Texas Chocolate Sheet Cakes

This was one of the first recipes I scaled down to size.  I’ve always been mesmerized by the versions of Texas chocolate sheet (or sheath) cake.  My Mom’s version is made with shortening and contains cinnamon.  I kept the cinnamon but replaced the shortening with butter.  This little chocolate cake really cures the homesick blues.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Texas Chocolate Sheet Cakes
Makes 2 small cakes in ramekins.
For the cakes:
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon unbleached flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for greasing ramekins)
  • 3 packed tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the icing:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 packed teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped pecans, toasted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and butter two 8-ounce ramekins.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together with a fork the flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder.
  3. In a small saucepan, add the butter, water and cocoa powder. Stir with a small whisk over low heat. Once it simmers gently and the cocoa powder is well dissolved, remove from the heat.
  4. In another small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Pour this on top of the flour mixture, then immediately pour the chocolate mixture on top of this. Using a small whisk, stir until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter between the two ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Make the icing while the cakes cool slightly. Have ready in a small bowl the powdered sugar.
  7. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa powder and milk. Pour this over the powdered sugar and beat with a whisk to combine. Stir in the pecans. Pour this over the cakes while they are still warm. Serve the cake when cooled.


  1. says

    This is my husbands favorite cake ever, but I never make it because it’s so much cake (gluten) around the house. I can totally have this amount, thank you so much for sharing this.

  2. says

    Oh Tina, you rock!
    This is a childhood favorite and as me and my 4 sisters got older My Mom passed the spoon and let us learn to make it.

    I too loveeeee this cake but it’s always too much and it’s a crime to let it sit around for tvery long (we will eat it!) .

    I will give this a try as it’s just me and the hubby these day.

    Lisa from Texas : )

  3. JP says

    Delicious! I just found this site and this is the first recipe I’ve tried. I had 6″ square bakers instead of round and used those. The cake is so moist! Is it the buttermilk? And I like the hint of cinnamon. I’m so thrilled to have found this site – I love that I have a go to site now that has scaled down recipes. Cheers!

  4. Emily says

    I made this recipe this weekend and it was amazing!! The cake was perfectly rich and chocolately — the perfect vehicle for the vanilla frosting I made (I wanted something more akin to a one layer cake). I baked it in a 6 inch round which worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, it ended up being more like “dessert for one” and I ate the entire cake within 36 hours. Thank you so much for the amazing recipe! Love the site!

  5. DSG says

    Craving chocolate cake but lord knows I don’t need a full sized one in the house. Came across this site after combing thru multiple postings for mug cakes (ugh!). Two words–WOOP PEE!! Made this and it so so moist and so rich–and only a measly 390 calories per cake (I dusted them with a hint of powdered sugar instead of frosting). A single “cakelett” between me and the wee one was plenty. You know what that means? Chocolate cake tomorrow! Love the site. Keep the good stuff coming.


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