White Texas sheet cake is pictured on Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by James Brosher)

White Texas Sheet Cake

This buttery, white sheet cake will melt in your mouth. It has a slight almond flavor and is easy to throw together — even for the inexperienced baker. This is the perfect cake to feed a crowd. 

There are some bites that just stick with you. Foods you try for the first time that you’ll never forget. Once you’ve had a taste, you can’t imagine a world where something so delicious doesn’t exist. Texas sheet cake is one of those foods for me.

The first time I had it was when my Grandpa Les’ friend/ex-wife/girlfriend (it was complicated) Miss Hal brought some over to a family gathering. Every time we traveled south to see my grandpa in Arkansas, he would have a beef or pork roast waiting for dinner, but there was rarely dessert. Hal changed that when she was around. She almost always made a classic Texas Sheet Cake, which is a rich, chocolate dessert that’s somewhere between a cake and a brownie. I’d never tasted anything like it before. The frosting and the cake itself practically melted in your mouth. It wasn’t a dessert anyone in our family made, so I treasured every bite when Hal brought over one of those warm cakes.

As delicious as her chocolate version was, I think white Texas sheet cake is even better. I didn’t know it existed until I got into baking and college and started perusing the Internet for a recipe to help me recreate Hal’s famous dessert. I settled instead on the vanilla-almond version and fell in love with the simple cake all over again.

I make birthday cakes for everyone in our newsroom and, when a birthday came up this past week, several people in the newsroom requested this cake. It’s become my most popular recipe.

The beauty of Texas sheet cakes is they’re pretty foolproof. You don’t have to mess with layers and you actually have to frost the cake when it’s warm, so it comes together quickly. The biggest problem you’ll have? Only eating one piece.

White Texas Sheet Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10.5 by 15.5-inch jelly roll pan.
  2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, sour cream, eggs, baking soda and almond extract. Set aside.
  3. Use a medium pan to melt one cup butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and carefully pour into flour mixture. Stir slowly with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour batter into jelly roll pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until cake is set and slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. To make frosting, melt 1/2 cup butter in a large pan. Once butter is melted, add milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and almond extract until smooth. Pour frosting over warm cake and use an offset spatula to quickly spread over the entire surface. Let cake cool completely before covering and storing in the fridge.

 

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