Texas Living

Texas Sheet Cake

By Amy Whiteley 4.4.16

Being a native Texan, I have heard much ado about something called a Texas Sheet Cake, and I have to admit that I had no idea what people were raving about. Isn’t a cake just a cake? And although the answer is really a simple, yes, in all honesty the Texas Sheet Cake is a superbly moist and decadent chocolate cake.

And while I don’t typically like chocolate cake, this one may have changed my mind. Besides being extremely tasty, it is also a snap to make, which makes it the perfect dish when you need a dessert to take to a barbecue or potluck. Texas Sheet Cake can be whipped up in less than 60 minutes, and as far as cakes go, that is pretty much unheard of.
But enough about the cake, let’s get started so you can enjoy the fruits of your labors.

First, gather all of your ingredients, so you know that you have everything you need and won’t need to make a run to the store in the middle of baking.

For the Cake Batter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, salted
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, heaping
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Icing

  • 14 tablespoons butter, salted
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, heaping
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Takes , serves 12 to 14 people.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Use the largest cookie sheet or jelly roll pan you have. I used an 18 x 13 pan, but a smaller pan will work; it will just make your cake thicker. No need to prepare the pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt and set aside.
  3. Put a medium saucepan over medium heat and melt 2 sticks of butter. Once butter is melted, add 4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder (I used a premium cocoa powder to give the cake a richer flavor), then add a cup of boiling water and mix. Allow cocoa mixture to simmer for 30 seconds.
  4. After the cocoa mixture is done cooking, mix it with the flour mixture and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. (I recommend using Madagascar vanilla or at least use a pure vanilla.)
  6. Mix the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture together, making sure it is well incorporated.
  7. Pour the cake batter onto the cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

While your cake is baking, make the chocolate icing. (To save time on the clean up, I used the same saucepan I used for the cake batter to make icing.)

  1. Place saucepan over medium heat and melt 14 tablespoons of butter.
  2. Once the butter is melted, mix in 4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder and remove from heat.
  3. Add the vanilla, milk, and powdered sugar and stir until well combined.
  4. Fold in the chopped nuts (if desired).
  5. Pour warm icing over the warm cake.

Cut your cake into any size square you choose (I recommend large) and enjoy!

*Note: For a hint of cinnamon, add 1/2 teaspoon to the cake batter.

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