Classically decadent Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with a fudgy, pecan-studded chocolate frosting made in a cast-iron skillet.
If you show up to a celebration here in Texas, there are likely to be a few things present. These things include lots of good food, ice-cold beer, southern hospitality, and Texas chocolate sheet cake.
If you’ve never had Texas chocolate sheet cake, you’re missing out big time. The cake itself is so chocolatey and moist with just a hint of cinnamon, and its dense texture is perfectly complemented by the frosting. Oh, the frosting. It’s a cross between fudge and the frosting Jesus would have on his (chocolate) birthday cake. And I could eat it with a spoon. After it hardens, of course, because that’s when it’s the best. If you can wait that long.
Texas chocolate sheet cake is one of those desserts that everyone’s mom has a recipe for, and they are all so delicious, but none is better than the one your own mom makes. This recipe is the one my mom always made for our family gatherings and backyard barbecues. I think it came from an old Betty Crocker cookbook that had the cover torn off. It was kept at the top of our pantry behind the knife block growing up. (A very strange place for both the knife block and the book, I know.)
And I know that there are a million and one recipes for chocolate sheet cake out there and that most of them don’t include the name ‘Texas’ (but us Texans are proud of our cake and so we want everyone to know that it is, indeed, from Texas – our state tree is the pecan tree, after all!), but none of them are as good as this recipe. I know that because I’ve tried most of them. I would look up a recipe for it on the internet whenever it was a friend’s birthday, and many of them were slightly different from this one, but none of them stood up to this recipe. (Though people still happily ate the not-as-amazing sheet cakes I made back then.)
I was so happy when I looked in my book of family recipes and I found THE Texas chocolate sheet cake recipe. And when I made it again, it was still the best one. Even better than the Pioneer Woman’s. Yes I know, that’s a big claim, but it’s true. (Sorry, Ree.)
This version is that same amazing Texas chocolate sheet cake recipe, just made in a skillet for fun. Mostly because my hubby loves anything made in a skillet and also because it is only half of a full sheet cake, and we certainly don’t need a full cake hanging out at our house for the two of us. Because it Will. Get. Devoured.
You can absolutely make a full-sized sheet cake easily by just doubling the recipe and making it in a 9 x 13 pan (or if you want to get really traditional a full-sized jelly roll pan). I even made it as cupcakes one time. Still amazing. Just do yourself a favor and make this cake asap. You will not regret it.
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Skillet Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake
Classically decadent Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with a fudgy, pecan-studded chocolate frosting made in a cast iron skillet.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 1 skillet cake 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 heaping tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk (or milk soured with lemon juice)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
For the frosting:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp lowfat milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine water, butter, oil and cocoa. Bring to a boil, stirring. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
- In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, mix the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Add to the chocolate batter and mix.
- Pour into a well seasoned, greased cast iron skillet. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Ina saucepan, combine butter, cocoa and milk. Bring to a boil slowly while stirring, careful not to scorch the milk. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and pecans, stirring until smooth. Pour over the hot cake.
- Let the frosting harden before serving. Tastes best with a scoop of Bluebell Homemade Vanilla (fact).
Keywords: chocolate pecan dessert, texas chocolate sheet cake