The Pioneer Woman knows her stuff

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake

This IS the best chocolate sheet cake ever. And I’m not just saying that because it’s the only one I’ve ever eaten. It IS delicious. And super moist and oh so chocolatey.

I’m officially in love. With the cake, not the Pioneer Woman. Well, maybe PW, too.

If you don’t know who I’m referring to (laughing as I type that), here’s her site:

I visited her and the family earlier this year at her ranch in Oklahoma and we baked cupcakes and made cake pops for some guests. Actually, she made this chocolate sheet cake recipe then for the cupcakes we used. However, we made a different frosting to decorate with so I didn’t get to experience the full effect. I don’t know what took me so long to try her complete recipe. I’m kicking myself now. It’s so easy and pretty darn quick, too. You don’t even need a mixer. Nope. No mixer. But you do need a 12 X 18 jelly roll pan. I think that’s what deterred me a little. I kept picturing a 12 X 18 cake sitting on my counter. And, well… that’s a lot of cake.

But then, a couple of weeks ago I received a surprise from the UPS guy… or girl…

It was PW’s soon-to-be-released cookbook. I was so excited to see it. I got a preview of the cover back in March and here it was. Finished. Full of Pictures. And Full of Recipes.

Including her Chocolate Sheet Cake.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

That settled it. No more procrastinating. Chocolate Sheet Cake here I come.

You’ll need 2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to start. Easy enough.


Then pour on the sugar. Two cups of the sweet stuff. I like how this is going.


Melt some butter. Two sticks. Thank you.

While it’s melting, stir together 1/2 cup buttermilk, two eggs, 1 teaspoon baking soda…


And add a little vanilla. A teaspoon to be exact.


Back to the butter. Drop in four heaping tablespoons of cocoa please.

Mix it up

Mix that all up.

Pouring 3

Add a cup of boiling water and stir. Let bubble for just a minute and turn then off the heat.

Pouring 2

Then pour that over your flour, sugar and salt mixture and stir it all together.

Pouring 1

Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until it’s smooth.

Anyone having a little deja vous here? I kinda feel like PW right about now with all these step-by step photos. But really, I couldn’t resist posting all of these pouring shots.


See… here’s another one. Look at that batter. It’s glorious.

Sheet Cake

Place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I did 18.

And while the cake is baking, you can make the icing.

Butter and cocoa

Melt some more butter. One and 3/4 sticks this time. Add four more heaping tablespoons of cocoa and stir together.


Then add 6 Tablespoons milk and one teaspoon vanilla. Here’s the only thing I did differently. I didn’t have any milk. I know… that bites. So instead I used four tablespoons of evaporated milk mixed with two tablespoons of water. I could have gone all six evaporated, but I wanted to play it safe.

Powdered Sugar

Add ONE POUND of confectioner’s sugar. Thank you again PW. This is definitely going in the right direction.


Mix that all up really, really good. You can also add a 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, but I didn’t have any of those either. And actually, I’m glad I didn’t. This cake was just the way I like it. Non-crunchy.

Pour it on

After the cake is baked , immediately pour on the good stuff. Work the icing all over the cake, so you’ll have less spreading to do. Those little lumps in the photo are just bits of confectioner’s sugar. If you don’t add nuts, you’ll have to stir this really good to get them all out or sift your sugar first. But who has time for that when this cake is waiting.


Let the cake cool completely. Just kidding. Just dig right in.

It was the…

For me

Wait… I need another bite to make sure.

It was the…

Sheet Cake

Best chocolate sheet cake ever.

By the way, this 12 X 18 cake taking up space on the counter? Don’t even think twice about it. The cake won’t last that long.

Man, I really wish I had some milk right now.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

The cake was so good, that I had to take a picture of it on this pedestal. Right where it belongs.


Make this cake. Now. Seriously.

Here is the full recipe from the Pioneer Woman to make things easier for you to follow.

Or you could go out and get a copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks. However, I’m changing the title to The Pioneer Woman Bakes because she has no less than fifteen sweet recipes included in this thing. You might also like:

  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Iny’s Prune Cake
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Marmalade Muffins
  • French Breakfast Puffs
  • Maple Pecan Scones
  • Perfect Pie Crust
  • Patsy’s Blackberry Cobbler
  • Flat Apple Pie
  • Chocolate Sheet Cake
  • Mocha Brownies
  • Oatmeal Crispies
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • Plus … there’s all the real food

Here’s a peek inside.

But you don’t need to peek, because… guess what… I went to the store the same day this book was released and bought another copy to share.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

That’s right. One for me and one for you. Well, one of you.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Enter for a chance to win a copy of
The Pioneer Woman Cooks
by Ree Drummond

Just leave a comment on this post and let me know:

  • Have you tried any of Ree’s recipes from her site? Or which one should I try next? And if you don’t know Ree ( yet, then just go ahead and thank me for introducing you. I’m pretty sure you’ll like her site.
  • Leave your comment with a way for me to contact you if you win.
  • Deadline to enter is Monday, November 2nd at 7 p.m. ET
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Monday evening on this post. TIMES UP! Here’s the winner!

Good Luck!

Leave a Reply

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4,400 comments on “The Pioneer Woman knows her stuff”

  1. I love PW!!! her stuff is so good!!!

  2. I swear by Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls, for catering, potlucks, fairs, you name it!

  3. I have to admit I discovered both Bakerella and PW at the same time because it was when they were visiting each other this summer. I made the hamburger cupcakes/brownies which were an awesome hit and I have made quite a few of PW recipes. My favorites are Pam Anderson’s Caesar salad- I plan an extra romaine heart just for me and I made it for family recently and told that was my dish for the holidays. Her recent recipe for spaghetti, tomatoes and artichokes is delicious and super simple too.

  4. Her Crash! Roasted potatoes are to die for.

  5. Eek I’ve probably missed the cut off. Thanks for the introduction though. Off to give this a try.

  6. I did her thanksgiving turkey last year – yum!!!

  7. Love the baked lemon pasta, under cowgirl food on her website. So good!

  8. The Penne alla Betsy is TO DIE FOR!!!

  9. mmmm the olive cheese bread is my fave!

  10. Well, it’s not 7PM in CA, so I’m commenting anyway. ha! I make recipes from PW’s site all the time. My favorite guilty pleasure from there is the onion straws. yum, yum, yum.

  11. ive tried a ton-she is an obsession! I just cooked the spaghetti with artichokes last week, it was excellent! The Mexican Lasagna from Pastor Ryan is awesome, so are the “Spreads” her brothers favorite cookie! I am actually cooking the acorn squash with rosemary tonight, mmmmm….

  12. OMG! That looks delish! Don’t know if I can part from our already perfect chocolate cake…but I’m open to trying new recipes! Only heard of PW from your site!

  13. I have never tried any of her recipes, but that cake looks delicious! I looked at her website, and this is not a yummy desert, but her crash hot potatoes look AWESOME! I would love to try out her book!

  14. Since I’m drooling already just by looking at the pictures, I have to have this cookbook!

  15. I have tried a lot of her recipes, my family loves them. Their favorite would be steak bites.

  16. I would love a copy of the cookbook…. :)

  17. I stumbled upon her blog one day, then a girl I know said she also regulars her blog, then I tuned on the tube and she was on Bonnie Hunt, and now on your blog, well just a few quinky dinks! Anyway I would love a copy, all of her recipes look great and seem to be real everyday food to make for the family!

  18. I have only gone to her site once or twice but I would happily try out her recipes from the book!

    robinlynnb at

  19. I missed the deadline, but I made these
    and they’re awesome.

  20. I must say if you can handle anymore chocolate how about the Molten Chocolate Lava Cake? its my favorite dessert and i must try to master that recipe. Thanks for introducing me to another amazing blogger!

  21. I made this cake today for my own birthday! We loved it. It’s going to become a regular. I’ve made too many of PW’s recipes to name. My most recent fave is the blue cheese & onion sauce for steak (I’m going to try it on polenta, too). I don’t have the cookbook yet.

  22. Made the rosemary dinner rolls the other night. They were to die for…….Love thePW

  23. WOW over 4000 comments…did I read that right? Crazy Love eh?!!!

    I’ve never been to her sight before….but I will now! So Thanks! =:O)

  24. I live for chocolate cake. Hook me up! Yum!

  25. i want this cookbook so bad! i just made her Pasta with Tomatoes and Artichokes, and it was to die for… i already bought the stuff to make again!

    erinegodbey (at) yahoo (dot) com

  26. I’ve never tried her stuff or even heard of her! Luckily, I’ve very open-minded. I can’t wait to be a pastry chef!

    (I usually don’t check my email so if I just so happen to win, search for me on facebook.)

  27. Just made the New Fluffy potatoes last night. A big hit with my husband!

  28. Chicken Spaghetti!!! YUM!

  29. I discovered PW through your site and now I check it as often as I check yours! I haven’t tried any of her recipes but it doesn’t stop me from drooling over the possibilities!

  30. That cake looks wonderful and SOOOO simple! I would love a copy of PW’s book!

  31. I love PW! I’ve made lots of her recipes and haven’t found one I didn’t love yet. My favorite is probably her “favorite salad EVER” – the Asian Noodle Salad. Yum…

  32. You must try the baked fudge. You will never need another chocolate dessert again.

  33. Pioneer Woman Rocks!!

  34. Oh my gosh I just made the sheet cake and it is the best thing I have ever tried. I haven’t tried any of her recipes but I am going to start! You are amazing Bakerella and Pioneer Woman!

  35. I’ve tried a bunch of her recipes – YUM! So far, that chocolate sheet cake is the winner by far (won’t even admit to how many times we’ve made it!) and we love the Chicken Spaghetti.

  36. i SO hope i’m not too late, i’m dying to win this one!!

    i’ve tried her burgers and Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp — both were pure heaven!!

  37. So far, everything I’ve tried, I like. One of my favorites is her fresh avocado corn salsa. Yum!!!

  38. So…. I didnt win! But guess what? I just ordered myself a copy and one for my best friend!!!

  39. Those cinnamon rolls of hers are to die for! I have had this in my cart at amazon for a while now. Maybe I should go ahead and pull the trigger. …

  40. I love her steak bites, we have them almost every friday night! I also love her cowboy sandwich, yummy! I make them about every 10 days or so!

    This cake is next on my list to make…can’t wait to see her on the 5th in houston…thanks for introducing her to me!

  41. Okay, I know there is a winner already, but trust me when I tell you to try the Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes. Yummy! (do not know how to link in comments, sorry)
    And, Ms. Bakerella – you just NOW tried the sheet cake! Shame on you! (hahaha! I just tried it last week myself. And ate most of it myself, too.)

  42. I’ve made her bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed jalapeno peppers before. Ok. SO GOOD!!! A HUGE hit at parties! Love them! Have some in the freezer now, waiting to be thrown in a hot oven and gobbled down. I am planning on make her apple cake in a cast iron pan this Wednesday for guests. I am sure it will be totally faboo! I would so LOVE to win this! Me me, pick me! And thanks for the chance to win!

    katie at dekabyte dot com

  43. Thanks for introducing PW to me….Read the step by step chocolate sheet cake you featured & i’m so excited to try baking it….Surely, would love to have a copy of PW ;)

  44. Hi,

    as I live in france I’ve no idea how much weigh a stIck of butter???

    Thank you

  45. Thank you so much for posting this recipe especially with the pictures ,sometimes it really helps to have a visual (speaking for myself) lol
    thank you again.

  46. its, amazing looks so good, it would be great… for starting my bussines with something like this on my menu.

  47. Hi Bakerella!! I know I am too late, but I wanted to post on what you should try next out of Ree’s recipes. The Olive bread is to die for. Even friends that don’t like olives, LOVED this. Her cinnamon rolls take time, but are sooo worth it & you make them all at once & bring them to friends, ugh, I am making some this weekend! The sheet cake has become our “birthday cake” everyone wants one for their birthday! Her lemon pasta, delish. Oh, the blackberry cobbler was sooooo good. I have tried so many I can’t even think right now! I haven’t picked up her cookbook yet, but I will have one by the end of the year! I’m going now to check out the inside on your link! Thanks so much! T

  48. I can’t wait to make this cake. It looks yummy. I added the recipe to my favorites list.

  49. I want to make this recipe for my brother’s birthday on Monday but we don’t have a jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet that would work and we probably can’t get one by then, could I just put this in a normal 9×13 pan or a bigger cake pan?

  50. I have made that cake very successfully in my 18×14 glass baking pan. It is SOOO fudgy when it is a deeper pan. The corners are the B E S T. We all fight about who gets that. Dont these silly children of mine know about Cook’s Priviledge??

  51. I have made this same cake for years and it is truly one of the best. Whenever I do make it people do ask for more or for the recipe. Great cake. But, I add cinnamon to the batter – great twist especially if you do not like regular chocolate cake. Love to have it warm with icecream. I will certainly try more of her recipes. Thanks!

  52. Dear Bakerella,

    Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary. Keep up the good work.

    That chocolate sheet cake make me gain 10 pounds just looking at your pictures. I am afraid to make it for fear of grabbing a spoon and eating the whole thing right out of the pan. Must wait for company or party.

  53. i’m so excited to have found this website!!! i’ve been taking cake decorating classes for a couple of months & have found that all i had to do was just come to this website:) thanks from tn for all the tasty recipes!!

  54. She may know her stuff but this is hardly her recipe.

  55. les 2 gourmands – here’s a converter for you

    Angie – I think so. And if you wanted it to still be thin, just use two pans.

  56. I can’t wait to try some of her recipes…the chocolate cake looks like it will just melt in your mouth!!! YUMMY!

  57. How did you prep the pan for this amazing chocolate sheet cake? I wouldn’t want it to stick or anything!

  58. Madeleine – It didn’t call for anything. No spray, no shortening or flour and it came out fine.

  59. I just ordered this cookbook. I can’t wait to get it and look at it.

  60. This chocolate cake is almost exactly like a recipe I got from my Great-Aunt Mildred. It’s requested for nearly every single family birthday! I’ve never made it with chocolate icing, although that does look superb… I usually make cream cheese frosting to go with it. That’s how Mildred always did it. Anyway, I can certainly vouch for this cake’s title of being the best chocolate cake ever. When I saw the title, I kind of chuckled inside and thought, “Oh yeah? Well they’ve never had Great-Aunt Mildred’s chocolate cake!” …Apparently it’s more widely known than I’d thought! :-)

    Happy baking.

  61. It’s too late for the contest, besides … I’ve already bought her cookbook. But I just had to add, I make this cake all the time since reading about it on her blog . Just about every church function someone requests it. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love it. That’s one YUMMY cake!

  62. I tried this one today! I liked this recipe because it uses easy ingredients, all of which I can get here in Russia (except ‘buttermilk’, which I replaced with usual milk). It turned out to be the most delicious chocolate sheet cake INDEED! Thank you and the Pioneer Woman for the recipe. :D

  63. Hi, there. I am from Brazil…We love this chocolate cake. Actually here it has a specific name: “Nega Maluca”. Something like a family recipe. Every brazilian person, in any day of our lives, do Nega Maluca on weekends. And the top is made by Brigadeiro. I love Bakerella. Thank you for every recipe…We do it here too!! Kisses for all…

  64. I brought this over to my parents for Sunday lunch today. Everyone loved it! Even my grandma who is always “watching her figure” ate a piece in 2 seconds! My icing looked really runny in the pot but turned out ok, was it because I only used about 1&1/4 sticks of butter? Its all I had left and the stores don’t open til noon!

  65. You know this recipe has been around for years or it on very close to it because I got one almost identical to it including the steps.. I have had my copy of it sence before my 11 year old son was born and I got it from my mother in law who had it for I don’t know how many years before that, that she had it. The one I have is called a hot top brownies or buttermilk brownies and we make it in a 9×13 pan.
    How ever the one thing that I do differently and you can taste it is make your own buter milk with 1/2 c milk and 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice… it does tase much better that way and you could use lime too if you wanted to. I always do it this way and I know its over 1/2c but it doesn’t make that much of a difference because I just estimate any way.

  66. I have to say that I made this and it was fabulous! It is for sure a keeper! :D

  67. Just one? Oh, that’s hard to do. How about the ribs. She gave me the courage to try ribs and they were YUM.

  68. mmmmmmmmm I think i will make her Turnip Gratin for thanksgiving! :) Im so excited to try her recipies :)

  69. I’m drooling over the pics of this sheet cake. I’m going to try making it!

  70. Can’t wait to make this cake for Thanksgiving… is the cocoa “unsweetened”?? I don’t want to make a mistake on this delicious cake!

  71. I love her scrumptious apple pie. It’s my husband’s favorite.

  72. Jennifer Micelli – yes. Natural unsweetened

  73. I made the Pumpkin pie for my family and they LOVED it! It was my first time making pie crust and it turned out to be SOO easy…my family ate dessert first this year for Thanksgiving :)

  74. I tried Iny’s Prune Cake that PW posted awhile back and it was AWESOME… Tastes kind of like a spice cake with carmel frosting, YUM YUM! Try it! :)

  75. I just found your site and love it!! Going to check out PW next.
    I’ve made this cake for years, it’s my daughter’s favorite, but I add a little cinnamon to the cake and use buttermilk in the frosting too, try it. Solve the problem of not having milk for the frosting but,,,,,,,,never make this cake without milk on hand. Got to have a glass with this cake!

  76. We call this Texas Sheet Cake or Mexican Wedding Cake, the only difference is we add a teaspoon or two of cinnamon, or even a lil more. :) It’s so yum, with some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla!

  77. I made this cake the other day and oh my goodness!!! It’s sooooo good! The whole thing was eaten up so fast! Good thing I made an xtra batch of the frosting….now I just have to bake another cake. YUMM!

  78. This is almost exactly like my Great Grandma’s sheet cake recipe and it is the most fabulous thing you’ve ever tasted! Yummy!!!!

  79. I’m not a big cake baker, so do you think they would turn out all right if I made it in cupcakes rather than as a cake? It looks delicious, and I really want to give it a try. Thanks!

  80. OMGoodness!! This IS the best chocolate sheet cake I’ve ever had!! Soooooo delish, super chocolately, but not overly sweet. Perfect recipe!!

  81. OH OH OH!
    This cake is so perfectly DIVINE!
    I was just browsing the site….and fell in love…and then made it. And I knew it was more than just love at first sight!
    Very good recipe. I like the idea of mixing everything in their own batters. My mom bakes goodies all the time but I’ve never seen her do that.
    Thanks PW. I’ll likely buy your book!

  82. waaaoow my mom must be loveeed this cake…. great to know this cake recipe

  83. Hi, can i ask how much is 1 stick in grams? In Malaysia, they sell a block of butter at 250gms so am a little unusure about the conversion. Pls help. Thanks.

  84. I love Pioneer Woman! We made her apple fritters after apple picking. SOOO yum. This cake recipe uses what they used to call “pudding” – melting the butter, chocolate and hot water together. It really does make a cake moister and chocolatier because the process binds the chocolate to the butter molecules! It is a great technique!

  85. you’re right. this is the best chocolate sheet cake! My mom has been making this ever since I can remember. No other chocolate cake will do.

  86. My mom has been making this cake for at least 20 years :) she got the recipe from someone who got it from someone and so on! Glad it’s in a book so everyone can enjoy!!!

  87. i’ve been looking for the double chocolate fudge coca cola cake recipe from cracker barrel and this is pretty much the closest iv’e got. i just used coca cola instead of water. it’s perfect!! and so yummi!

    i love bakerella and PW :)


  88. This IS indeed the best cake ever, and was even better when my Mom used to make it. She had an old yellowed genuine Pioneer cookbook, and the cookbook had this recipe in it. My Mom made this often, and used to have some waiting on the counter waiting for me when I came home from school. She put toasted pecans or walnuts sometimes on top. Needless to say, fond childhood memories! An oldie and goodie! Try it!

  89. This look so easy and delicious!
    I’m really keen to try but the butter sold at my place are packed in standard weight of 250gm. So it would surely be helpful if you are able to tell me what’s the total weight of the 2 sticks of butter in the recipe and I could jolly start baking away :)

  90. Hi,

    I have made this but instead of using 1 cup of water I used 1 cup of hot and really strong black coffee. Wowwww! You can’t really taste the coffee but it comes out a little darker and perfectly moist and THE BEST chocolate cake ever!

    Give it a try and you’ll be delighted! Delish!

  91. This looks yummy! Imma make it for my parents anniversary!

  92. my grandma made this chocolate cake they called “Texas Sheet Cake” since I was little over 50 years.

  93. i have her cookbook. just got it a little over a week ago and have tried the chilli. it was good, the cinnamon rolls were amazing!, and the cube steak hoagie sandwiches are amazing, my hubby loves. i plan to try almost every recipe in the book and love watching her show. She has the cutest stories in her recipe book also I just adore her.

  94. You are so right about this cake. I have been making it for years and years. But mine is called Texas sheet cake. I compared yours to mine. They are the same. This is my favorite cake. Thank you for getting it out there. Everyone should know about this cake. I LOVE you multi chip cookies. I just tried them. They are the best. I had one my son made with two of my other sons. I have been looking for a chip cookie for years. Nothing till now. Thanks


  95. PW IS MY GIRL,she has an amazing sense of humor whilst she bakes. this isnt for the book but just to say women like Bakerella and PW are role models for some of us.

    Even though i didnt go baking school am learning to bake and i know i would get better

    even though i am opening a bakery but would pick form others , i know soon enuf i would be baking myself

  96. Can this cake be made in round pans?

  97. Yum! Speaking as an official chocoholic, its safe to say that this is one of the chocolateiest (that’s a word I made ,myself:-) ) things I’ve ever seen!

  98. This chocolate sheet cake is the best I ever eat! Makes great cupcakes too!

  99. Amazing recipt! I will try ASAP! The pics looks incredible!

  100. Yes that’s the best chocolate cake ever. More commonly known as a Texas sheet cake. We like to add one teaspoon of cinnamon to the cake batter. Even better! Also don’t skimp on ingredients: use butter only and full fat (not low fat) buttermilk. 

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