I can make one too!

Lemon Texas Sheet Cake
This lovely sheet cake is bursting with lemony citrus flavor. It is perfect for feeding a crowd. The batter is made in a saucepan just like the chocolate Texas sheet cake we all know and love. But this version is brighter and tastes so fresh. Make one and see for yourself!
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Showing soft moist texture of lemon texas sheet cake.
Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake
Texas sheet cake is the perfect dessert for a get together. It comes together so quick and easily and is perfect for a crowd. Make one for your next party and everyone is sure to be happy!
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Lifting piece of chocolate Texas sheet cake out of pan showing moist chocolate cake and smooth fudgy icing.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Texas Sheet Cake
This chocolate chip cookie Dough Sheet Cake takes the one of my favorite guilty pleasures and turns it into a Texas style sheet cake. You are going to love it!
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Piece of chocolate chip cookie dough Texas sheet cake with bite missing on red plate with fork.
Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake
Make homemade white cake and white frosting in the simplest possible way! This cake is made like the chocolate Texas sheet cake, all in saucepans, but there’s no chocolate in site.
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Slices of vanilla Texas sheet cake topped with vanilla icing and sprinkles stacked on top of each other showing buttery cake texture.
Arnold Palmer Texas Sheet Cake
The classic tea and lemonade combination of the Arnold Palmer is now available in Texas sheet cake form. Perfect for BBQs, potlucks or any summertime party!
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Sweet tea sheet cake topped with lemon icing for an Arnold Palmer cake.
Cherry Chip Texas Sheet Cake
A simple but delicious sheet cherry chip Texas style sheet cake is the perfect way to feed a crowd. It will be a hit at your next party, potluck or BBQ.
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piece of cherry chocolate chip Texas sheet cake with white icing and chocolate chips on top.
Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake
This easy and peanut buttery cake is perfect for feeding a crowd. It is made much like a Texas sheet cake and is great with peanut butter icing. It is also great with chocolate icing, or white chocolate buttercream.
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Plate with three pieces of peanut butter sheet cake with peanut butter icing.
Peaches and Brown Sugar Sheet Cake
Nectarines or peaches play so nicely with the warm flavor of brown sugar in this simple sheet cake.  Add a little browned butter glaze for an out of this world flavor combination! 
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Spatula lifting slice of peach sheet cake out of pan showing chunks of fruit in cake and drizzled brown butter icing on top.
Texas sheet cakes are perfect for summer parties. They are easy to make, feed a crowd and are easy to take with you. If you have only ever had chocolate, you are in for a surprise because there are so many flavors you can make. Here are some of the best Texas sheet cake recipes out there.

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