This recipe is one that is in every recipe box from Texas to Maine to California. Or so we suppose it is because it is such a frequent flyer at church buffets and covered dish events. We really like it because it reminds us of our time spent in Maryland. How the two are connected is hard to say, but we saw it allot back there. It may just be that Maryland is a southern state. Anyway…it is a good one for the picnic season and always has a place on our Sunday Supper menus.

Our recipe has a little cinnamon in it, which is what we believe makes the cake special Also we use buttermilk,  although many recipes are made with sour cream, and that usually means it will hold longer. We never have trouble eating it same day we make it, however.


  • The cake batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • The frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dutch cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4- 1/2  cup chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts, toasted  optional


Prepare a sheet pan 12″x18″ by greasing and flouring it.  Set aside. Set the oven to 375°.

Combine first 5 ingredients to blend them well. Set aside.

Combine water, butter and cocoa in saucepan and bring up to boil. Blend in the flour mixture, and beat to blend. Add buttermilk and vanilla and eggs, beating well.

Pour into sheet pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  While cake is baking, make the frosting so it is ready to put on the HOT cake.

For frosting: combine butter and milk and cocoa in sauce pan and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Off heat, gradually add the confectioners sugar. Add vanilla and spread on hot cake. Sprinkle with nuts, if using. Cool completely before removing from pan. Or serve right from the pan when cooled.


  • Original Texas Sheet Cake from Lenore

  • Cake ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1  tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten

    Frosting ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar


Grease and flour pan (13″x9″); set aside.

Bring butter, shortening, water and cocoa to boil in sauce pan. Sift together and add flour, sugar, cinnamon. Add buttermilk, soda, vanilla and eggs, beating well. Pour into prepared pan 13″x9″. Bake 350ºF for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the frosting to be ready when the cake comes out of the oven.
Place cocoa, butter and cream to boil in small sauce pan. Beat in powdered sugar.
Pour frosting over warm cake. Cool until frosting sets and becomes like fudge!


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