Texas Sheet Cake

Martha Stewart shares her recipe

Top Chef: Texas may be over (congrats Paul!), but we’re still craving a taste of the Lone Star State. Something big and rich and, well, Texan. Don’t get us wrong: we love springtime’s abundant harvest of asparagus, peas, and artichokes, but didn’t Mom always promise dessert if we ate our vegetables? This week marks the release of a new cookbook from the one, the only, Martha Stewart. Along with recipes for artichoke dip and tamale pie (Oh, Martha, what can’t you do?), Martha’s American Food stars this recipe for a down home American classic: Texas sheet cake. Buttermilk makes the chocolate base light and airy, while a sprinkle of pecans just makes it delicious!


Texas Sheet Cake


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more, softened for pan

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon coarse salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup water

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Boiled Chocolate Icing (recipe follows)

1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped toasted (page 408) pecans (6 to 7 ounces)


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low; whisk in cocoa, then the water. Raise heat and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Pour over flour mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and tap firmly on counter to release air bubbles. Bake until sides pull away from edges of pan and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and pour icing over cake while still warm. Sprinkle evenly with pecans and let cool before slicing into squares and serving.

Makes one 9-by-13-inch cake

Boiled Chocolate Icing


 ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar


Bring butter, cocoa, and cream to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Use while still warm.

Makes enough for one 9-by-13-inch cake