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Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake
Henry Polmer for NPR /

I don't know where the name comes from. It's a big cake, and Texas is a big state, so maybe that's it. This is an easy, brownie-like cake. Also good for children's birthday parties.

Makes 20 to 24 servings

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sour cream

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting (recipe follows)

1 cup chopped pecans (optional but very Texan)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a 15.5-by-10.5-inch baking sheet with sides.

Combine butter, water and cocoa in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Remove butter mixture from heat and add to dry ingredients. (Don't clean pot. You'll use it for the frosting.) Blend well. Add sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Blend again.

Pour into pan and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Pour the frosting on the hot cake and spread. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 box (1 pound) confectioners' sugar, sifted

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

6 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and heat, stirring until smooth. The frosting will be thick. It softens on the hot cake.

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