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Texas Turtle Sheetcake

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, caramel, pecans, and chocolate chips? Yes, please!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake, texas turtle sheetcake
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 318 kcal
Author Amanda Rettke


  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (256g) self-rising flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (237g) coffee (can use hot water instead)
  • 1/3 cup (39g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (120g) buttermilk* (see notes)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/4 cup (57g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60g) buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons (22g) unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups (312g) confectioners sugar

Turtle Topping

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, for drizzling over top


Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 10in x 15in (or 9x13, but cake will be thicker and fudgier) with parchment paper and spray sides with non-stick spray if needed. 

  2. In a large bowl, combine self-rising flour and granulated sugar and then set aside.

  3. In a saucepan combine 1 cup butter, 1 cup coffee (or hot water), and 1/3 cup cocoa. Bring to a slow rolling boil, stirring constantly. 

  4. Pour the warm butter mixture into the flour mixture. Using a hand-held mixer (or by hand) mix until ingredients are fully combined, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the buttermilk and eggs. Mix on medium speed for another 30 seconds, or until fully combined.

  6. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. When cake is done baking it should spring back if you touch it. An inserted toothpick should be removed mostly clean, a few crumbs are perfect. (Start checking at 17 minutes.)

Chocolate Frosting

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/4 cup butter, 4 tablespoons buttermilk, and 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Bring to a slow rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.

  2. Remove from heat and use a wire whisk to gradually mix in powdered sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Spread or pour the warm frosting over the cake. 

Turtle Topping

  1. While the cake is still warm, sprinkle with chopped pecans and then the mini chocolate chips. Drizzle with caramel sauce.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you don't have buttermilk try my 4 easy options for Homemade Buttermilk! (Clickable link)