Chocolate Sheet Cake

Total Time:
45 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
24 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
Directions

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and eggs. Mix with a fork and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the cocoa. Whisk together to combine. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup water to a boil. When the butter is melted, pour the boiling water in the pan. Allow to bubble for a moment, then turn off the heat. Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture. Stir together for a moment to cool the chocolate, then pour in the egg mixture. Stir together until smooth, then pour into an ungreased jelly roll pan (or rimmed baking sheet) and bake for 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the icing: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir together. Dump in the pecans and stir until well combined.

Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, pour the warm icing over the top. You'll want to avoid doing much spreading, so try to distribute it evenly as you pour.

Cook's Notes:

For a child's birthday, omit pecans in the icing. Serve the cake with a large bowl of M and M's and allow the kids to decorate it themselves.

This cake can also be made into cupcakes: Just fill muffin tins a little less full with the batter than you normally would so the baked cupcakes remain below the upper rim. That way, the thin icing can be poured into each tin.


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4.3 118
Have not tried this recipe but it has a lot more butter than my recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am completely and utterly smitten by this chocolate cake. It has bewitched me and I have had to make it several times for me and my family. Don't change a thing! IT IS PERFECTION (period) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am rating this a 5 star because this was a very good recipe. The cake turned out fabulous. The only thing I would do differently is add a sprinkle of salt to the icing because the icing wa bland. But overall this was a well executed recipe. I was very pleased. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family loved it. The only thing I would do different is use a larger sheet pan. I used a 13x 11, and the frosting was so thick. Love Ree's recipes! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is perfect. It's easy, simple, and delicious. It turns out wonderful every single time! I love cooking, but not so much baking. However, I have made this over and over again and will continue to do so! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake has now become my "go to" dessert! It's the easiest, most moist, delicious, fudgie, quick dessert, that satisfies a crowd! Last weekend, I made it for a college graduation party for my BFF's son. He is a bacon freak, soooooo, I fried up 7 diced, slices and mixed it into the frosting!!! Tha whole "sweet and savory" note, along with the pecans, really went together perfectly!!! Holy cow, was it ever delicious! Ree, I love your show and your recipes...thank you, thank you, thank you!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband loves brownies. Everyone else prefers cake. This recipe satisfies everyone's chocolate craving. Super easy, moist and makes plenty for the next day's lunchbox. item not reviewed by moderator and published
ITS A GREAT CHOCOLATE RECIPE item not reviewed by moderator and published
My hubby is a chocoholic (loves dark, rich). I made this for him for Valentine's Day, and he went through the roof, asking for it for his birthday! It has a deliciously moist, fudgey texture. Anyone who is complaining about the chocolatey-ness of this cake needs to go out and get a *good* baking cocoa. I found one at Raleys called Rodelle, and I heaped it on when it says "heaping." =) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yummo! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent! Made it for a Superbowl party, and it was a hit! So moist and delicious. Will make it again! Followed recipe exactly. A do over! item not reviewed by moderator and published
HOW CAN I MAKE THE PRINTING LARGER, ITS HARD TO READ? item not reviewed by moderator and published
No where in the ingredients does it tell you that you need water until you get to the instructions on how to mix. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely delicious. People fight over the leftover cake at events. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe only change I make is I use walnuts not pecans and I put some in my cake batter to ,everyone loves it item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is a keeper! My family loved it. I'm not sure why there are negative comments. As far as Ree "stealing" the recipe, she acknowledges it was given to her by her MIL years ago. This is very common as many of my recipes were "handed down." Thanks Ree for sharing it with your viewers!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am 54 & I have been eating this cake for about 50 years. My recipe came directly from my mother's file. I further have made this for every bake sale I ever participated in, dating back to high school. I ate this cake at many many Thanksgiving celebrations when my mother, my aunt, their husband's (and their 14 children) got together. The recipe I have made it this to a T except the cocoa powder for the cake was reduced by 1 Tbl and the margarine for the icing was increased by 3/4 Cup for the icing, so I suppose you can have that credit but the original recipe is much better. I wish when people dig into their mother's recipe files, they acknowledge that the recipe isn't theirs and they can't reserve the rights to it. It's out there. I have a blog, goodchardonnay, and posted it in July 2012, just as it was written and giving full credit to my mother and aunt and all the memories they created for us 14 kids! Shame on you for forgetting from whence it came. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love to try new recipe's and this one was just ok. Not as chocolaty as I was hoping for. The cake texture was so so. I doubt I will ever make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake is delicious and simple to make. I did the milk/vinegar thing for buttermilk. I also added a bit of coconut flavoring to the cake (it makes chocolate taste better without anyone knowing why). As far as rising, make sure you have fresh baking soda. I've found it loses it's punch after about six months plus whatever time it was sitting on the shelf before you buy it. Date your box and then use it to scrub with/laundry aid after that. This was plenty of cake for a crowd, plus it's rich so you don't need a much! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best ever cake. I spread it onto a cookie sheet it cooked up perfectly. Thanks for the best ever chocolate cake. The frosting is also good!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake is awesome! It is easy to make and just delicious. It is a "keeper"!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made the batter but poured it into a 9by13 pan,to make it a thicker cake, cooked it for about 15 extra minuets. I topped it with lots of chocolate ganache, it turned out amazingly!! This make a dense, very old fashion and humble chocolate cake, not the type that you would layer with mousse or whatever ostentatious additives added to a less dense cake. In addition the batter was supper easy took like 2 minuets to put together! Allover amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for a family "snack" and it is wonderful. The cake rose with no problems like others have posted. I made it in a jelly roll pan and it fit perfect. I made the icing exactly as the recipe called for and again it was great. I will definitely make this again and again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for a dinner party (w/ the icing from her husbands bday cake and for work, it was a huge hit. Thanks Ree for sharing your mother in laws recipe. This is now my go to chocolate cake! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this cake for father's day. WOW. If you love chocolate this is the cake for you. This cake was so easy to make you dont even need a mixer. This cake was so simple but so tasty. Get your tall glass of milk ready. Delicious.!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I noticed that the batter did not taste very chocolatey before I baked the cake. Then I was very disappointed that it did not seem to rise at all while baking. The cake was about half an inch high. I thought I did something wrong, but it looked exactly the pictures on Ree's website when it came out of the oven . I needed the cake to serve a crowd, so decided to start over. Kelsey Nixon's cake plus Ina Garten's instant coffee powder idea made a much tastier, substantial sheet cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is Ree Drummond's version of a classic and much-loved cake. Unfortunately I think it is the most sweet and greasy version out there. I think plenty of people will still love it but it is just too much sugar and butter and not enough chocolate for me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for Valentine's Day for my co workers and I had to make it again because everyone loved it!!! This recipe is great and not that hard for a cake/icing made from scratch. This will be my go to chocolate cake recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this twice the first time forgot the eggs came out great second time put in the eggs and still came out great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have baked this cake many times. I have always called it Texas sheet cake. Yum!!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderful old cake recipe---but do not use light butter for the cake as it has too much water in it. I tried it and it came out like rubber. Had to throw it away. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been making this cake for over 40 years. We also call it Texas Sheet Cake and the only thing I do differently is add cinnamon to the batter. Yum!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Also, I have been making this cake for about 30 years and always a hit. Only change I make is using 1 stick of butter in icing. As soon as cake has finished baking I remove from oven and spread minature marshmallows over top, returning to oven to soften. I have icing ready to spread as soon as cake comes out of oven and pour over soft marshmallows and run knife through icing and marshmallows to blend. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been making this cake for 30 years! It's a great moist cake. Grew up eating this cake in Texas! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this cake many times and it is wonderful. Goes far with a crowd and the children love it, mostly without nuts in the icing. My only suggestion is to wait for the cake to cool to pour on the icing. It gives the cake a chance to firm up, otherwise the weight of the icing flattens the cake slightly. I have also found that I can cut the icing recipe in half and it is enough sweetness and the icing is think enough for us. Love Ree's recipes. The step by step directions on Pioneer Woman web-site are fantastic and make the recipes so much clearer and easy to understand. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh my goodness! The best ever! I tried a similar recipe a couple years ago & it was a disaster. This was so easy & soooooo delicious! Thank you Ree!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have her book and followed the recipe to make this after reading how much her family liked it. I just made this the other day to have for the weekend. What's great about this cake is everything! It tastes like fudge, brownies and cake all wrapped into one! It's easy to make and I followed her instructions exactly and it came out perfect. Next time I make this, I will add a little more nuts because I like nuts...but, I think the amount she suggested is perfect. This is one huge and moist chocolate cake! What's not to love?! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The icing was excellent BUT CAKE DID NOT RISE! I live in Albuq NM 5500 above sea level and was awful dense and could not eat it...so sad!,,, please advise how to alter for high altitude someone...Please!,,,, item not reviewed by moderator and published
So easy and quick. Ingredients are on hand. Such a moist and yummy and flavorful cake!! Didnt expect to like this as much as we did. Definate winner item not reviewed by moderator and published
The best! I crave this cake. Really easy to make and I wouldn't change a thing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Obsessed. It was so wonderful... quick, easy, sooo rich and yummy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family calls this "Western Cake." I have always served it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is always a hit! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderful cake but NeoBaker who posted a comment in Sept. 2011 is correct. This is not an original by Ree - the original was called Texas Sheet Cake and I have been making it for years. It's a vintage cake recipe - glad Ree reintroduced the recipe for everyone to enjoy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a recipe I will bake regularly. Great taste, easy prep and enjoyed by everyone I served it to. item not reviewed by moderator and published
What a GREAT Cake!!!!! My husband asked for this one for his birthday! Use a GOOD quality cocoa and the chocolate flavor will shine! Thank you Ree We love you!!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
If Heaven serves Chocolate cake; this is it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i baked it in a 9X13 because i didn't have a jelly roll pan. i did have to bake it about 10 minutes longer because of it. but, i just took this cake out of the oven and just had to nibble on it before i made the frosting. OH MY GOD! this is literally the BEST TASTING CHOCOLATE CAKE I'VE EVER HAD!!! and that is BEFORE the frosting. i can't wait to try it once i put that on!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am making it today, I made it once before. We all just love it Ree! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Try replacing the water with coffee (I use leftover A.M. coffee. Really enhances the chocolate flavor, but doesn't have a strong coffee flavor at all. We call this recipe Texas Brownies. Delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
A favorite of ours at any family gathering. Everyone will ask for this cake over any other. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was shocked by how below average this cake was...Very sweet but it did not have that rich chocolate flavor that we look for in a chocolate cake. Honestly, my husband and three kids are chocoholics and this is the only cake (including cakes made from a mix that sat on my counter until we threw it away. It didn't taste terrible, but unfortunately, it just wasn't worth eating. It was disappointing because Ree's recipes are usually delicious. I truly felt this was a waste of ingredients. I will stick with Ina Garten's "Beatty's Chocolate Cake" recipe from now on--That always turns out well. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The only thing i would do next time is add less sugar and more cocoa item not reviewed by moderator and published
Chocolate Fix? Here you go! This was wonderful and I made it exactly as the recipe instructed and had wonderful results! I brought it to a family function and it was well received! And, if you have cut up pineapple and strawberries the frosting makes a great dip! We found that out when putting the cake together. Bonus! item not reviewed by moderator and published
delicious have made it for work family and friends always comes out perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love this cake but have been making it for 40 years as it is in every school or church cookbook around. I first had it in high school when the great Mennonite cooks used to make it for our lunches, along with fabulous bierocks and other delights. It is a heavenly cake and rich and especially tender so you don't eat as much as in a normal cake. Favorite cake recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this cake several times and it's wonderful! I don't understand all the bad reviews...hello people, it's a cake; it's supposed to be sweet! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love, love, love this cake. I have made it several times. Eating it warm is heaven. Last time I made it I made it in (2 - 8x8 pans and gave my neighbors one. They loved it two! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake has become legendary in the neighborhood. I've made it, at least 10 times over the last year and people applaud when they see it. Don't understand the negative reviews, actually question whether they're not left by troublemakers. And who could like shortening or oleo (gag in lieu of real butter? One thing I have found is that the brand of cocoa makes a difference. After trying 5 different brands, good old Hersheys is the best...NOT the dark chocolate cocoa, but the original. This is the best cake on the planet. item not reviewed by moderator and published
OMG, this is the BEST cake ever. I make it in a half sheet pan and I could pick at it and eat the whole thing. Of course, I would have to be wheeled out after eating it all but this is a special treat. Butter is better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten! Yummy yummy item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe has been in my family for about 50 years, we got it from a girl that rode horses with us for years. My Grandmother in Law had a church recipe book dating from the depression with the recipe in it. It's a wonderful cake and so easy to make! For variations substitute Dr. Pepper or Cola for the water in the cake (don't heat it up and the milk in the icing. I have had my Venturing Crew and Girl Scout Troop beg me to make this for special occasions. My son is allergic to most tree nuts so I just leave them out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for a party last year and now every time there is a party I'm asked to bring this cake - I changed nuts to walnuts but kept everything else the same - huge hit - definite crowd pleaser! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Don't know how you did it but, this Recipe has been in MY Family for over 50 Years!!! It is and has been a Family Favorite. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is an amazing cake! My family has been using this recipe for years. The only difference is we use only 1/2 cup of butter in the icing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
only problem with this cake is that it is soooo big and delicious if you don't have an event to take it to you will be very very fat! (in fact i bought some 1/4 sheet pans just so i can halve the recipe and just make it for us! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I LOVE this cake. I made it as an "extra" cake for a friends birthday. It was gone long before the "real" cake was. It has alot of steps, but is well worth it. I have made it again and again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the BEST chocolate sheet cake I've tasted. Made it for my boss for his birthday and he asked for the recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Always, always, a hit. I like that I can make this cake in 30 minutes from start to finish. (I like to toast the chopped pecans before adding them to the icing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it! The only addition I made was to add a little cinnamon to the cake batter! I always do that with chocolate cake! This is a very yummy cake! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh so good! This sheet cake was gone in two days :- This recipe is a keeper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was so good. I made two changes. First I added 1/4 cup old coffee to batter and I was out of Vanilla so I used Almond extract. I took this to an outing of amount 40 people. It was the hit of the party. This was soooooooo good and easy. Cynthia Evans, Boiling Spring Lakes, NC item not reviewed by moderator and published
I work with cakes daily...this recipe is a keeper. I tried the recipe for a change to my norm, for a 14inch round cake order I had. The only change I made is I added 2 tbls strong brewed coffee to the buttermilk to bring it up to the required measurement. The texture turned out moist, the crumb was very tender - It stacked beautifully. Will definitely bake this recipe again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this since I bought your cookbook and we love it. Make it for picnics, holidays, family gatherings. A bit hit in our family. item not reviewed by moderator and published
A timeless recipe. Always make this for big family get togethers. Everyone loves this cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake is super chocolaty and when served warm it is the best!! Yes it uses a lot of butter but all good recipes do! : My family loves it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I personally think this cake is insanely too sweet and a bit greasy but it was a complete hit at an office party! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great cake. Have made it several times. It's simple to make, and it's very tasty. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a perfect chocolate cake recipe. It turns out every time, and if it doesn't you're doing something wrong. This is a reliable, delicious, well received dessert. I have even doubled it and baked it in two 10" rounds for a layer cake for a large birthday party. I have made it countless times just as the recipe says and it has been flawless every time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the second recipe I tried from Ree's blog when I discovered it a year ago, and it has been a huge hit at our house. The frosting is delicious, I personally prefer it without the pecans. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family loves this recipe. I do add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the cake recipe. It adds a great taste. Enjoy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this cake many times over the past couple years, it is always simple & delicious! Don't know how anyone could NOT love this cake! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is so poorly thought out. I cannot believe Food Network is publishing it on their website. I also can't believe that I trusted it and made it according to the instructions. It's huge so I had so much awful cake left over, too. First of all, there is not nearly enough leavening in here even for a sheet cake. It is tooth-achingly, obnoxiously, who-thought-this-was-a-good-idea sweet. Between the cake itself and the icing there is enough butter in here to make you ill and bring you closer to death. For a special treat, and in a good recipe, I would be okay with this much butter, but this cake is really bad. Between the overloads of fat and sugar the cake is heavy, grainy, mushy and greasy. When it comes to baking, you can't just slop way more butter in something than there should be! It has serious effects on the texture of the final product. As other reviewers have noted, this is a very bad version of a classic cake which has gained totally undeserving popularity. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved by kids and adults alike. So easy and simply addicting. What started as a large sheet cake quickly disappeared over a weekend of snacking......: item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy to make cake and frosting. Definitely use the nuts if you know no one has nut allergies. I keep powdered buttermilk in my pantry and all the rest I usually have on hand. This cake always gets tons of compliments. It makes a nice large cake, so it is good for large groups. Better make copies of the recipe to take with you though because everyone will want it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think the people who gave this recipe negative reviews can't bake. Love this cake, and love Ree too!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
best. chocolate cake. ever. so easy to make. all you need is your stove - no mixers required! i've made this cake many times and the only problem i see is that you end up eating half the sheet by yourself. gah, now i want to go make this cake! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake is so easy and fast to make. You probably already have the ingrediants in your kitchen just waiting to be turned into this fabulous cake. I used extra pecans in the icing because I love pecans. I took this to a family reunion this weekend and it was, as always a big hit. It never lasts long, so grab a piece fast. The cake is moist, the icing is perfect. It's kind of a cross between a brownie and cake. It's perfect. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the BEST, everyone loves it.......Keeper for sure item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake is rich, delicious, and simple. Great for a party. It does have a lot of butter but it's dessert!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake is a family favorite, it's so decadent YUM item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've had fudge that is less dense and cloyingly sweet than this cake. There is so much hype behind this cake; it just doesn't measure up. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious and very moist. I love the simple-ness of this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
yeah WAY too much butter in this recipe. I've made a cake very similar to this one for years, it was my Grandmother's recipe and has been in our family for decades. Her recipe calls for 1 stick of Oleo (Parkay in the cake and one stick in the icing. Oh and I agree with the poster who said this will not work for cupcakes. It also need to sit for at least 24 hrs to be really good :- item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think this cake is easy and great!! Thanks Ree I love your show!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe...easy wonderful perfect everytime... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't see why this cake calls for so much butter. It is a waste of time and money. I tried it, and it was greasy, and had a strange flavor. There are so many other great, easy cake recipes out there worth trying. For those looking for more cupcake "instructions" I really don't think this recipe would work as cupcakes as it doesn't rise much. That is why it is baked in a sheet pan. Only 1 tsp. of baking soda and no baking powder will not really produce high, fluffy cupcakes. Find another recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
What a disappointment. Based on the original reviews I actually baked this without a taste test before I served it. So embarrassed!!! Overall greasy chocolate cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Although I cut down on the powder sugar in the icing, that is just my personal preference, I think the cake is great! It is easy preparation, tastes great, and is always a crowd pleaser! Thanks Ree!So happy you are now on Food TV Network! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe falls short of being good or acceptable. Unfornately, I agree with those who not only fault the recipe, which I've tried, but also fault it for originality. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Please don't give this recipe a poor rating when you haven't even made it.  Just because you have a recipe you use that is less butter, that is not a reflection of the quality of THIS recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am wondering what size sheet pan you used to bake this recipe? Thanks item not reviewed by moderator and published
johnsonspdx Try putting you printer setting on Landscape instead of Portrait. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Please rate according to how you like or dislike the recipe. Thanks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Recipes usually don't include water as an ingredient. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Correction, I posted this recipe on my goodchardonnay blog July 2010, further proving this wasn't her recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Check your facts more CAREFULLY....BEFORE YOU POST. Ree did give credit to her mother in law. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was posted on Ree's Pioneer Woman blog in 2007. Also, baking is science. Two recipes for a chocolate sheet cake made in the same size pan are bound to be similar. item not reviewed by moderator and published
where'd your mother get the recipe. more than likely she didn't make it up either item not reviewed by moderator and published
MEOWWWW! Bring your claws back in sista. I agree with mg_314 item not reviewed by moderator and published
I also received this recipe from my mother nearly 30 years ago when I was a Girl Scout, and I used it to win a local, regional and state Girl Scout bake off contest. Unfortunately, I lost the recipe years ago and was so excited to see it in Pioneer Woman's cookbook. Many recipes travel in the same way legends do, so we shouldn't get too upset when someone "claims" one. I'm just happy I found it again. In fact, I made it tonight for the Superbowl, and it was exactly as I remember: delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Every time she makes the cake on this show,( and she has done so repeatedly in different applications) she never fails to give credit to her mother-in law, Nan for giving her the recipe when they first got married. Shame on you for saying you make the cake to a T, but then give it 1 star to be spiteful. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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