Easy Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake

Easy Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake

texas sheet cakeMy mom used to make Texas Sheet Cake a few times a year when we were kids.  I never knew why it was called Texas Sheet Cake, but I guess because it’s big?  She’d usually make it for cookouts and family reunions and such – and it is a great cake recipe for summertime because it bakes in less than 20 minutes. I’d definitely recommend this as a go-to recipes for large gatherings, and since you aren’t supposed to let the cake cool before adding the frosting, you can make it at the last-minute.  If you are a gluttard like me, a simple gf flour substitution made it Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake and it is GOOD!

Instead of using a cake pan, Texas Sheet Cake is baked in a 11×17 cookie sheet, so it’s much thinner than regular cake and is more the size of brownies.  The taste and texture are right between a cake and a brownie – which is perfect when you want cake taste in a brownie size.  It also has better frosting to cake ratio.

Standard recipes call for chopped pecans or walnuts in the frosting, but I left them out because I don’t care for nuts in baked goods and I didn’t feel like chopping any.  I kind of wish I would have added them because they are really good in it from what I remember.  That says a lot because it’s about the only time I’d say that baked good.

The only adaptation I made for this recipe to make it gluten free is to substitute regular flour for gluten free flour.  I used Jules GF flour, which already includes xanthan gum, but if your GF flour doesn’t have xanthan, I wouldn’t bother to add it since this cake doesn’t rise much anyway.

Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake
Recipe Type: dessert, gluten free
Author: Val @ Thats What We Did
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Texas Sheet Cake, just like I grew up with – but without the gluten!
  • Cake
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter*
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tbs. cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar or evaporated cane juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups GF flour blend (I used Jules)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Frosting
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 6 Tbs. favorite type of milk
  • 4 Tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1 pound of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional, but recommended)
For cake
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In saucepan, combine butter and water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients, and add butter and water mixture. Mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased and floured rimmed cookie sheet (11 x 17).
  5. Bake 15-18 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. While the cake is still hot, pour on the frosting.
For frosting
  1. Mix together cocoa and powdered sugar. If yours is particularly lumpy, you make want to sift, but that’s too fussy for me.
  2. Bring butter and milk to a boil, stirring regularly, and pour over powdered sugar mixture. Mix well. Add vanilla and nuts and stir until combined.
  3. Pour frosting over the center of the hot cake and spread from the middle to the edges with a spatula.
*If you only have salted butter, omit the salt in the cake recipe.

Here’s the whole Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake.  I wasn’t particular about smoothing the frosting perfectly.

texas sheet cake fullI made it for our Sunday movie night with our friends and it didn’t occur to me that it would be way too big for just four people.  I sent home some with them and then froze most of what we had leftover.  Since the recipe has fairly even measurements, it would be easy to halve the recipe if you have a 1/2 cookie sheet.

texas sheet cakeHave you ever had Texas Sheet Cake?  Do you know why it has that name?

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