Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes

Texas Sheet Cake is a tried-and-true recipe that has stood the test of time - put it in cupcake form and it is bite-sized perfection. The fudgy frosting is poured over the hot cupcakes to make the ultimate dessert.

Our Grandma’s Texas Sheet Cake is one of my favorite desserts – what’s not to love about a tried-and-true chocolate recipe that has stood the test of time?!

I have always wondered why they call it Texas Sheet Cake – I’ve heard that the recipe originated in Texas in the 1950’s and I have also heard that it’s called that because the cake is so huge and perfect for feeding a crowd the size of Texas. Regardless of the name, it’s delicious!

I wondered if it would be possible to make Texas Sheet Cake in cupcake form . . . and surprise! It worked!! I love how moist and fudgy Texas Sheet Cake is and it was perfect in cupcake form – just like an individual serving of Texas Sheet Cake should be.

My grandma would sometimes top her Texas Sheet Cake with nuts, but always made sure to leave part of the cake nut-free for the kids. If you want, you could top these cupcakes with chopped nuts and it would be delicious!

The fudge frosting on these cupcakes are what make the cupcakes. The frosting is different than your regular frosting because you don’t need to pipe or spread it on, but instead you mix it all together and pour it over the hot cupcakes. As the cupcakes cool, the frosting will set and stay in place. I wouldn’t recommend making these cupcakes without this frosting!

There have been quite a few people who have made this recipe and struggled with the middles of the cupcakes sinking in. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can fill that sunken middle with fudgy frosting and no one will even know! However, here are some tips to keep the middles from sinking in:

-Do not fill these cupcakes more than 2/3 full. In fact, I would recommend going a little less than 2/3 full, more like 1/2 full. These cupcakes do not have a rounded top like regular cupcakes, but instead they are more of a flat top. If you fill the cupcake liner more than 2/3 full, the batter will cook up and over the edge and your middle will sink down. They will also be undercooked, making them more prone to sinking in the middle. Less batter is definitely the way to go with this recipe!

-Do not use an electric mixer, but instead beat these by hand. Over-mixing will cause your cupcakes to fall in the center when they cook. You want to make sure that you mix with a whisk or spatula until the ingredients are just combined and then be done.

-Every oven is different. Underbaking will also cause these cupcakes to sink in the middle, so you will have to play with the bake time and see what works best with your oven. I baked mine for exactly 19 minutes and they were perfect, but you may need a little more or less time depending on your oven.

-How old is your baking soda? It’s crazy how such a small amount of baking soda can make such a big difference in this recipe. Even if your baking soda is not expired, if it has been opened and exposed for a while, it’s not going to be as effective and the middles of your cupcakes (or any baked goods for that matter) will sink.

-Bake the cupcakes right after you mix the batter together. If you mix together the batter and don’t bake these cupcakes right away, it will cause the middles to sink. Pop these bad boys into the oven as soon as they are ready!

-If you still struggle with the centers sinking in your cupcakes, add about 1/4 cup flour to the batter. This should help your cake to stabilize and not sink down. I live at an altitude of 4300 feet and my batter doesn’t need the extra 1/4 cup, but every altitude is different!

Be sure to check out our other favorite chocolate desserts:
-Grandma’s Chocolate Cake Roll
-Snicker’s Brownie Trifle
-Thin Mint Poke Cake
-Mississippi Mud Cake
-Million Dollar Bars

Serves: 24

Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Fudge frosting:
  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 24 cupcake liners into muffin pans.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the butter, water, and cocoa powder to a boil. Turn off and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and cocoa mixture to dry ingredients in bowl. Stir until blended, being careful to not over-mix. Pour batter into cupcake liners (a little less than 2/3 full, no more than 2/3 full or they will sink in the middle).
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done. They will be moist- make sure that you don't overcook them! Cool completely.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine milk, cocoa powder, and butter. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  6. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir until it starts to thicken slightly (about 3-4 minutes). Drop a tablespoon full onto center of each cupcake. The frosting will thicken quickly, so do not make the frosting until ready to put on cupcakes.
  7. This frosting is different than other frostings because it's a "pour-on frosting." It is not a spread or pipe-on. It will still be a little runny when it is applied. The frosting will harden as it cools on the cupcake. The best way to tell when it is ready to use is to drop a spoonful on a plate and see how far it spreads. When it spreads just to the width of a cupcake, it's ready. If it spreads too far, stir for a little longer.


*If you don't have buttermilk, no worries! Mix 1/2 cup milk with 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for a minute before adding to other ingredients.

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33 Responses to “Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes”

    • I am so sorry! I don't know why . . . I know that when one of our sisters lived in a different part of the country, she was always having to adapt her recipes for altitude and humidity, because that plays such a large role in baking. I don't know what your altitude is, but here is a great article about adapting recipes: http://allrecipes.com/howto/high-altitude-cake-baking/
      You could always just fill the middle with frosting. :)
    • Mine also fell in the middle. I do live in a high altitude area (6,800 feet), so maybe that's it. I've lived here for 20 years, so by this time I'm a pretty seasoned baker and don't have problems due to altitude. I will try the recipe once more before I scrap it just to be sure--maybe it was some other fluke. The cupcakes do look great, so I hope I can figure out what I need to do make get them to turn out like yours!
    • I am so sorry! I don't know why . . . I know that when one of our sisters lived in a different part of the country, she was always having to adapt her recipes for altitude and humidity, because that plays such a large role in baking. I don't know what your altitude is, but here is a great article about adapting recipes: http://allrecipes.com/howto/high-altitude-cake-baking/
      You could always just fill the middle with frosting. :)
  1. Yep, my cupcakes spread over the edges of the cups and crashed in the middle. I would bet it is because I live at a pretty high altitude. I have never had any problems with my normal Texas Sheet cake recipe so maybe I'll try it in cupcakes and see if they work. Too bad - but I did salvage some of the cake and plan on making cake bites with it.
  2. My husband wanted these for his birthday so I thought I would make them..even though I was nervous bc of the above comments. These came out wosnderful!s Just like a texas sheet cake! I wanted to comment as I did have trouble with the sinking middle on one I filled more than 2/3. Some I shot for more of 1/2 filled and they came out perfect! Thanks for the recipe! Oh and the frosting came out great for me with the exact recipe you gave
    • I agree....I live in Iowa and have NEVER had trouble with a recipe falling in the middle...until this one. I am so very dissapointed as I made these to surprise my teenage son whose having a rough time of it lately. I found a recipe for texas sheet cake cookies that turned out perfectly....going to pitch these and make the other instead.
  3. Cindy Iversen
    Overbeating may be what is causing your cupcakes to fall in the middle. I have used a similar recipe as a sheet cake for years. Do not use an electric mixer, mix with a whisk or spatula just until ingredients are combined.
  4. ~Becca~
    What does it matter if the cake falls in the center? Its still good. Eat it. My kids and hubby would never let an "ugly cupcake or cake" go to waste!! Frost it and eat it anyway people. If it drops in the center, use a regular piped frosting and pipe some on, Nix the pour frosting in that instance. It's NOT brain science!!! My kids would devour all your "oopsies" cupcakes in a day and ask for more the exact same way.
  5. First off I would like to thank the author for taking time to post the recipe. Second I agree, just eat the sunken cupcakes and quit complaining. Every baker is different. We mix different, each oven is different, ect. Sunken middles sometimes are the result of under baked products. Instead of negativity, try the recipe again if you don't like it again toss it and move on.
  6. These cupcakes turned out great. Be careful not to fill your liners too full. Like recipe stated no fuller than 2/3 full. The ones I overfilled did sink in, just a couple. Probably cause like I said they were too full and then they were slightly undercooked from the ones filled with less. Nothing the frosting won’t cover up. Simple fix. Curious how many cupcakes is this recipe suppose to make?
  7. Eva Rivera
    The cup cakes came out ok. Even tasted ok. Not the best but good. There needs to be more instructions . Bake until done and don’t over bake....maybe add if the toothpic test works to test doneness. Then the hot mixture from the stove. Will it curdle the eggs? I mixed mine hot with the flour, pretty well, first before the liquid add. And the icing.....it almost made fudge. I gave up with it (I don’t like fudge) and made buttercream.

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