This Texas sheet cake recipe is ready to feed a crowd! This chocolate cake is tender and soft and with lots of festive gingerbread flavor!
When I was little, the only vacation we took were to Michigan or Canada and this purely to visit family. We never did much “on vacation”, there was lots of eating and sitting on people’s couches visiting. I think my mom as a whole album full of the family sitting on couches.
In Michigan, we would visit my mom’s uncle. They had a farm, although I don’t remember much. I remember land, but no animals or crops. Aside from the farm land, I mostly remember being bored. And I remember my great aunt’s grumpy demeanor. The women never smiled, barely spoke and was, in general, unpleasant to be around. My great uncle had a similar personality, and while they had older children, they did their best to ignore me. The best part about going to visit the farm was the family dog. At least, the dog was joyful.
I vividly remember being offered a piece of cake during one of our visits. I was so excited, for one thing, it was cake, and secondly, I mistook that offer of cake as a sign that my great aunt was a sweetheart after all. Well, I was wrong on both accounts. The cake was a dry, unfrosted spice cake which was given to me out of obligation. I hated that cake. I hated everything about it from the bitter taste to the stout coloring.
That horrid cake was in the back of my mind as set out to make this gingerbread Texas sheet cake recipe. I had success with gingerbread and chocolate in these Gingerbread Cupcakes, so I felt pretty confident diving into this recipe. When it comes to cake, a stout colored cake is fine as long as the cake tastes like chocolate (this cake does) and a little gingerbread spice is good as long as it’s not overpowering (it isn’t). All in all, this Texas sheet cake recipe turned out splendidly. It is easy, quick and a true crowd pleaser!
Notes about the recipe:
- This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd. Of course, the cake slices are not very thick. If you wanted, you could use a 9 x13 inch cake pan instead of a jelly roll pan for denser cake slices. You will have to adjust your bake time accordingly.
- There is not an overwhelming amount of molasses in this cake. Again, I had my memories to contend with; you could add a bit more if you wanted that deep molasses flavor come out more.
- Aside from the molasses the most important part of the Texas sheet cake recipe is the frosting. I made a vanilla cream cheese frosting that I spread on the warm cake.
- While many Texas sheet cakes have pecans stirred into the frosting, I opted just to sprinkle pecans over the top.
Gingerbread Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
A soft and tender Texas sheet cake with the perfect blend of chocolate and gingerbread!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 11 x 17 in. jelly roll pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in the bowl of stand mixer.
- In a medium saucepan, combine butter, water, cocoa and molasses and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add butter mixture to flour mixture, followed by water, buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Beat mixture until combined and smooth. Pour cake into prepared pan and bake for 17-19 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched. Remove the cake from the oven.
- To prepare the frosting, combine butter and milk in a medium saucepan. Allow mixture to come to a boil. Whisk in powdered sugar; remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in vanilla. Immediately pour frosting over warm cake. Sprinkle cake with pecans.