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A big slice of Texas sheet cake sits on a white plate. The pan of cake is in the background and a few pink roses are scattered around.
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4.63 from 8 votes

Papa’s Brownies

This is the BEST Texas Sheet Cake recipe - easy, moist, full of chocolate.  Every bite is chocolaty, rich and delicious without being heavy.   My Daddy made these famous and we called them Papa's Brownies growing up. You can cut these into 16 large pieces or 32 smaller squares. I always cut them into 16 just like my Daddy did.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: texas sheet cake, original texas sheet cake, texas sheet cake recipe, best chocolate cake
Servings: 16
Calories: 445kcal
Author: Mirlandra


For The Cake

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 Tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar this is a one pound bag
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet or jellyroll pan (about 12x17) with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. The parchment paper protects the pan when you cut the cake.
  • Combine butter, oil, water and cocoa powder in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently so it does not burn. Boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Measure milk in a glass measuring cup. To that add eggs and vanilla. Whisk with a fork and set aside.
  • Pour the cocoa mixture (still hot) over the flour mixture. Stir until halfway mixed, add milk mixture. Whisk until just combined and not lumpy.
  • Pour into pan and bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean and corners of the cake just start to pull away from the edges of the pan. (Start working on the frosting while the cake is baking.)

For the Frosting

  • Put the butter into the pan you used for brownies, no need to clean in-between. Leave the pan on low heat so butter starts to melt.
  • When the cake has been in for 12 minutes turn the pan up to medium. Add the milk and cocoa. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla. Make sure to whisk out any lumps of sugar.
  • Use a rubber spatula to spread hot frosting over hot cake. If your frosting becomes too firm before you pour it, whisk in an extra splash of milk to loosen it up. (Lick the pan...)
  • As soon as the frosting sets you can cut and serve the cake. These go great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Store leftover cake tightly covered at room temperature for up to five days.


Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg