cook's country texas sheet cake

“It’s deja vu all over again”
Yogi Berra

I know I just made this cake. But The Illinois BFF, upon receiving my last post, sang the praises of it. She said, "Have you tried the Cook's Country Texas Sheet Cake? It's fabulous." She said that whenever she makes it, people go gaga over it.

I had a dinner party in need of a dessert. I like gaga. I like fabulous. Perfect!

Cocoa powder

and more chocolate

2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
Everything seems to be kicked up a notch
over there at America's Test Kitchen.

photography by The Son

The cake is chocolatey, moist, and rich. The texture is akin to a boxed cake mix, according to The Daughter. If there's a next attempt, I will try this with all butter (no oil) and substitute some coffee for the water to add some depth to the flavor.

Cook's Country Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs plus 2 yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Chocolate icing
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease an 18x13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large owl. In another bowl, whisk eggs, yolks, vanilla, and sour cream until smooth.

Heat chocolate, butter, oil, water, and cocoa powder in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until incorporated. Whisk egg mixture into the batter, then pour into prepared baking pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Set on wire rack.

About 5 minutes before cake is done, heat butter, cream, cocoa, and corn syrup in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Off heat, whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Spread warm icing evenly over hot cake and sprinkle with nuts. Let cake cool to room temperature on wire rack, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until icing is set, about 1 hour longer. (Cake can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Cut into 3-inch squares. Serve.


  1. You certainly sold this cake. So much beautiful chocolate.

  2. The nuts in the photos look like hazelnuts but the recipe calls for pecans. Which did you use? Thanks!

    1. Hi Becky, those nuts definitely were hazelnuts, as that's what I had on hand and most easily available. (I think I had some pecans in the downstairs freezer and was too lazy to rummage around!) Feel free to use whichever nut you like the best!

  3. OK, 1. It would not be a Texas Sheet cake if it were desecrated by hazel nuts. Hehe (Native Texan here) only pecans are good enough for this cake. Go nuts and use what you like. Just remember to watch out for those with nut allergies.
    I am not sure why your daughter would have compared to it a box cake, the texture should almost be fudgy. The hot icing on the hot cake make a very moist center (some ppl refer to it as a two-for-one layer cake. If you are not happy with the moister 1. make sure your large sheet tray has no staining (from cooking large meats or cookies that needed to have a greased tray and it just got baked on through normal use,) that can cause it to cook unevenly:a large tray Has to be rotated once halfway through baking 2. If the outside and bottom of the tray is blackend the cake will cook much faster so check five minutes sooner than recommended.[check halfway between the center and edge] 3. Using all butter can actually make a dryer cake. although it will enrichen the cake. If these don't work try using all cooking oil and that should guarantee a rich moist cake. You can even experiment and try using all coconut oil.

    Patissier & Sous Chef,

    Thibeauld W.


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