Cookie Sheet Chocolate Cake

First off, to my followers, I am SO sorry I have not posted in forever.  Literally, forever.  I have gotten a few requests to start posting recipes again.  You see, I am pregnant with number 2 and food just has not been appealing to me lately, hence the no baking/cooking really.  But good news, I am back!  Or at least trying to be!  Haha!  So with out further ado, a new recipe! :)

This has been one of my favorite chocolate recipes since forever!  Whenever my mom would say, “I want something chocolate, what should I make?”  This was always the response.

Cookie Sheet Chocolate Cake from …This will quickly become one of your favorite cake recipes of all time! It is AMAZING!

4.8 from 26 reviews
Cookie Sheet Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup butter
  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoon cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • (nuts if desired, I never add them)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, measure flour and sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, combine butter, water, cocoa and shortening. Bring to a boil. After mixture reaches a boil, add it to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Add buttermilk, then baking soda, then eggs, then vanilla in that order, mixing in-between each addition.
  4. Pour into a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes
  1. Bring combine butter milk and cocoa and bring to a boil, stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  2. After cake has cooked, remove from oven and poke holes in hot cake with a fork. Pour frosting evenly over top.


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #chefintraining and/or #chefintrainingblog. I would love to see how these recipes take shape in your kitchens.

Filed under: cake, dessert, frosting

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  1. The Nummy Little Blog

    Isn't this the best cake?! It's the same recipe that my Mom gave me while I was growing up. I make it for my family all the time. We love it! I think it must be a Utah thing. :)

    1. linda jordan

      Made one tonight to send granddaughter ( away at college ) ..My cake recipe for the cake calls for butter - sour cream - and no vanilla..I have been told that either way - they taste the same..This cake calls for water and I always add milk instead of water (in most recipes calling for water)..This is the favorite cake recipe of all four grandchildren..

    2. MARTHA N TX

      It may be a Utah thing.. But my recipe calls it a Texas sheet cake.

    3. Cindy


      Yep...I have had this recipe since back in the early 70's and the co-worker who gave it to me said it was "Texas Sheetcake", and I only make it when kids are here and you know why--??--I cannot stop is VERY addictive!!

    4. Helen

      I find that buttermilk or sour cream (in baking) can be swapped and the taste is the same. Sour cream tends to make the 'crumb' of the cake smother. I'm in Kentucky and it is often called "Texas Sheet Cake here also.

    5. Helen

      Oops, that was supposed to say makes the 'crumb' of the cake SMOOTHER

    6. Carolyn

      So I assume you use butter instead of shortening?

    7. Carolyn

      I meant to ask since in the original recipe it calls for butter AND shortening, do you just use butter and use as much butter as the shortening? I can't get shortening (and don't want it) in my country, and would prefer to use butter, but want to use the same amount. Then, instead of buttermilk -- sour cream? Thanks!

    8. Brenda Akers


      Not a Utah thing only I found in my Mother-in-law's cookbook named chocolate sheath cake and have seen it in other book here in
      Virginia. Wonderful cake. .

  2. Seven Sisters

    this looks delicious!! sheet cake...yum...
    thanks for stopping by and leavin' some love!

  3. Cynthia

    growing up my mom always made this for large group cookouts. She added cinnamon and I was never much of a fan until one day I made it without the cinnamon! YUM. I think I will make it for after church tomorrow.. I haven't made it in years!

    1. Martha n tX

      can be any where from a 9x13 inch pan to a l0 x 15 inch.. when it is in the smaller pan it makes a thicker cake...

    2. Sue

      Do you have to use buttermilk?

  4. Martha n tX

    this is a good & easy little ol cake.. In our area it is known as a Texas Sheet cake I like to add just a tsp of cinnamon.. Makes it taste so good...

  5. Marle

    On the frosting you said one box of powder sugar could you tell me how many cups is that or size of box?
    Thank you!

    1. Amber

      As far as I am aware, powdered sugar comes in 2lb bags and 1lb boxes.

    2. Missy

      I have only ever seen one size box of powered sugar - a 1 lb box. That is the most common.

    3. ron

      funny how things are different in different parts of the country, I am from Minnesota and I would have to look hard to find a 1 lb box of p sugar. But there will will stacks of 2 lb bags made by different companies

    4. Helen


  6. jean hullihan

    Would this work in a regular cake pan instead of a cookie sheet?

    1. Pam


      A co-worker gave me a recipe very similar to this. She called it "20 Minute Chocolate Cake" and she baked it in a glass oblong cake pan. It didn't have shortening - instead all margarine or butter. It is to die for!!
      However, whenever I've made it I had to let it bake at least 30 minutes or it was soupy in the middle.
      Thanks for sharing... I haven't made this in years and now my taste buds are asking for it.

  7. Kim L

    Looks real similar to Texas Sheet Cake..which is amazing! I bet this is too!

  8. Wanda

    Is this all purpose flour or self-rising?

  9. Donna


    Add a little cinnamon to both the cake and icing and chopped pecans to the icing and you'd have a Texas Sheet Cake. That was the second cake I learned to make from scratch when I was 7 yrs old.

  10. tammy

    Is this made with a regular size cookie sheet or the bigger one 15 x 10?

  11. Rohima

    Hi. Do I use self raising or plain flour?

  12. verapeter

    I've baked this last week n one word Delicious! I couldn't agree more with you! This recipe is a keeper well for me

  13. Annamarie


    Sounds delicious! I had this when I was trucking in & out of Texas!

  14. Carol

    Congratulations! Can you tell me the size if the cookie sheet you used? I have 2 different size cookie sheets. Thanks

    1. Chef in Training

      18x13 inches

  15. Missy

    I have tried to make a couple of variations of this cake before and have failed all but one time. In the past, after the 20 minute bake time, it was still soupy in the middle. What am I doing it not doing wrong? I will wait to hear back from someone before I attempt it again!! I have tasted the finished product, made by someone besides myself, and it is amazing. You don't just eat this cake, you make love to it!

    1. KayDee

      Are you using the 18 x 13 pan? As you can see from the picture, this cake is VERY thin. If you use a smaller pan, the batter is thicker and it takes longer to bake in order to get done all the way through. As a previous poster stated, in a small pan you may need to cook for 30 minutes or longer to avoid the soupy center.

    2. Chef in Training

      yes its an 18x13 inch cookie sheet

  16. Julie

    What size sheet pan ?

    1. Chef in Training

      18x13 inches

  17. Robin G

    This sounds great! When you say "shortening" in this recipe, can you please be more specific on what to use? Are you saying something like crisco?

  18. Corinna

    Looks amazing! Can you sub out the shortening for something else that's healthier?

  19. Denise Rutledge

    What kind of flour do you use? All purpose, cake, self rising? Sounds delicious! Can't wait to bake it!

  20. Kimberly

    I just made this and it looks nothing like the picture. I cannot figure out what I did wrong?

  21. Shannon

    Is this recipe calling for self rising or plain flour?

  22. Roland Hurley

    Hi there, maybe I'm just being a guy, but is there another term used for the ingredient shortening? Think we must know it as something different in South Africa?

    1. Chef in Training

      you can use butter in place of the shortening

  23. Andrea


    Ooo looks lovely! What kind of flour? Also what is shortening?!

  24. Andrea

    I don't know if my comment posted or not before so will say again.. what kind of flour? And what is shortening?? Thank you :)

    1. Chef in Training

      I used all purpose flour. You can use butter in place of the shortening.

  25. CJ

    What size pan? I can't wait to make this, it looks so yummy!!!

    1. Chef in Training

      a 13x18 inch sheet pan

    2. Tina Marie

      O.K. thanks. Wasn't sure what size to use.

  26. IZ

    In the oven as I write this message, frosting is done just waiting can't wait to try!

    Only made one modification used only 1 cup of sugar!

  27. Pia

    hi, that's a yummy cake. I live in Europe and I would be SO happy if you could make all your'e recipes in grams, cm and degrees so it makes me and other people little easier to bake and follow your'e blogg. Thank's a Lot

  28. Julia


    I'm from Michigan, and this is exactly the recipe my mom always called "Good Boy Cake". She sprinkled nuts on top when we could afford it! Love it!

  29. Janice

    Looks great is the flour plain or self-rising and yes the size of cookie sheet and depth is it better to cook in cookie sheet or the foil pan that are cookie sheet sized

    1. Chef in Training

      I use all purpose flour

  30. Jane


    I have made this cake for 50 years. I always put nuts and coconut in the frosting. I will try it with only pecans the next time. I use regular flour and Crisco and not butter in the cake. I have never had a failure so I will stay with the way I make it. When I put the frosting on the hot cake, I don't poke holes in it.

  31. Marcia Keim

    What size cookie sheet ?

    1. Chef in Training

      18x13 inch

  32. Gretchen


    Thank you for posting this recipe. My mother made this all the time for every gathering as far back as I can remember, and that would be at least the l950s. We are native Texans, so of course it was a Texas Sheet Cake. After she cut it into squares she would always put a pecan half in the center of each square...Texas pecans, of course. Delicious cake!!

  33. Tina Marie

    I have cookie sheets in several sizes. What size cookie sheet is best to use?

  34. Hazel LeClaire

    i love chocolate cake.

  35. Sandra Wright

    what size cookie sheet??

    1. Sandra Wright

      Ok thanks



    My grandmother always had this for us when we came in town to visit. It was so delicious! This brings back such fond memories of days gone by. Thanks for the memories! I'm making this for my family today!!

  37. Martha Stilwell;


  38. Mona Jonhson

    You left out the cinnamon . Recipe the same but we all use cinnamon .

  39. rosemarie johnson

    love to try this recipe and good luck with your new little one....

  40. Ginger Taylor

    I can't wait to make this chocolate cake. it looks so moist and delicious!!

  41. regina

    Been looking for this recipe. Love it. Do you have the pineapple sheet cake recipe by chance. My family would love it if I could find that one too. Thanks

  42. cassi

    Can I use lard instead of shortening?

    1. Chef in Training

      I haven't used lard personally, but butter fantastic!

    2. KayDee

      It's my understanding that lard was the original product before shortening was created just as whipped cream is the original product before Cool-Whip was created.
      Shortening was invented as a substitute for lard because it was processed and had a longer shelf life than real, home processed lard.
      Yes, you can use lard as a substitute for shortening. Real, home made lard would be marvelous!
      But if all you have is modern processed lard or shortening and you want to avoid the chemicals in them, butter is what you'll want in this recipe. Some recipes need the lard/shortening in order to have the best texture but this recipe isn't one of them.

    3. Jaci

      You probably could use lard, but should consider that it has a strong distinct flavor where shortening is neutral. If you've used lard for baking cookies or cakes in the past and liked it, you could use 1/2 cup of it to replace the lard. My mom frequently used lard for baking when I was a kid. I loved her piecrusts, but was bothered by the lard flavor in cookies.

    4. Jaci

      Also, want to add that I have a version of this recipe from 40+ years ago. I still have sweet memories of the cake and the very special aunt who made it for us during a visit. That recipe called for shortening (Crisco) in both the cake and frosting. I've made it that way many times over the years and it was always delicious. I recently misplaced the old recipe and found this version with a combo of shortening and butter in the cake and only butter in the frosting. I like the cake equally with or without butter, but the frosting with butter is really delicious and, to me, better tasting than the shortening version.

  43. Stephani

    This looks yummy. Will this work with dry buttermilk? If so, should I just add the dry buttermilk with the other dry ingredients, or should I mix buttermilk then add it according to directions? Thanks

  44. Angela Brown

    absolutely delicious cake.. Will be making this one again

  45. Sandy

    does it have to be buttermilk in cake? can you use regular milk?

    1. KayDee


      Baking soda reacts with buttermilk to create the leavening. Yes, you must use buttermilk and not regular milk.
      In a pinch, you can add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of regular milk. Stir well and let sit for a minute or two to sour the regular milk. Then use as buttermilk in the recipe. The substitue isn't as good as real cultured buttermilk but it'll do.

  46. Jean McCartney

    Cookie sheet chocolate cake saw on fb from sister in law,first time getting a recipe from you. Will fix and comment on it. Jean McCartney's

  47. Karen Smith

    i have to say I just made this and this cake is awesome, what flavor.... Thanks for the recipe...

  48. Sharon Faria

    can you use cooking cocoa?

  49. Ellen Sedberry


    This cake is delicious! My family loves it. A friend gave us this recipe many years ago and I have made it many times. We know it as a "Scotch Chocolate Cake". Great recipe and so easy to make.

  50. Lynn

    Try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to your cake batter. It's AMAZING! Thanks for sharing.

  51. Shirley Dunlap

    I love all your recipes!!! Going to try this sheet cake for our next Lodge function

  52. MeMo MoN


    What is the butter milk ?i dont no how do butter milk.pls let me how to do that.

  53. Barbara

    I know how amazing this cake is, and going to make one today. I don't recall the pan size to use, and it isn't mentioned. If poss., could you shoot me an email - soon - or I will just "eyevall it, " and hope I'm right. Remember well what you're experiencing about food...hopefully better for you soon.

    1. Chef in Training

      18x13 inch baking sheet

    2. Patti Patrick

      My mom use to make this cake a long time ago, but I want to think she used a coca cola in the frosting???? What temperature do we bake this at?

  54. Cathie Holmes

    I use about a table spoon of cinnamon to the cake and 2 tsp to the frosting and we call it Texas sheet cake. By any name, it is really good!!

  55. Michelle Bailey

    What kind of flour do you use in the chocolate sheet cake recipe?

    1. Chef in Training

      I use all purpose flour

  56. Sandi


    My most FAVORITE cake of all time! My mom passed this down to me! Can't make just one, always make 2 then you can double the frosting recipe without measuring the powdered sugar. At least that is MY excuse!!!!

  57. Deb Buckland

    Great sounding there a substitute that would work for the shortening?
    Thanks very much!

  58. Veronica Blanco

    Hello Nikki!!

    I just stumbled across your wonderful site :)
    I was wondering if you could put together a Gluten Free recipe for your cookie sheet chocolate cake. My son and I are both celiac and both LOVE chocolate cake, and yours looks scrumptious! <3
    Thanks so much,

    1. Katie

      I use namaste all purpose gluten free flour in this recipe and most of my other baking, it comes out perfect. Just leave everything the same and sub the flour in equal amounts

  59. Janinne

    What size cookie sheet do you use for the chocolate cookie sheet cake ? Ty

  60. Gail

    My family loves this cake. We call it Mother's Sotch Cake. Mother found this recipe years ago. The only difference is the shortening, we don't use it. Never added the nuts either. The many times this cake has been made, its been messed up a few times: no eggs once, no buttermilk just used regular and so on. Still tasted great.

  61. Patricia

    When it calls for flour is that self rising or just plain flour Thank you

    1. Chef in Training

      i use all purpose

  62. Bonita

    My question is about the frosting in the ingredients it calls for milk but in the instructions it says combine buttermilk and cocoa and bring to a boil I need to know which is it milk or buttermilk please

    1. Stacy

      I believe it is saying butter, milk, & cocoa based on the ingredients for the frosting. :)



    Know this recipe well. My mom made this for years the name was a TEXAS SHEET cake..

  64. Jackie

    Try putting some cinnamon in your cake batter!! This is my son's absolute favorite cake, I got the recipe out of a really old newspaper. Only it is called Texas sheet cake, the only difference in your recipe and this one is the cinnamon :)

  65. Sanaya

    Can I use more butter instead of shortening?

  66. Rose hall

    Cookie sheet chocolate cake. Ingredients list milk, directions say butter milk...wonder which one to use?

  67. Georgene D Hanst

    do not understand the shortening since it calls first for 1/2 cup butter. What kind of shortening for the other 1/2 cup. Can I use crisco oil?

  68. Jane


    Congratulations to you! When I was pregnant with my first I was like that. Couldn't even look at pictures in magazines! Second for me wasn't so

    All the best to you and your family.

  69. Lyndsay

    When making the frosting do you leave the ingredients on the stove? Or when it has boiled do you remove and then add the sugar and final ingredients?
    Looks yummy! Thanks for posting!!!

    1. Chef in Training

      when boiled remove and then add sugar and final ingredients :)

  70. Dana smith

    I've been making this cake for over 40 are moist and always disappears!

  71. Penny

    You mention 1/2 cup of,shortening but it's not mentioned in the instructions?

  72. Connie


    This is an amazing cake. We have always called it Texas Sheet Cake and have a recipe similar to this. No one would ever be disappointed and the baker usually receives rave reviews. Thank you for sharing.

  73. cathy sink

    I would like to know what the measurements are for the cookie sheet please

  74. Shari


    Congratulations on baby # 2!
    I grew up eating this a LOT~ my Mom also made this cake for EVERY occasion I think! Its so easy, moist and yummy though! My Mom has passed away and No one knew where the recipe went! TY so much for posting this! I feel like it was just for me!

  75. Ela

    I'm one of those always checking your page to see if there's something new posted. Thanks for your delicious recipes.

    Can I use a 10 x 15" pan w/ this recipe? Can I also line the pan w/ parchment paper? Thanks!

  76. Leigh Ann


    We have this recipe except it also has a 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. My mom made it every year for my birthday in the '70s and '80s. She thinks my grandmother got it from a newspaper in Texas. We make it in a regular 9x11 or 13 or whatever cake pan. And you can use sweet milk rather than buttermilk and it's still good.

  77. elsa shelton

    Would be nice if you stated plain or self rising flour. I assume from the buttermilk and soda you mean plain for this

  78. Shirley


    Use coffee in the frosting instead of milk. Coffee just enhances chocolate to a wonderful flavor. Many chef's on Food Network speak of using Coffee with their chocolate mixtures.

  79. Amy

    I'm sort of new to cooking, when you say cocoa, are you referring to unsweetened cocoa?

    1. Chef in Training

      yes unsweetened cocoa powder :)

  80. Barbara

    Do you add buttermilk or regular milk in the frosting ?

    1. Chef in Training

      reg milk for the frosting

  81. Carol

    what size sheet pan did you use?

    1. Chef in Training


  82. Pam Winckel

    do you use unsweetened cocoa or sweetened cocoa??? Thank you.

  83. Judi Helgeland

    I've been making this for ages. It's easy if you need to bring something for a pot luck or a picnic.

  84. jem

    i dont have shortening.. can i just make the butter 1 cup and leave the shortening?? im dying to try it..

  85. Monica

    Im looking for a brownie recipe where you melt butter with chocolate, not cocoa powder either, can you help me. Its a real simple brownie recipe i just cant seem to find one.

  86. Joyce Johnson

    what size is the cookie sheet for this recipe ?

  87. Marnie

    i just made this, pretty sure it was a huge fail. It puffed up like a cake would so was not flat on top, icing pooled on edges of pan and not on top.
    I also used a 9x13 pan (size wasn't specified) and 20 minutes was not nearly enough.

    1. Chef in Training

      sorry you had so much trouble. I answered in the comments the size pan I used was a 18x13x1 inch cookie sheet. I will make sure to add that to the recipe itself. This is an older recipe and needs to be updated to say so. So sorry for your experience.

    2. michelle


      have made this recipe & comes out perfect every time. your coconut sheet cake is also delish. i was looking for a lemon sheet cake which i thought was on your website, but i cant find it. am i mistaken

  88. marg

    Is this equivalent to a Texas Sheetcake?

  89. Janie K.

    Looks delish! What size cookie sheet do I use?

  90. Laurie

    Can you use this cake recipe and bake in other pans rather than using a sheet pan (Ex. round, square etc.)?

  91. Bianca

    It looks delicious! Two questions for you:

    1. Instead of shortening can I use butter? and
    2. Could I prepare this in a cake tin as opposed to a tray

    Thank you in advance,

    Bianca xx

  92. Debbie

    What size cookie sheet? Does not specify

  93. emily

    What size of cookie sheet did u use?

  94. CYNDI


    Not wanting to be argumentative or anything.....but would like some clarification here......there are three distinct types of flour: self-rising, all purpose and cake. If the recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, how is someone who don't know the difference from the rest of the ingredients (a newbie to cooking) supposed to know which flour to use. Referencing my own daughter here, who called me up, telling me about the recipe, saying "Mom - what kind of flour do I use?" Just saying.....the title of the page is Chef In Training.....there are a lot of newbie's out there who don't have the knowledge to know what you are talking about.

  95. d

    This is the first sheet cake that I have ever made and it was an absolute hit. The family loved it and I can see other family and friends enjoying it as well. I made it exactly as directed and used the recommended 18x13x1 pan. I will definitely be making this again...again...again. Thank you so much for sharing.

  96. kat

    Could you give the dimensions of your cookie sheet. I have 3 sizes of cookie sheets so I want to make sure I pick the right one to get the proper thickness. Thanks!

  97. zeenat

    Hi .I'm from South Africa. In chocolate Cake recipe, what would shortening be ? Any equivalent in a kosher \ halaal form ?


  98. isabel in spain

    Love the recipe but am not sure what size cookie sheet to bake it in? Please give a measurement... thanks!

  99. Lynn

    We grew up with this cake. We called it Gertrude 's cake. Don't know why. Anyway, we were overseas and could only get peanuts. Mom would always put peanuts in the frosting and it was really good.

  100. Maria

    What flour do you use? Sf or plain? Thanks

    1. Chef in Training

      I use all purpose flour :)

  101. lyn


    Very yummy my whole family loved this.

  102. Schmidt

    I just tried making this and my icing turned out really thin. I thought maybe it was supposed to be like that but as soon as I poured it on the cake it all slide to the sides and now there is barely anything on the cake. What did I do wrong??

  103. Nicole Betz

    This is so yummy. Has anyone made this recipe into cupcakes? If so, what changes in time/temp worked? Thanks!

  104. Cara


    I made this cake for the first time today for a Memorial Day get together. It got rave reviews and was completely devoured! Everyone went back for seconds & thirds. I'll definitely be making this easy dessert again and again.

  105. Amy

    do you have any high altitude alterations for this recipe?

  106. Lynn Smith

    I never buy shortening, what can I sub it with, instead of shortening, also buttermilk, never bought buttermilk by itself as a lone ingredient, is there a sub for it? I'd like very much to try your recipe, thanks in advance.


  107. Italia Patterson


    Yes.... It is Tuesday 1:30am and I can't sleep. So I made this cake!!!! It is easy and oh sooooo yummy! Did I say awesome? Boy will my husband be surprised when he wakes up...

  108. pam ludgate

    I made this cake for my MIL's birthday at her request. The recipe was really easy to follow but when I put the frosting on the top of the baked cake there were clumps of powdered sugar - I thought it was all mixed up in the saucepan. I picked off a few of the little chunks but didn't want to ruin the cake. So it doesn't look that pretty but looking forward to eating it!

  109. Michael Rhodes

    Wondering...when the recipe says "cookie sheet" I'm wondering if you mean a 1/2 sheet pan? What I've seen that are called cookie sheets in the stores have no sides to them (just flat metal sheets), but what my mom used to call a cookie sheet is called a 1/2 sheet pan in the stores. About the same dimensions, but with edges that are only about 1/2 an inch tall.

    Am I guessing correctly? I'm wanting to try this, but other than the 1/2 sheet pans I have, everything else is cake pans with sides that are much taller than 1/2 an inch.


  110. Carolyn

    I make this cake often except my receipe calls for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon though i usually add little more
    and a favorite of our family....

  111. Jamie

    What size of cookie sheet pan should I use for the chocolate sheet cake? Thanks!

  112. Sheri


    Good cake! Ingredients and temp are on point and so is the taste. Make sure you SIFT the flour and sugar in the cake batter and also the sugar powder for the icing or you will have little white pieces in your icing and it will look unattractive. Make sure to use a sheet cake pan the proper size or it will puff up and not stay flat. It will come out flat on the edges and puffed up in the middle which will cause the icing to run off to the sides and not cover the cake evenly.

  113. Anaya

    what do you mean by shortening in this recipe?

  114. Cat

    What size sheet pan?