We had a fun neighborhood block party last night and I took a dessert. Texas sheet cake is one of my go-to desserts. I love it. I grew up with my mom making it often and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I’ve made it at least 20 times over the past ten years. My friends and family are probably sick of it!
This is a great cake to make when you need to feed a crowd or something that can easily travel. Personally, I think it tastes just as good or better the next day as long as it stays covered.
I made a few changes with this version of the cake – some were planned, some were discovered after the fact. When I was measuring the cocoa for the icing I realized I used the wrong measuring spoon when making the cake batter. I put in 5 tablespoons instead of 5 teaspoons. That’s triple the amount needed. Oops! I just had to hope it would be ok. I added extra sugar to the icing to thicken and sweeten. I used walnuts instead of pecans because that’s what I had in the house. As it turns out, I liked all those changes better!
The only aspect that didn’t work was the cooking time. I’m still learning how to adjust the temperature and time for the convection setting. The recipe calls for 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Usually that combination works. For the convection oven, I set the oven at 325 and a time of 18 minutes. Surprisingly, that was too long and the edges were dry. I had to cut them off and not serve them (they won’t go to waste – we’ll eat them at home!) I’m still learning how to use this oven. It must run hot. I had the same problem with my banana bread.
Overcooked – how do you adjust for convection?
So – here’s how to make it. Recipe at the bottom.
(plus vanilla, milk, nuts, and butter – forgot to include in the photo)
Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into mixing bowl. (no photo)
In a pan, add butter, water, cocoa and crisco. Bring to a boil.
Pour the chocolate over the flour/sugar. Mix to combine.
Add eggs, buttermilk, soda, and vanilla.
Beat for 3 minutes. Batter will remain thinner than normal cake batter. That’s ok.
Pour in pan. This is a half size sheet pan – 16-17 inches long.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. I would start checking at 20 or 22 minutes. You don’t want it to pull away like the above – my mistake in the convection adjustment.
Pour icing over cake while it’s still warm. The original recipe says to pour over the cake immediately after pulling from the oven so it melts into the cake. I’ve found that gets it too melty (technical term) and it runs and pools at the edges. Just a few minutes to cool is all you need. I make the frosting while it cools.
Texas Sheet Cake:
Grease sheet pan
Sift into a mixing bowl:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a pan combine the below and bring to a boil:
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup water
- 5 tablespoons cocoa (original recipe calls for 5 teaspoons – pick which you think you’d prefer)
- 1/2 cup shortening
Pour chocolate over sugar and flour and mix until combined.
To the above add:
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat for 3 minutes. Pour in greased pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Start checking the cake a few minutes earlier.
In same pan in which you melted the butter, shortening, cocoa, etc…
- 1 stick of butter
- 5 teaspoons of cocoa
Once melted, add to the pan:
- 1 box confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts. Pecans are also good)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup of milk
I often add more milk or sugar to get the consistency I like. Icing will not be thick like a buttercream.
Pour icing over warm cake.