Avoid waste and use up that sourdough discard with this decadent and rich Sourdough Texas Sheet Cake recipe. Full of chocolatey flavor, and made easily in a sheet pan, this is the PERFECT sourdough chocolate cake recipe. Topped with a perfect buttery, chocolate frosting, loaded with crunchy pecans.
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If you ever need to serve a crowd some cake, be sure to whip yourself up a decadent and delicious Texas Sheet Cake! This version uses sourdough discard, and results in an incredibly moist, smooth, and chocolate packed cake. My family was totally obsessed, and I can’t wait to make it again!
Why use sourdough to make chocolate cake? My answer: why not!? If you’ve had a sourdough starter going for any period of time, you know about the issue with excess sourdough discard. This recipe for Sourdough Texas Sheet Cake is an answer to that problem (as are my other Sourdough Discard recipes). You’re able to sneak some of that pesky sourdough discard into this delicious, sweet, and chocolatey cake. No complaints there!
Texas Sheet Cake is perfect for serving a crowd since it requires very little work AND you end up with 24 decadent and fudgy slices. Not only that, you don’t have to layer any cakes or wait for it to cool completely! You just pour the easy icing on top of the warm cake and serve immediately. Or serve later, depending on what works for you!
This sourdough chocolate cake recipe is my absolute favorite since it has NO SOURDOUGH FLAVOR. While I love that classic sourdough tang, sometimes you want something that tastes simple and classic. This is that recipe.
Ingredients for the Cake
- Sourdough discard: You will need 1/2 cup of sourdough discard. If you don’t have sourdough discard, see my notes in the “substitutions” section of this post, OR learn how to make your own sourdough starter)
- Cocoa powder: A good quality cocoa powder is recommended, but you don’t need anything too fancy. Hershey’s or Rodale are both great brands for a good price.
- Butter: You will need a whole lotta butter! This is TEXAS Sheet Cake after all. 😂
- Buttermilk: This is a classic addition to Texas Sheet Cake, and it is used in this sourdough version too. I highly recommend the store-bought (or homemade) stuff, but you can use a buttermilk substitute if absolutely necessary.
You will also need:
- Baking soda
Get started by preheating your oven to 350F and lining a half size sheet pan (about 18×13) with parchment OR spraying with cooking spray.
Add the flour to a medium sized bowl. Then, add in the sugar and salt.
Mix well to combine the dry ingredients.
Add the butter to a medium sized saucepan and melt it over medium/low heat.
Add in the cocoa powder and whisk until combined.
Then, pour in the boiling water and whisk until smooth.
Pour the cocoa mixture over the dry ingredients.
Pour your chocolate mixture over the dry ingredients, and fold it in until smooth and well mixed.
In a medium sized bowl, beat two large eggs using a whisk (in the photos I use a Danish dough whisk, which I highly recommend for sourdough bakers).
Add the buttermilk to the eggs.
Add in the baking soda, vanilla extract, and sourdough discard.
Whisk the egg, buttermilk, and sourdough discard mixture until smooth and uniform.
Add the buttermilk and sourdough mixture to the chocolate cake batter.
Fold the sourdough discard and buttermilk mixture into the chocolate batter until fully combined.
Pour the batter into a half sized sheet pan.
Bake in a preheated oven (350F) for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
For the Frosting
- Powdered sugar: An essential element to pretty much every frosting! Also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar.
- Cocoa powder: You will need a nice quality cocoa powder, but you don’t need to go too fancy! I used Hershey’s for this recipe.
- Butter: I like to use salted butter for this recipe, but if you opt for unsalted butter you can add a pinch or two of salt to compensate.
- Buttermilk: This is used both in the batter and in the frosting of Texas Sheet Cake, but you can use whole milk for the frosting if desired. Don’t substitute buttermilk in the batter, though!
- Pecans: This is traditionally used on Texas Sheet Cake, but you can substitute walnuts if that’s what you have on hand.
While the cake is baking, chop your pecans if you haven’t already.
Melt the butter for the frosting a saucepan or in the microwave. Add the cocoa to the melted butter and stir until smooth.
Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whisk or stir until completely smooth.
Add the pecans and fold them in.
Pour the frosting over the warm (not hot) cake and serve immediately, OR cover with foil and serve when needed. I like to keep mine in the fridge, since it makes it ultra fudgy!
I don’t have sourdough discard, can I still make this recipe?
If you don’t have sourdough discard on hand, you can substitute the sourdough discard in this recipe for an additional 1/3 cup of flour, and an additional 1/4 cup of boiling water.
Nuts: If you don’t have pecans on hand, walnuts are a good stand in. If you don’t like nuts or are serving someone with an allergy, they can be omitted completely.
Chocolate Walnut: Substitute chopped pecans for chopped walnuts.
Peanut Butter Chocolate: Add 1/2 cup of melted peanut butter to the frosting and increase the powdered sugar to 3 1/2 cups. Stir in 1 cup of chopped salted peanuts in place of the pecans.
You can keep your cake at room temperature for 1-2 days, so long as it is tightly wrapped or covered.
In the fridge:
I highly recommend storing your extra Sourdough Texas Sheet Cake in the fridge for the best results. Tightly wrap or cover your cake, and eat within 1 week. I find the fridge makes the leftover cake particularly fudgy!
Slice the cake and completely cool before wrapping tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw completely before serving.
What to Serve with Texas Sheet Cake
- Cold milk
- Vanilla ice cream
- Mocha ice cream
- Butter pecan ice cream
- 1 2/3 cup unbleached flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 flat tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup salted butter
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sourdough discard
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 flat tablespoons cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons buttermilk or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Prepare a half size sheet pan (about 18X13) by greasing it lightly with cooking spray or a thin layer of butter or oil.
- Add the flour to a medium sized bowl. Add the sugar and salt. Mix well to combine.
- Add the butter to a medium sized saucepan and melt it over medium low heat.
- Add in the cocoa powder and whisk well.
- Add the boiling water to the cocoa powder and butter mixture, and whisk to combine until the mixture is uniform.
- Pour your chocolate mixture over the dry ingredients, and fold it in until smooth and well mixed.
- In a large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the buttermilk with the sourdough discard. Add in the beaten eggs, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Stir well to combine.
- Pour the buttermilk mixture into the chocolate and flour batter, mixing well until smooth and free from lumps.
- Add the batter to the prepared sheet pan, and use the back of a rubber spatula to smooth it out evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
- While the cake is baking, chop your pecans if you haven't already.
- Melt the butter for the frosting a saucepan or in the microwave.
- Add the cocoa to the melted butter and stir until smooth.
- Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whisk or stir until completely smooth.
- Add the pecans and fold them in.
- Pour the frosting over the warm (not hot) cake and serve immediately, OR cover with foil and serve when needed. I like to keep mine in the fridge, since it makes it ultra fudgy!
No Sourdough: If you do not want to make this as a sourdough discard recipe, omit the discard and use an additional 1/3 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of boiling water.
Nuts: You may substitute walnuts in place of the pecans.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 176mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.