Skillet Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

overhead view of skillet texas sheet cake with ice cream and 3 gold spoons on top.

5 from 2 reviews

Rich, dense, Texas chocolate sheet cake with a hint of cinnamon topped with a glossy, fudge-like pecan-studded frosting made in a cast-iron skillet is the BEST chocolate cake you will ever have! It's half the recipe of a typical Texas sheet cake for smaller families, with the same fudgy goodness.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour (all purpose, white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine water, butter, oil and cocoa. Bring to a boil, stirring. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, mix the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Add to the chocolate batter and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour into the prepared skillet. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with just a couple of moist crumbs.
  6. While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. In a saucepan, combine butter, cocoa and milk. Bring to a boil slowly while stirring, careful not to scorch the milk.
  7. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and pecans, stirring until smooth.
  8. Pour warm frosting over the hot cake. Let the frosting firm up before serving.


  • Be careful not to scorch the milk and butter while making the frosting. It's tempting to turn up the heat to speed things up, but low and slow is the way to go for the smoothest frosting.
  • If the frosting seizes up, add a little bit more milk at the end if needed, just until you're able to pour it. You don't want it to runny or it won't set up correctly.
  • Pour the hot frosting on the cake just after you remove it from the oven so that it will spread evenly over the cake.
  • This recipe can be doubled and baked in a jelly roll pan or 13x9 inch cake pan.
  • I use a 10 inch cast iron skillet. (This white Staub is my favorite!) Any skillet from 8 to 11 inches will work. Adjust the bake time accordingly. You can also use a round or square cake pan instead of a skillet.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • If you don't have buttermilk, you can make 'soured milk'. Add 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and fill to the 1/4 cup line with milk. Stir and let it stand to thicken for a few minutes.
  • I like to use dark cocoa powder for the richest chocolate flavor.
  • I like salted butter because I think the salt is a nice contrast in every dessert, but unsalted butter is just fine.
  • I've made this cake with all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and white whole wheat flour. They're all delicious.
  • If you're allergic to nuts, leave out the pecans. It will still taste amazing.

Keywords: texas chocolate sheet cake, skillet chocolate sheet cake, chocolate sheet cake half recipe