Food: Texas Sheet Cake


A favorite tradition of mine growing up involved driving to grandma and grandpa’s house (either one, both sets lived about 15-20 minutes away), hanging out with cousins and eating dessert. My parents and aunts and uncles would sit around in the front room, while us cousins would play outside (swinging from the rotating clothes dryer, despite my grandma’s scoldings) or whine at the kitchen table for something sweet to eat.

My grandma cooked the best desserts for us. Texas sheet cake being one of them.


It’s been about 7 years since she passed, and I miss her still.

My grandpa Scott sends out weekly email updates to his kids and grandkids. He often leaves us with little stories about her, but this week it was a several-paragraphed tribute to her and her legacy. I’ve been thinking about her a lot and the things that she taught me.

She had a rough childhood, her parents both dying when she was only 14. She moved from one sibling’s home to another, ending up in Elko. Despite her misfortunes and poor circumstances she was well-educated, motivated and had amazing self-discipline. The kind that I wish I had when it comes to housework. She made dresses and suits for all 6 of her kids (I loved playing with her manual sewing machine – you know the kind with the iron push pedal on the bottom). She was stern, but oh so loving. Oh how I wish I could talk to her now and hear her stories about her childhood and her sewing. I’ll just eat some of her texas sheet cake instead.


Grandma Scott’s Texas Sheet Cake

makes one 17×23 jelly roll pan
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspon soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • cinnamon and chipotle powder, optional

Melt butter and cocoa powder in a sauce pan, slowly stir in milk and stir until smooth. In a small bowl dissolve soda, buttermilk, salt, eggs and vanilla (and spices). In a large bowl, sift together flour and sugar. Pour chocolate mixture and buttermilk mixture into the large bowl and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured jelly-roll cookie sheet. Bake at 375ยบ F for 20 minutes.




  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • cinnamon and chipotle powder, optional

Pour melted butter and cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Add remaining ingredients one at a time, stirring until smooth. Frost while the cake is warm. Add sprinkles.



the original recipe calls for 1 cup boiling water instead of milk, the milk makes it really creamy. I also added cinnamon to this cake yesterday and it is divine. Next time I will be adding cinnamon and chipotle. Penelope will hate the spicy chipotle, but that just means more cake for me!

Do you have any traditional recipes that your parents/grandparents would make for you when you were little?

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    1. phil says:

      this cake looks delicious . you wrote beautiful words too …

    2. kristonlion says:

      OMYGOSH thanks for sharing Grandma’s recipe! i can’t wait to make this! looks devine!

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