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Texas Sheet Cake

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Incredibly moist and chocolatey sheet cake topped with a fudgy pecan icing.

Texas Sheet Cake: Incredibly moist and chocolatey sheet cake topped with a fudgy pecan icing.

If you have never laid your tastebuds on Texas sheet cake, ohhh my friend, you have not lived. I am not exaggerating this is in the least. In fact, only about 2 years ago did I experience the love that is Texas sheet cake, but I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to recreate it in my kitchen.

So if you’ve never had it, let’s talk about what it is. It’s magic in a sheet pan. Ok, there you go. Now go make it.

Texas Sheet Cake: Incredibly moist and chocolatey sheet cake topped with a fudgy pecan icing.

Just kidding.

But really, I do want you to get to making it ASAP, so I’ll talk (type?) as little as I can as to minimize the time between reading and devouring eating.

Texas sheet cake may or may not have come from Texas, but I really don’t care where it came from, because it can happen in my kitchen and that’s all that matters in life. Apparently, it’s a staple in Texan hospitality. In short, I’m thinking I need to move there if it means people will be bringing me this cake on the reg.

This cake really is just a chocolate cake that is super super simple to make, can travel well, and can make a lot*/feed a crowd. What more could you ask for in a dessert? Not much.

But lucky for us, this cake delivers not only in convenience but also in taste, texture, and overall level of chocolatiness. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the chocolatey scale, we’re working with a 12 here, folks.

*See my notes at the bottom of the recipe for making this an actual sheet cake sized treat.

So how do we make this cake? So easy. First, you’ll whisk together your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Then, you’ll start working on the stovetop where you’ll melt butter and coffee together (and a touch of vanilla extract).

Coffee is not a typical ingredient in classic Texas sheet cake recipes, but if you know me well, you know I love me some coffee in my chocolate. Just like in my chocolate layer cake, the coffee really brings out the deep chocolate flavors.

I promise, if you don’t like coffee, you’ll still love this cake. You can’t even taste it!

Texas Sheet Cake: Incredibly moist and chocolatey sheet cake topped with a fudgy pecan icing.

Once that butter/coffee/vanilla mixture boils, remove it from the heat and stir in the flour mixture. Add some Greek yogurt for super moisture, one egg for binding it all together, and then a little baking soda to help it rise just the right amount.

You’ll bake this cake for about 18 minutes, so at the 13ish minute mark, you’ll make the most amazing chocolate icing that you’ve ever tasted in your life.

Kind of the same way my baked funfetti donuts get a crackly finish by heating the glaze, the same thing goes with this Texas sheet cake. Heat butter, milk, and vanilla extract until boiling, then whisk in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and a dash of salt.

Mix it all up, and then add the one ingredient that takes this cake from really good to reeeeeeally good: chopped pecans. You may also use walnuts. Just, please… Don’t leave them out! Unless of course you have an allergy or just really dislike nuts. You’ll still be left with a fabulous cake.

Texas Sheet Cake: Incredibly moist and chocolatey sheet cake topped with a fudgy pecan icing.

When the cake is finished baking, you’ll pour this warm, ooey, gooey, chocolatey icing all over the hot cake. Hot cake + warm icing = a crackly finish that literally melts in your mouth.

An extra sprinkle of more chopped pecans and you’ve got yourself one easy peasy cake… After you let it cool and set for about half an hour. <–hardest part of this whole process

Texas Sheet Cake: Incredibly moist and chocolatey sheet cake topped with a fudgy pecan icing.

If you can manage to wait, not drool all over your cake, and wait until just the right moment to slice into this warm Texas sheet cake, you will be met with the most lovely of textures, the moistest of chocolatey bites, a fudgy and nutty icing to top off every sliver, and a huge pat on your back because you just made an incredible cake that will come in handy for years to come.

What makes this cake so popular is the fact that it can stay in the sheet pan, so it’s seriously easy for carting to picnics, potlucks, and gifting to friends who just had a baby (yes, that’s where this one went…After we taste tested a large portion of it!).

I’m not kidding when I say that this might be the best chocolate sheet cake recipe you’ll ever find, so you must tuck it away for safe keeping. It’s basically like making a huge brownie, but can also cater to the cake lovers and general chocolate lovers of the world. 

Those Texans really know what’s up, and I’d love to be able to say a personal thank you to whomever it was who created this masterpiece of chocolate cake business.

Texas Sheet Cake: Incredibly moist and chocolatey sheet cake topped with a fudgy pecan icing.

I can assure you that if you invite me to a party or picnic or other type of gathering that you’d like me to bring dessert to, there’s a good chance I might be making Texas sheet cakes for the rest of my life. So… Ball’s in your chocolate court now 😉

Texas Sheet Cake

Incredibly moist and chocolatey sheet cake topped with a fudgy pecan icing.
Prep Time10 mins
Bake Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 6 slices
  • 1/2 cup coffee or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

ICING

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 2 slices
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts pecans or walnuts work best

Instructions

CAKE

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8" square baking pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium size saucepan, combine the butter, coffee, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the yogurt, egg, and baking soda. Whisk again until batter is smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

ICING

  • When the cake has about 5 minutes remaining to bake, prepare the icing. In a medium size saucepan, combine the butter, milk, and vanilla extract and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and whisk in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until smooth. Stir in the chopped nuts.
  • When cake is finished, remove it from the oven and immediately pour hot icing over the cake. Gently spread the icing into an even payer over the cake. Sprinkle more chopped pecans on top, if desired. Let the icing set before serving (about 30 minutes). Cake will stay fresh covered tightly at room temperature up to 5 days. Cake freezes well, up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

This recipe doubles easily. Bake in 9x13" or 11x15" baking pan. Increase baking time to 20-22 minutes.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

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Oh my word, look! I have not lived! This looks so good – I mean like seriously, who doesn’t love a chocolate cake with pecans and chocolate icing? Never had it before, but looks like I need to fix that! 😉

Can you cut the cake into squares to make it easier to travel with?

Yes, yes and YES! I love cake, all cake, including sheet cake! After visiting Texas last year, I have a soft spot for any recipe that reminds me of this awesome place. I love this! Especially nuts on top. Just yum.

Okay, um…..YUM! I need to get some Texas sheet cake in my life right now! The pecans in the frosting, the chocolate, chocolate, chocolate everywhere – this is definitely my kind of cake! Also, I love that you can freeze the frosted cake! Midnight freezer raids are about to get an upgrade 😉

I never have tried a texas sheet cake before but I definitely think I have been missing out on something seriously delicious!

I could do some delightful damage to this decadent cake. Looks awesome!

Wow this looks amazing, can’t wait to try making it!

LOVE this, Lynn! My mom has a killer Texas Sheet Cake recipe that I’ve been meaning to convert to gluten-free for YEARS now. I think this is just the inspiration i needed 🙂 I LOVE the addition of coffee – and the topping? OMG. My mom always served hers with a simple buttercream or chocolate frosting, but this looks waaaay more deloghtful! YUMMMM.

Super chocolatey, moist, and contains coffee? You’ve managed to make my most hated dessert! 😉 Tucking this one away for future potlucks and parties though, for sure — I definitely accept that I am the odd one out when it comes to my dessert preferences!