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Mom’s Texas Sheet Cake

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Happy Mother’s Day to all my mom readers!!

Who doesn’t love chocolate for mother’s day? This moist, rich, Texas sheet cake is a family favorite and MY personal favorite since I was a child.

Being a mom is one of the most amazing jobs in the entire world. One of my favorite quotes sums it up best.

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” ― Elizabeth Stone

And that’s no joke. I love my job as mom, even when they try my patience, act like teenagers and just generally annoy me. It’s still worth it for every hug, every utterance of “you’re the coolest mom”, every milestone (I have two graduating in 2 weeks) and every time they make me proud.

I learned everything about being a mom from my own mama. The good, the bad – what to do, what not to do. All of it. If not for her, I wouldn’t be who I am today. A mother’s touch is ingrained in us forever. Every precious story, loving hug and every memory.

So why did I choose this chocolate Texas sheet cake to celebrate Mother’s day this year?

Because this is the one food, the one thing I can eat, no matter where I am, who I am with and when I do, I will transcend time and my thoughts are immediately with my own mother. No other significant memory is associated with this cake, even though I’ve eaten thousands of them. Always my mama. And this is the one recipe that is strongest in memory association. You’re getting to see it today.

My mom has been making this cake since I was so little I couldn’t even stir the batter yet. Yes, that’s right and I’m turning 40 this year so I mean, that’s a long freakin’ time. And when I was old enough for her to start asking me what kind of birthday cake I want, I asked for it every single year for my birthday. And then I moved away from home, got married, had kids, got divorced and when I returned back home 2 weeks before my 28th birthday, my mom surprised me with a Texas Sheet cake. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! And now I make it for my own kids. I hope they have the same sweet memories when they grow up and leave, about me, as I do about my mom.

Of course my mom’s recipe isn’t exactly as this one. We’ve made a few changes, a few ingredient tweaks and such and now this cake is just as perfect as the original “secret” recipe, my mom holds. And no matter how many times I google my moms recipe, I have never found an exact match – so it remains our family secret, I guess. But don’t worry – this cake is absolutely JUST as perfect as the original. I assure you.

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A delicious, moist Texas sheet cake infused with rich cocoa flavor, sour cream and topped with a rich chocolate icing. This particular version is the version I've made since I was a teenager. Not exactly like mom's ... but close.



  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sour cream


  • ½ cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ c. sour cream
  • ½ c. chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
  2. On the stove, melt the butter. Add the hot water and then the cocoa. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat once it's boiling.
  3. While waiting for that to boil, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt until blended. Pour the boiling liquid into the dry ingredients and blend. Add sour cream and stir to blend.
  4. Pour the batter into a standard size jelly roll pan. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes. Check to make sure it's done with a toothpick inserted near the center.
  5. Once it's done, remove from oven and set aside to begin cooling.

For Icing:

  1. In a saucepan on the stove, melt the butter.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla and cocoa and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk in the powdered sugar. I usually sift it first because if you don't blend it in really well, you will get little pebbles of sugar in there. They don't look pretty, but they taste fine - so don't stress.
  4. Stir in the sour cream until smooth.
  5. Nuts are optional and pecans can be substituted instead of walnuts.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest



Also, THIS is why I’m a mom – this is the message I woke up to on FB this morning from my 18 year old, almost graduated son!

Mother's Day

Wouldn’t even matter if the whole day was bad, because just that little bit made the whole day perfect. 😉

Be sure and check out what the rest of the crew is cooking up for Mother’s Day:

Mother’s Day Brunch:

Mother’s Day Entrees:

Mother’s Day Starters and Sides:

Mother’s Day Desserts:


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Tell Us What You Think!

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Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

Thursday 16th of May 2013

Wow, this looks unbelievable! What a sweet post - both your writing and the cake :)


Wednesday 15th of May 2013

This looks hands down better than any chocolate sheet cake I've had. I have to try it.


Wednesday 15th of May 2013

My mouth is watering just thinking about this cake! I am such a fan of chocolate...and this cake looks so moist and wonderful!

Nancy @ gottagetbaked

Tuesday 14th of May 2013

Nicole, happy belated Mother's Day to you! I hope you had an amazing weekend being celebrated by your family! This recipe is perfect for the occasion - I love the history behind it. It's just one of those special dishes made by your mom and no other version will ever compare. I can't get over that dark glossy icing. I have a tub of sour cream in my fridge so now I know what I'm making with it! And seriously, that message from your son is beyond sweet. It makes all the infuriating teenage antics worth it, right? ;)

Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious

Tuesday 14th of May 2013

Love your cake, and love the Facebook message even more! Great recipe for #SundaySupper!

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