Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Cake


A few months ago, I finally made a cake I had been wanting to make for forever. It was the Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Cake. I have to agree with her. It really was the best chocolate cake I have ever had.





My whole family helped me make the first one. It was a fun family creation. It had enough steps where every one had a task. But it was still very easy.


I actually bought a commercial sheet pan from Amazon just to make this cake. When you think about how much a sheet cake costs at the store, this $12 was actually an incredibly decent price. The cake fits perfectly in this pan.


My husband requested this chocolate cake for his birthday cake two weeks ago. I decided to add something to the recipe. Sigh. I had read the comment section on her website. It seemed like a lot of people had this cake recipe in their family, except their family added cinnamon. We love cinnamon in our household. I figured it was a safe bet to try.

So, I added 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cake batter. That is it! 1/4 of a teaspoon! And it ruined the cake. It overwhelmed the cake. It was not good. At all. So, please just follow her recipe. Do not add the cinnamon or you will be crying on the inside as you throw away an entire sheet cake five days after you made it when nobody in your family will eat it. The first cake? Completely gone in four days.


I cannot wait to make this cake again! Sans cinnamon. It is amazing.

Have you made this cake? Have you ever added a seemingly innocent ingredient to a recipe only to have it completely fail?

22 thoughts on “Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Cake

  1. I have made this cake many times. The recipe we used was called a Texas Sheath Cake. My mom’s best friend back in the 70’s was the first one to find it and introduce it to us. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. Weird about the cinnamon. We have always used cinnamon in our version and it was great. Puzzled. 🙁

    • Thanks Brynne. I have mulled and thought this over. What I think is if you are used to the cinnamon, than that is probably the way you will always like it. I think if I had added cinnamon the first time I made it and then left it out the second time, perhaps I would have thought it was missing something. But since I did the opposite of that, adding the cinnamon added a weird flavor to me. It was not what I was expecting since I had had what I thought was the perfect chocolate cake before that. So now I just recommend to people who have not tried this cake to not add cinnamon, because that is the way I now “like” it. Is any of this making sense at 10:45 at night? : )

      Anyway, I am glad you like this cake, too! I do remember now that in the comments people called their version Sheath cakes!


      Have a restful and lovely Sunday!


    • Thanks Melodee! I want to make it again tomorrow , but I might eat the whole darn thing! Please let me know if you make this! : )

      Have a super Sunday!


    • Thank you so much Lyn! Your five year old will definitely be able to help with some of the steps (like pouring in the vanilla and cocoa powder). My kids loved helping make this! I hope you love it as much as we do!

      Have a stupendous Sunday!


      • Do you need that special pan to bake it in? I don’t have that pan so it will help me not make it & not want to eat the majority of it. My neighbor probably has that pan. Also my hand mixer broke! I’ve had that mixer since 1996. Wow. It lasted a long time. Oskar loves helping me bake!

      • Thanks Lyn. Thankfully, you don’t need a hand mixer for this. Just a whisk. I don’t know if you could use another pan. This cake is such an odd density. I am not sure if cake pans would work for it. I do remember in her comments on the website one or two people used something else. I just do not know the logistics of it. It’s chocolate. I am sure it will be good whichever way! : ). Please let me know if you make this and if you were able to use a different pan. I will add that info to the post if a different pan works! : )

        Have a lovely Sunday!


    • Thanks Heather. Me, too! I actually get envious when someone tells me they don’t like chocolate. I imagine how much easier life would be if I didn’t constantly have to limit my cravings and intake of the stuff! : ). But then I taste it and life is so much better.

      Now I want a chocolate cake!

      I hope your Sunday is lovely!


  2. This recipe is very similar to my dear Mom-Mom’s cake…that she always made for my birthday. Even after she passed, my mom or my brother or a friend always makes me this cake to celebrate my birthday (which is luckily for me in 2 weeks because your photos are making me drool!). We’ve never added cinnamon, but making it in any other pan usually ruins the consistency (in my opinion). This is truly the best cake ever! (and fills me with such great memories!)

    • Hi Colleen! Thanks for letting me know about the pan and the consistency. I feared that was the case. Happy early birthday! Yay! That you will be eating this cake soon. It is so good. Thank you for sharing your story as well. I love it. I love that the cake has so many memories to it. Food is wonderful like that. I wonder what my son’s wife will think of his fond memories of my tuna pie. ; )

      Have a marvelous Monday!


  3. Mmmmm… yummers! I made brownies this weekend that look quite similar to your cake. They are almost gone. I tried freezing some to save for next week but nooooo… we must eat them NOW!

    • Thanks Cynthia! This cake does kind of remind me of a a frosted brownie. The texture is similar. And yum! That sounds delicious! Brownies never last around here. They are my kids’ favorite dessert. I want chocolate!

      I will have to settle for sleep! ; )

      Sweet dreams!


  4. Oh my god, this sounds fabulous right now. Look how moist and tasty it looks! I may have to find the recipe….from your pictures, it looks like I may have many of the ingredients already in my kitchen. And by the way, my new kitchen has counter space. Kyle jumped up on the counter and sprawled out to bask in all of the counter space. Clearly we have been deprived for too long. I am ready to bake again with all this space! And I do love me some chocolate….

    <3 Liz

    • Thank you Liz! The recipe is there. You just have to click on the highlighted Pioneer Woman Chocolate Cake part. I want it right now! Right now! It is so good! I love her recipes. That is so funny what Kyle did! I love it. And I love that you have the room there to cook. I have seen your cooking on your blog. You definitely have the skills! I cannot wait to see what you come up with! When you guys have your romantic fun dinners at home, I get so excited!

      Have a wonderful Wednesday!


  5. I love your blog! I am going to try this recipe sometime next week! I actually ordered the sheet pan that you linked and I am waiting for it to arrive. Thank you for the clothing and food inspirations.

    • Thank you Cristine! So much! You made my day! I cannot wait to hear what you think of the cake. It is not my recipe but I love it so much! It is amazing how the whole thing fits perfectly in the pan!

      Thank you again for your super sweet words!!!!

      Have a beautiful week!


      • I finally baked the cake…boy is it delicious! I opted for the dark cocoa powder since my family prefers dark chocolate. Thank you for linking this recipe! Now my sister is requesting this cake for her birthday which isn’t until September!

      • Yay! I am so glad. I will have to try the dark chocolate, because my husband and I both like dark chocolate better, too. Thank you so much for letting me know! I really appreciate it! You made my night!

        September is a long time to wait! I do not think I could wait that long! : )

        Have a beautiful week!


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