Frosted Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake

I hope that everyone had a fantastic holiday season. Kramer and I celebrated with my parents on Christmas Eve, then had a Festivus breakfast yesterday morning with his dad, his dad’s girlfriend, and his sister. My parents gave Kramer and I tickets to Rome for our honeymoon and these awesome union suit pajamas (pictured are my brothers, Dane (19) and Wyatt (16), Kramer, and myself). My brothers also got me the Tracy Morgan autobiography, I Am The New Black, which I’m really excited to read! Kramer’s dad (check out his golfing blog, Journey to St. Andrews) got me a bread-maker (which I will be putting to good use very soon) and a pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid mixer! You can all thank him for the inevitable carb-o-loading you’ll soon be witnessing on here.

When I originally found this recipe, it was advertised as a recipe for buttermilk brownies. Interesting, I thought, I’ve never seen a brownie recipe that used buttermilk before. That’s probably because this recipe ended up being for cake and not for brownies. As I added the flour into the wet mixture, I knew it was much, much too thin to ever be brownie batter. No matter, though, because there’s nothing wrong with rich, moist chocolate cake! The buttermilk made a big difference in the texture and taste of this cake. It was so tender and the crumb sticks perfectly together while still being light, fluffy, and delicate. The frosting is ridiculously simple and is as good as it is easy to make. If you need something quick to whip up for a New Year’s party, this is the thing! Just slice into small bites and place in muffin liners for clean, easy snacking. If you haven’t had a fantastic piece of chocolate cake in a while, let me help you out: make this today!

Your ingredients.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine the water, butter, and cocoa powder in a medium sauce pan and after everything has begun to melt together, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and finish stirring to make sure that everything is melted all the way through.

Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat together.

Pour the batter into a lined and/or greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, until the cake has set completely.

Allow to cool before frosting.

While the cake cools, make the frosting. Melt together 1/4 cup of butter, 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons of buttermilk. Work quickly, because it’s easy to burn the chocolate.

Add the chocolate to a bowl with 2 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until smooth, adding a bit more buttermilk or water if it’s too thick, or more powdered sugar if it’s too thin.

Until it looks like that.

Make sure you’re ready to use this frosting when you’re done because it hardens pretty quickly!

Slice into squares and enjoy the chocolate!

Frosted Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 24 squares

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking sda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2¼ cup powdered sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line and/or grease a 9×13 pan. I always line my pans with foil or parchment paper because this allows me to easily lift the cake out of the pan without having to cut the cake from an awkward angle.
  2. combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium sauce pan, combine the water, 1 cup unsalted butter, and ⅓ cup cocoa powder. Melt together and bring to a boil for just a moment, then add to the flour mixture and beat together until just combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the buttermilk and vanilla.
  3. Pour the cake into your prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until set. Allow to cool completely before frosting and slicing.
  4. While the cake cools, make the frosting by melted together ¼ cup unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons of buttermilk. When smooth, place in a large bowl and beat together with 2¼ cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Add a bit more buttermilk or water if the consistency seems to thick, or add a bit more powdered sugar if it seems to thin.
  5. When the cake is cooled, frost and slice into 24 squares. Enjoy!

Adapted From


21 Responses

  1. snake says:

    This is texas sheet cake if i ever saw it

  2. RK says:

    It looks delicious! My mouth is watering just looking at it.

  3. Amanda says:

    Looks delicious! I have a recipe for Texas Sheet Cake on my blog, love that stuff!

  4. sam ezra says:

    this looks amazing! those pajama’s look so cute! HAHA


  5. federica says:

    wow che delizia!!! mmm….complimenti!

  6. charles says:

    My mother used to make this years ago – in the early 70s. It was called Chocolate Saucepan Cake because you only had to use ONE saucepan to make the whole thing. We lived just outside Washington DC in Virginia, so I suppose that’s why it wasn’t called Texas Sheet Cake in our area. It’s a fabulous cake. So so good.

    Looking at the photos sure brings back a lot of happy memories.

    Lovely pictures – especially the one of the finished cake. Delicious.

  7. Amy says:

    We call that a Hot Scotch Cake at our house. Yum!

  8. Mara says:

    Great photos, and great recipe!!! This looks good and easy enough to just whip up for company. Thanks!!

  9. Ramya says:

    That looks decadent! Loved your clicks and the recipe.

  10. Marilee says:

    This looks positively divine. My question is: In the step-by-step instructions, you mention adding 2-1/3 cups of powdered sugar to 1 teaspoon vanilla. Yet in the recipe proper, you say to use 2-1/4 cups of powdered sugar to 1 teaspoon vanilla. Which is it? I’m sorry, I know it’s a very small difference, but I’m one of those people who cook by following a recipe exactly. Thank you. ^_^

  11. This is what I need right now. It looks luscious!

  12. Mmmm chocolate! Your cake looks delicious!

  13. Memoria says:

    That frosting! Woah! I love how it cracks on top of the moist cake. This looks fantastic.

  14. Laura L. says:

    I made this cake this week. It came out just like your pictures, but I wasn’t too crazy about it when I had a piece that night. However, the next day, and the day after that…oh my word. Delicious. This cake got better as the days went on, especially the frosting. So hard to stop eating. I had to bring leftovers into work. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Susie D. says:

    I think this is the same cake I make… found it in Taste of Home. The exception in that you put all the frosting ingredients in the saucepan and pour it over the warm cake. I add a little 60% cacao chocolate to both the cake and frosting and it makes it a bit fudgier. I agree with Laura wholeheartedly that this cake inproves with age! Seems to get better every day.

  16. Amanda B. says:

    I made this tonight! So yummy! Thanks!

  17. Grace says:

    I made this cake for a potluck and everybody loved it. Thanks for a great recipe.

  18. Carla says:

    I’ve been eyeing this recipe for several weeks so I made sure to have buttermilk on hand this weekend to make your Buttermilk Sheet Cake. OMG!! The cake is super moist and oh so yummy! I finally found THE ultimate chocolate cake recipe! I served it up with the vanilla ice cream and fresh, sliced strawberries but this cake definitely stands on its own. Thanks for posting all the pictures, it helped tremendously. :-)

  19. Victoria says:

    For an hour I searched for a good sheet cake! Finally!
    I wanted to give my kids at school (in Portugal) a real American treat. :-)

Leave a Reply

©2014 The Crepes of Wrath