Hello! I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far. I am super pumped to bring y’all this classic cake recipe today. It is moist and chocolatey, but also extremely easy. It does not require any layering or fancy decorating. Just bake the cake on a sheet pan and then pour the icing on top. Have you ever had a sheet cake before? If not, prepare yourself for something unbelievably delicious. I know I know, it seems like I’m being biased about how great this cake is because it has Texas in the title and I also live in Texas. I assure you that is not the case. Would I lie about whether or not a cake is amazing? NEVER.
Life has been insanely busy lately with a variety of wedding events along with further adjusting to my unit at work. Both of those things are extremely exciting, but it’s always important to take a step back and return to your normal routine every now and then. My normal routine? Making yummy treats, of course! What do you like to do to relax and take a break from the craziness of life? Maybe some of you have some unique relaxation methods I should give a try! For now though, it’s time for cake.
Firstly, preheat your oven to 350º. Grab the first three ingredients and let’s get cracking! In a medium saucepan, bring the spicy cola drink (Dr. Pepper in my case), oil, and unsweetened cocoa powder to a boil. Make sure to whisk it frequently throughout. If you leave it cooking for a couple of minutes without stirring it could boil over and burn. Once it gets to a boil, I let it cook for a minute or so before removing it from the heat.
While your cola mixture is cooling down for a bit, grab your dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl whisk together your flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour in your slightly cooled chocolate mixture and gently whisk just until combined. Gently whisk in the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. You’ll be left with a silky smooth caramel texture. Dang, now I want something with caramel in it…I’ll keep that one in mind for the future 😉
Lightly grease your sheet pan (17 1/2- x 12 1/2- inch sheet pan) then pour in that silky smooth batter. Place in oven and cook for around 18 minutes. Go ahead and check it earlier if it looks nice and springy. If a toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready to be taken out. I know it’s going to be tempting, but don’t eat the cake yet! Let it cool completely and then you can start preparing that super yummy icing.
For the icing, grab a medium saucepan and cook the butter and chocolate over medium-low heat until they are melted. Make sure to stir consistently to avoid the chocolate burning. As soon as they are melted, remove from heat and turn off your stove. Whisk in the spicy cola drink and milk. Then gently whisk in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and pecans. Now all you have to do is pour the icing over the cake. It really doesn’t even need to be spread.
Even after the icing has set, it is still nice and soft. If you want it a bit thicker and sweeter, add 1/2 cup or more of the powdered sugar during the preparation. Don’t get me wrong, I love all things sweet, but I think the icing already balances rather well with the cake.
I must admit that I didn’t make it very long before cutting out a huge piece of this along with some vanilla ice cream. No shame! This cake does stay insanely moist for days though. Not like the cake will even last that long…
I’ll be the first to acknowledge how old this plate is that I photographed on. It’s a classic though, just like this recipe, so it balances out! Maybe I enjoy this recipe so much because I love classic things. I enjoy watching westerns with my grandpa, old school musicals and Doris Day movies, and many many other things. What do you enjoy that you consider to be classic?
Classic Texas Sheet Cake
Cook Time: ~18 minutes Servings: 8-12 (depending on slice sizes)
- 1 1/2 cups Dr. Pepper (or another spicy/fruity cola drink)
- 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 (4-oz) unsweetened chocolate baking bar, coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. milk
- 3 Tbsp. Dr. Pepper
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º. Bring the cola, vegetable oil, and cocoa powder to a boil over medium to medium-high heat, whisking often. Remove from heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and gently whisk until blended. Whisk in the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until combined.
- Lightly grease sheet pan and pour prepared batter into it. Bake for around 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Set on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- For the icing, grab a medium saucepan and turn heat to medium-low. Gently whisk and melt butter and chocolate baking bar. Remove from heat. Whisk in milk, Dr. Pepper, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and pecans.
- Pour the prepared icing on top of cooled cake and allow to set for at least 30 minutes before cutting into the cake. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream! The cake is fine at room temperature for 3-4 days.