Thursday, May 15, 2014

Texas Sheet Cake


I’ve loved Texas Sheet Cake since my mother introduced it to me in the 70’s.  It’s a family favorite, we’ve tried all kinds of different variations, including peanut butter, and Coca-Cola sheet cake, but we always come back to this recipe.  It’s just the best, moist, gooey, delicious, decadent dessert.  What could be better… ~ Jan

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • For the Frosting:

    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter
    • 6 tablespoons of milk
    • 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
    • 1 (1 pound) box of powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup of chopped pecans, toasted,optional
    • 1 cup coconut, optional


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with Pam.  Some recipes call for making this in a jelly roll pan, but our family likes thick cake, so I always make it in a 9x13.

    In a measuring cup, measure out 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Add 2 eggs to that and beat until well blended; set aside. Whisk together in a large bowl, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.

    In a medium saucepan, combine the 2 sticks of butter, the 2 tablespoons oil and 1 cup of water and bring to a near boil. Remove pot from the heat and whisk in 6 tablespoons of cocoa, until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and add this mixture to the sugar and flour mixture; stir until well blended. Slowly add in the buttermilk and egg mixture and stir well.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees until the center is set, about 20 to 25 minutes for a sheet cake, about 35 to 40 minutes for a regular 9 x 13 inch pan. While the cake is cooking, toast the pecans in a dry pan, tossing regularly until fragrant, about 5 minutes, set aside to cool.

    When cake is about 5 minutes from being done, prepare the frosting. Do not do the frosting ahead of time because it will quickly stiffen. Heat the stick of butter and 6 tablespoons of milk in a saucepan just until it comes to a boil. It will need to be very hot. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Mixture will thicken. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and quickly beat with a wooden spoon until smooth, returning to a low burner if mixture thickens too quickly. Immediately stir in coconut and nuts if desired and pour the frosting all over the cake. Working quickly, use a spatula to gently push the frosting out to the edges and to cover the cake evenly. Sprinkle top evenly with the additional toasted pecans, if desired. Set entire pan aside on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely before slicing.

    Cook's Notes: When the cake comes out of the oven, quickly poke holes all over it and then pour the icing on top.

    Tips: This will be a very moist cake, so you aren't looking for a dry surface when it is done. As always, take care to not overcook your cake. If you shake the pan and the cake doesn't jiggle, it's done! Frosting will set fast, so ya gotta move fast! If your frosting stiffens too quickly, you can also thin it with a little additional milk if needed, and return it to a low heat.  This cake is better after it sits overnight, even better after it ages a couple of days, but who can wait that long!

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