My family has been making Texas Sheet Cake for as long as I can remember. However, it’s one of those desserts that I don’t recall ever seeing at a bakery, farmers market, or anywhere else. So, I dug a little into it’s roots to find out the history of this unique chocolate cake.
When you search online for a Texas sheet cake recipe the results are fairly similar, but feature slight variations. A few add pecans or other nuts to the icing. Most use only cocoa powder in the icing and omit the peanut butter. Others substitute buttermilk for the sour cream. In general though, it’s a thin chocolate cake with rich chocolate frosting and both the cake and icing mixtures start out being heated on the stove.
The origins of this cake remain a mystery and it apparently goes by plenty of other names, including brownie sheet cake, german sweet cake, and chocolate sheet cake. I was hoping to discover where the “Texas” moniker came from, but alas Google let me down. If anyone’s heard more about the history please share with us in the comments!
Regardless of its origins, this sheet cake is always a hit! It makes a large number of servings and the process is simple. Plus, you’ll find almost all of the ingredients in any pantry (I only had to purchase sour cream).
The cake is started by heating butter, water, and cocoa powder. Then the eggs, salt, sugar, flour, baking soda, and sour cream are added. Make sure you stir this mixture well before pouring in the jelly roll pan to bake. Otherwise you’ll have little white bits of flour in the cake (I made this mistake the first time)!
For the icing, cocoa powder, butter, and milk are heated on the stove. After that mixture starts to thicken and comes to a boil, you add powdered sugar, vanilla, and peanut butter. The final step is spreading the icing over the cake while still warm. Easy enough for any baker!