Texas sheet cakes are perfect for summer parties. They are easy to make, feed a crowd and are easy to take with you. If you have only ever had chocolate, you are in for a surprise because there are so many flavors you can make. Here are some of the best Texas sheet cake recipes out there.
Texas sheet cakes are perfect for so many reasons, starting with the fact they are so simple to make. There is no special equipment needed and you don’t even have to soften the butter.
Just get out a saucepan, bring the butter and water to a boil, whisk in the remaining ingredients and pour it into a sheet pan. That’s it, the batter is so easy to throw together.
History of Sheet Cakes
It looks like many earlier versions of the chocolate sheet cake were called “sheath cakes” and the recipe has been around since at least the mid twentieth. Barry Popic traced newspaper mentions of the cake to 1950.
It seems every church cookbook thereafter has a version of the chocolate cake. Some use cinnamon, earning them the name “Mexican chocolate cake.”
Some recipes swear by oleo, other use butter. But in the end the basic ingredients and baking method are similar for the chocolate version everyone knows and loves.
What makes it a Texas sheet cake
According to my mom, there are a few key points that make a cake a Texas sheet cake. If they don’t follow her rules, the term doesn’t apply.
The first is the batter must be made in a saucepan. There is no softened butter to cream or mixers required.
The batter must be simple and poured into a greased sheet pan. Generally the pan of choice is a 13×18″ half sheet pan, also known as a jelly roll pan.
However, my mom has been known to also bake them in a 10×15″ pan. The cake is a bit thicker, but otherwise similar. Just add a few minutes to the bake time to account for the decreased surface area and increased depth.
Why is it called a Texas sheet cake?
Nobody knows for sure where the Texas in Texas sheet cake came from. But I think it’s because of the large size and they make everything bigger in Texas.
Icing Your Cake
Another hallmark of a Texas sheet cake, is the poured over icing. Of course you can top the cake with buttercream or whatever frosting you desire.
However, keeping with tradition requires another saucepan. When the cake is partially cooled, but still warm you melt butter on the stove.
Stir in powdered sugar and whatever flavorings you are using and pour it over the cake. All it takes is a little bit of spreading and a smooth delicious icing will be pretty and delicious.
Add some chopped nuts or sprinkles to make it extra fun, or leave it smooth and glossy. You will see some fun ideas in the recipes below.
Serving Sheet Cake
The cake is generally served right out of the pan. That makes it low stress, low mess and no fuss.
It also makes it easy to transport to events like potlucks, BBQs and family reunions. Plus the large size means it is easy to cut quite a few pieces, so it is perfect for a crowd.
Feel free to add a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream if you want. Or eat it as is, it doesn’t need anything else.
Now the only question left is which version are you going to make first? Our favorite ideas are listed below.
If you have ever tried another version of a Texas sheet cake that isn’t listed here, I would love to hear about it. Please tell me about it in the comments so I can make one too!