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Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe Texas Sheet Cake

There may be plenty of beauty queens in Texas, unfortunately this sheet cake isn’t one. But hey, it’s supposed to be about the inner beauty, right? Whether that’s the case or not, this classic recipe would still take home plenty of “Miss Congeniality” awards; it never fails to win over a crowd.

Texas sheet cake is an old Southern standby—some version of it is guaranteed to grace the table at almost any potluck, church picnic, or 4th of July celebration below the Mason Dixon. You can find a recipe for it in almost any community cookbook known to man. In the case of my old grade school’s tiny cookbook, I found three. (It often falls under many different names, but Texas sheet cake seems to be the most popular. I guess because it’s as big as Texas!)

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

This is my take on the cherished recipe I grew up with. The boy next door (who just so happened to be my childhood crush) loved it so much that my mother would often bake up an entire pan just for him. As I begrudgingly carried it over to his house, I always wondered what a girl needed to do to get one of her own.

As I’ve become a more experienced chef and baker, willing to attempt the most complicated of cakes, I still know with confidence this Texas sheet cake will withstand the test of time. Perhaps one day I, too, will have a daughter whose heart I can make go aflutter as she drops one off at a young heartthrob’s door. (And it’s funny now, how it all just started making sense.)

Texas Sheet Cake
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes, plus cooling
Yields: 24

sheet cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1 cup brewed coffee or hot water

frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped toasted nuts (pecans or walnuts)

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 18 x 13 inch sheet pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.

In a small to medium sauce pan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and coffee; increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Follow with the egg mixture and stir until all the ingredients are completely combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rap on the counter a few times to distribute evenly. Bake the cake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and frost immediately.

For the frosting:

When the cake has 5 minutes left in the oven, start the frosting. In a medium to large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder until combined. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely incorporated. Fold the toasted nuts into the frosting and immediately pour over the warm cake. Use an offset to help gently spread a thin layer over the entire surface.

Cool frosted cake on a wire rack for 1 hour, then moved to the refrigerator, preferably overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Nealey moved from Alabama to the West Coast to follow her dreams, only to realize once there how much she missed good ol’ country cooking.  So she took to the kitchen and began re-creating the dishes of her past, but this time without any help from a can. What started out as a hobby turned into an obsession, so she quit her day job to pursue cooking, and eating, fulltime. Dixie Caviar is where you can follow her pursuits of all things Southern.

More Southern Favorites From Nealey

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Comments (5026)

  1. Daniel Burney posted 05/15/2012

    Sounds yummy, but OMG, 1 pound of sugar?

  2. Susan posted 05/15/2012

    Sounds great, but wonder how it would be to supstatute some of the sugar with splenda or other artificial sugar. I might try to do it.

    • tami posted 05/15/2012

      agreed….this looks SOOO good, but as a diabetic, I'd like to try some splenda instead of sugar. hmmm…have you tried it yet?

    • Gail posted 06/09/2013

      Yes you certainly can just follow measures on box, for the cake that is, not for the frosting, would work but you might want to try some diet cake recipes instead of this one if the sugar is an issue. This is not a cake for the timid. You can find lots of yummy diabetic cake recipes on line. I bake for my friend who is diabetic and often look there.

  3. Krissy posted 05/15/2012

    I remember your mom making this cake, so good!

  4. [...] Texas Sheet Cake Texas Sheet Cake never fails to win over a crowd. [...]

  5. ana posted 05/15/2012

    dleciouse

  6. txgrandma posted 05/16/2012

    I've made the cake with Splenda, first time their wasn't enough cake for the pan. Went to the Splenda website and found that you have to add little more baking soda to get the cake to rise. Also used splenda in icing. For holidays, made a regular one and one with Splenda, family couldn't tell which was which.

    • gail posted 06/09/2013

      18x13x1 inch pan otherwise known as a jelly roll pan

    • Gail posted 06/09/2013

      I am surprised the frosting would turn out thank you and I now have a new site to look at for my friend although most of my requests for this cake are from non-diabetic friends

  7. F.mont posted 05/20/2012

    What size pan and how is the pan prepared?

    • CookingChannel_Mark posted 09/14/2012

      Hi F.mont ~
      Just saw your note.

      "Grease a 18 x 13 inch sheet pan"
      Hope that helps.
      CC_Mark

    • Gail posted 06/09/2013

      the usual way grease and flour but I use the Bakers cooking spray that contains flour
      .you can also just line the bottom with parchment paper or wax paper and then just spray the sides.

  8. P.eg posted 05/20/2012

    Could you please convert this recipe using splenda or less sugar ?

    • whoopi posted 09/03/2012

      unless you are making meringues, use half quantity of sugar stated in a baking recipe. there will be no difference in the result.

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  11. Phyllis Glass posted 07/29/2012

    I made these in the 60's,my neice called them yum yum cakes.

  12. Jordan Ramsay posted 09/14/2012

    You, my friend, just made my mouth water. Thanks for the recipe. I'll worry about urgent dental care some other time. I'll add more "sheets" to that cake and see if I can't enjoy it better that way.

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