Texas Sheet Cake is a dense, thin cake that is almost like a brownie but… not quite. It is so chocolaty and sweet it’ll make your teeth hurt but your tummy happy. Pecans fill the shiny chocolate icing making it almost a candy bar!
Texas Sheet Cake. Is it a cake? A brownie? And why the cult-like following? If you have ever visited Texas and spent at least an hour in a local home you have probably experienced the phenomena of sheet cake. A thick, rich, chocolaty cake with a frosting that is ..well is it a glaze or is it a frosting?
No matter. It is good and every Texan over the age of six months knows it. It is quick to make; you can be shooing flies off off the finished cake within about forty five minutes. And that first bite? Rich, moist, chocolate, delicious…. dang.
The only people I have ever met that have NOT liked this cake are those unique individuals that don’t like chocolate (bless their hearts) and those individuals that did not follow protocol or used a non-Texas approved recipe. And, as everyone knows, you don’t mess with Texas.
- Don’t use anything but pecans. No, walnuts will not substitute. Macadamias either. Don’t even think about hazelnuts or Brazil nuts.
- Don’t use a 13×9 inch pan…the texture will be wrong.
- Don’t experiment with flavor. Sometimes things should just be left alone. This is one of those things.
- Don’t cool the cake. Be sure the cake is still quite warm when you put the frosting on.
- Don’t drink sweet tea within three hours of eating this cake. The sugar jolt will have you zipping around like the Roadrunner. Beep Beep.
And here are some things you gotta do. Like my husband, the Aggie, says, “It’s just tradition, that’s why.”
- Have cold milk or hot coffee at the ready.
- Share with someone. This cake is friendly. Take some to a neighbor or a co-worker.
Basically you can do this with a couple of Texas-Approved variations:
- Add chopped Heath bars to the frosting
- Substitute hot coffee for the water in the recipe
- Subsitute Dr. Pepper for the water in the recipe.
- Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and/or chipotle to the cake batter
Well, honestly… there is one change I made. I browned the butter. Browned butter gives a rich, toffee flavor that is hard to describe and adds and amazing complexity and richness to this cake.
O.k.. You probably have everything on hand. You know what that means? You are about forty five minutes away from the best cake of your life…. if you hurry.
Don’t have everything you need to make this cake? Here are the things I used – they’re affiliate links and buying through them helps support the blog..thanks!
If you like Texas Sheet Cake you might also like…
White Sheet Cake Life in the Lofthouse
Texas Turtle Sheet Cake About a Mom
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa for this)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- Texas Sheet Cake Frosting
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup cocoa (again, Hersey's Special Dark is the preference)
- 1/2 cup butter , browned until golden
- 3 3/4 - 4 cups of confectioner's sugar , sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups chopped , toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a jelly roll pan and set aside.
Melt the butter until it is a golden brown in a heavy pan. Do not let it burn.
Add the water and the cocoa and stir until smooth.
Bring to a boil, stirring.
Remove from heat.
Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
Beat in eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.
Stir in cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
Spoon into jellyroll pan, smoothing out evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from oven.
Melt butter in saucepan until golden brown.
Add the milk and the cocoa.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring smooth.
Remove from heat and add the sugar, pecans, and vanilla.
Mix quickly and spoon over warm cake.
Cut in squares to serve,