This ultimate recipe makes the best Texas sheet cake ever and it is gluten-free! Texas sheet cake is a long-time tradition in my family. I cannot eat gluten, so I have adapted the original recipe to this gluten-free version. This easy, crowd-pleasing recipe will not disappoint. Make any day of the week or make it a Texas Christmas for the holidays.
Ingredients for Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
The ingredients you need are an all-purpose gluten-free baking flour mix, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, white sugar, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla flavoring, toasted pecans, and ice-cold water. If you are making the frosting you will also need maple syrup. The vanilla ice cream is optional.
So what is Texas sheet cake and why is it called a Texas sheet cake? Well, by my reckoning “I am in agreement”, that it is large like Texas and rich like Texas oil. It is a popular cake all over the US, not just in Texas. The original name was Texas Sheath Cake dating back to the 1930s per newspaper clippings. However, the origin and date have never been verified. A similar cake recipe debuted in the Dallas Morning News in 1957 which immediately made it a big hit. The history of Texas sheet cake might be hard to pin down but the taste will not let you down.
Did Texas Sheet Cake Originate in Texas?
We may never know if ‘Texas’ Sheet Cake originated in Texas or not, but the name stuck. It is likened to a ‘funeral’ cake which is common in the South. What makes Texas sheet cake different? Texas Sheet Cake could be one of our earliest Texas fusion foods. A little bit southern, a little bit German, a little bit Texas, very large, and by a merging of recipes a fusion cuisine winner by all means! Today there are many variations to the Texas Sheet Cake. Many cooks add sour cream for extra moistness, but I promise you will not miss the sour cream. I think sour cream makes it a tad heavy and I love the lightness of this recipe.
This cake is soft as silk going into your mouth, I kid you not. It is not a heavy cake which makes it taste wonderful with only confectioners’ sugar on top. I have also included a Texas sheet cake frosting recipe with maple syrup which enhances the flavor of the pecans. I make it both ways depending on my taste buds. If you are topping it with pecans the icing helps them stay in place. However, the icing is optional.
How to make Texas sheet cake gluten-free? This recipe is gluten-free and I really think this gluten-free version is even better than the original Texas sheet cake recipe. I have friends who say it is the best chocolate cake recipe in the world. Top it with the icing and pecans if desired or sprinkle with white confectioners’ sugar, it is wonderful either way!
I have picky eaters and some of them do not like pecans, so I have left this as a last step over the icing if you want to add them. I love pecans so I typically put pecans over the Texas sheet cake frosting on half of the cake and only the icing on the other half. The ingredient amounts, however, assume you will use pecans on the entire cake.
Texas Pecans are awesome Y’all, I’m just saying. However, any pecan will do if they are lightly toasted. I happen to have the best paper shell pecan tree in the whole town, right out in my backyard, or so they say 😊.
This Texas Sheet Cake Original Recipe with gluten-free options is sure to warm your heart. Top it off while it is still warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. So Yummy!
Gluten-Free products we have used are:
- Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
- Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar
- Wholesome Organic Dark Brown Sugar
- McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- Clabber Girl Baking Powder
- Members Mark Maple Syrup (Sam Club brand)
Gluten Free options are provided as a resource only. Always check your product labeling or contact the manufacturer of ingredients you are using. If there is not a gluten-free or GF on the label of the product packaging, read the ingredients label thoroughly. Check for hidden or questionable ingredients. Some ingredients may contain hidden gluten.
This Texas Sheet Recipe is great for potlucks or just rounding out that special Sunday dinner. Find your no-rust Texas sheet cake pan, large sheet cake pan here. If you don’t need a cake the size of Texas, you can cut the recipe in half and bake it in a 10” x 15” jelly roll pan.
Texas sheet cake icing is optional depending on how you are serving it. If serving with ice cream you might not want the additional sweetness of the frosting. Texas sheet cake variations include various frostings, we have included our favorite the Chocolate Maple Syrup Icing, which is delicious.
Texas Sheet Cake | Ultimate Recipe
- 1 medium mixing bowl
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 26” X 18” sheet cake pan
- 1 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 cups all-purpose, gluten-free, baking flour mix
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
- 2 2/3 cup ice cold water
- 1 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional) to go on top of the warm frosting
Chocolate Maple Syrup Icing Ingredients
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
- 1 cup maple syrup
Pre Prep Sheet Cake Instructions
- Grease and flour (gluten free flour) a 26” X 18” sheet cake pan.
- You may use butter or oil for greasing or your favorite gluten-free cake spray.
- Before starting the cake, add your water to some ice in a container and once it is cold you can measure it without the ice.
Texas Sheet Cake Instructions
- Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl until well incorporated and slightly fluffy.
- Add room temperature, well beaten eggs, and vanilla, to the creamed butter/sugar and continue to beat until well to incorporated, scraping down the sides as you go.
- Whisk the gluten free flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Alternate between the flour mixture and ice-cold water adding them to the larger bowl containing the creamed ingredients.
- Continue to alternate between the flour mixture and cold water mixing until combined. Do not over-mix since you want your water to stay cold.
- Slowly and carefully add your batter into the large sheetpan, smooth out top if needed.
- Bake 25 to 35 minutes, until springy to the touch, and cake tester (toothpick) comes out clean.
- After allowing to cool in the pan for at least 15-20 minutes you can loosen the sides for easy serving before topping with either confectioners’ sugar or warm (not hot) icing. It is also great served with a small dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate Maple Syrup Icing Instructions
- Warm your butter and maple syrup slightly before adding to the food processor or blender, followed by the cocoa powder, and vanilla.
- Process until smooth and creamy, making sure there are no lumps.
- Pour over the sheet cake slowly, and evenly while still in the baking sheet. Let icing set for a minute or two before cutting and serving.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
Check out our Texas gift picks.
Try our Texas Skillet Chili for more gluten-free options.
Read about gluten-free eating here.
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The main difference is that a Texas Sheet Cake is cooked in a large sheet cake pan and topped with pecans.
It is called a Texas Sheet cake because it is large like Texas and rich like Texas oil.
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