Aunt Ree’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

Aunt Ree's Chocolate Cake

Aunt Ree’s Chocolate Cake has been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember.  It’s a chocolate buttermilk cake with boiled icing. As a kid, I thought this was a special secret recipe.  Turns out it’s similar to Texas Sheet Cake, which we never had growing up.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think I have ever eaten or made a sheet cake in my life. Hmmm, guess I will have to remedy that soon.

Try our Strawberry Shortcake!

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Aunt Ree's Chocolate Cake batter in a white mixing bowl

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a 13×9 baking pan, 2 8×8 baking pans, or jelly roll pan with baking spray or butter and flour.

In a large bowl combine the flour and sugar together.

Bring cocoa powder, 1/2 cup butter, water, and oil to a boil.  Remove from the heat and pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients (flour mixture). Mix well.

Aunt Ree's Chocolate Cake batter combined in a white bowl

Add the buttermilk and mix well, then add eggs, baking soda, and vanilla extract. Mix well.

Pour into the prepared pan (or pans) and bake for 20 minutes.

Aunt Ree's Chocolate Cake boiled icing in a metal sauce pot

Remove cake from oven and start the frosting.  (The cake will still be hot when you pour the icing over.)

Bring the butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar (powdered sugar). Mix until combined. Pour over the cake.

Our Peanut Butter Balls are always a hit!

Aunt Ree's Chocolate Cake - a serving lifted out of the baking dish

Allow the cake to cool completely.  Or almost completely! My husband couldn’t stand the wait any longer.  The icing will set but still be soft. A little more firm than what you see in the above photo.

This recipe divides in half beautifully! Sometimes you just want to satisfy your sweet craving, not taunt it with a HUGE cake just staring at you.

Check out our Bread Pudding!

Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

Aunt Ree's Chocolate Cake - This recipe is easy, made from scratch and is the best chocolate cake ever!
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5 from 5 votes

Aunt Ree’s Chocolate Cake

Aunt Ree’s Chocolate Cake – This recipe is easy, made from scratch and is the best chocolate cake ever!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: boiled icing, buttermilk, cake, chocolate, old fashioned, sheet
Servings: 12
Calories: 596kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 oz confectioners sugar (icing sugar)


  • Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
  • Prepare a 13×9 pan or 2 8×8 pans with baking spray or butter and flour.
  • Whisk together flour and sugar.
  • In a small pan, add the butter, cocoa, water, and oil. Bring to a boil and mix well. Pour into the flour/sugar mixture.
  • Add the beaten eggs, soda and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Pour into the prepared pan (or pans) and bake for 20 minutes.
  • When you remove the cake from the oven, start the frosting.
  • For the frosting:
  • Add the butter, cocoa, and milk to a medium pan and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.
  • Once the mixture is to a boil remove it from the heat, add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and mix well.
  • Pour the icing evenly over the entire cake. Allow to cool completely.


You could certainly use this recipe in a jelly roll pan. The original recipe calls for an 11×16 pan.
This recipe divides in half beautifully, using an 8×8 pan.!


Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 71g | Vitamin A: 546IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. Reply

    Oooh that looks like a super rich. gooey chocolate cake! Delicious x #BakeoftheWeek

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Kirsty! We love it!

  2. Reply

    5 stars
    That looks like a lovely damp cake with gloriously sticky topping. Your Aunt Ree knew a good thing when she saw it! Thanks for joining in with #BAKEoftheWEEK !

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Sarah!

  3. Reply

    5 stars
    This is a delicious recipe! One that will be requested over and over!

    1. Reply

      Yes, it is! Thanks for stopping by Teresa!

  4. Reply

    This looks so good. I love recipes attached the are tried and true – they’re always the best. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Reply

      Thank you!

  5. Reply

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing with Delicious Dishes Recipe Party this week!

  6. Reply

    Ooh your cake looks delicious. I’ve not made a cake using that method before…pinning to give it a try.
    Angela x

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Angela!

  7. Reply

    5 stars
    Oh I love the effect when you pour icing over a hot cake – Haven’t done that for ages. I wish sheet cakes were more popular in the UK than they are. Your looks so inviting! Thanks for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek

    1. Reply

      Thank you so much, Helen!

  8. Reply

    […] Chocolate Cake by Hijacked by Twins Aunt Ree’s Chocolate Cake by Don’t Sweat the […]

  9. Reply

    5 stars
    This looks so delicious! In fact I’m craving a slice right now with my coffee, for lunch. I discovered the magic of warm frosting by accident, I needed to ice a cake really quickly after it had come out of the oven. So I put the frosting in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make it a more liquid icing and poured it over the cake. The frosting sunk into the cake making it the moistest, most fudgy, cake I’ve ever had. I am definitely going to try your recipe, it looks fantastic.

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Nikki! I hope you enjoy the recipe.:)

  10. Reply

    What a great recipe!! I have a similar one and when you add the frosting when its hot makes all the difference!! Yum! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Elaine! 🙂

  11. Reply

    I bet this is a yummy cake!! Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Pinned & shared.

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Theresa!

  12. Reply

    Is it a 1/2 cup of buttermilk?

    1. Reply

      Yes, Jeanne. Sorry about that, I have corrected the recipe. Thank you! 🙂

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