Texas Sheet Cake

This is what was left of it.  I was not fast enough to get a picture before we ate up a half size portion of this recipe.

Years ago I asked Skylar what is favorite cake was, and he replied “Texas Sheet Cake!”  I am from Texas, and had no idea what he was taking about.  It is just a chocolate sheet cake with chocolate frosting that is always served from the pan.  I suspect it is more popular in the Midwest than Texas.  

This recipe is from Mike Mills & Amy Mills Tunnicliff’s Peace Love and Barbecue.  It sounds more complicated than it is.  Really, I made it during Harper’s nap.  I think because it does not have to be taken out of the pan and frosted like a normal cake, it is easy.  



2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar 

1 cup water

8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

3 1/2 tbs coca powder

1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk mixed with 2 tbs white vinegar)

2 large eggs

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract


8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup milk

3 1/2 tbs coca powder

1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 4oo degrees.  Grease an 18 x 12 inch sheet pan.
  • Make the cake: Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Combine the water, butter, shortening, and coca in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour over the flour mixture.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla together.  Add to the batter, and blend thoroughly by hand.  Don’t use an electric mixer.  Pour into the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • When the cake has baked for about 15 minutes, make the icing:  Combine the butter, milk, and coca in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir in the confectioners’ sugar and walnuts, if desired.  Pour the icing over the cake as soon as it is removed from the oven, and spread it out evenly.  Let the cake cool completely on a rack before serving from the pan. 


Filed under baking

5 responses to “Texas Sheet Cake

  1. Al Herrmann

    Hey, do you know if there’s a way for me to set up some sort of alert when you update your blog? One of those RSS thingies, I think? Or those other icons that are at the bottom of other often-updated pages. You know what I’m talking about?

  2. milkymilk

    Hi Al! I know what you are saying, but I have no idea if that can be done. Skylar is going to ask his tech guy at work about it.

  3. Al Herrmann

    Oh, cool! Thanks, Mary! Thanks, Skylar! Thanks, Tech Guy!


  4. Liz Massey Gendel

    I’ve never heard of Texas sheet cake either. Perhaps because it is just normal sheet cake to me, in the pan. You know, the vernacular cake of the white trash . Hmm, it’s kind of like they, whoever they are, are making fun of us – Texans eat their cake out of the pan.
    Love, Liz

  5. milkymilk

    They are! Midwesterners, I tell you. They do have such a nice way of making fun of people. (At least I think it is a midwestern thing, because Skylar went to high school in St. Louis, and this recipe is from an Illinois restaurant.)

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