One of my favorite desserts in all the world is Texas Sheet Cake. Quick and easy, rich and decadent, and even though it’s not really what comes to mind when you think of summer desserts, for me, Texas Sheet Cake is just as much a part of summer as watermelon and Popsicles and burgers.
But recently, I found myself experiencing a hankering for something like Texas Sheet Cake, only in vanilla. I wanted the same kind of super-easy batter–thin and runny–which yields a light, spongy cake (one that’s flat on top). I wanted the same kind of process, the same size, the same let’s-feed-a-crowd feel, just with an incredible vanilla flavor instead of chocolate. So. I bring to you the White Texas Sheet Cake. And since the 4th of July is around the corner, I bring you the flag cake. Between the light, spongy cake and the tangy cream cheese frosting and the fresh berries, I don’t think you can get a more satisfying summer dessert.
To make the cake, you’re going to need butter, buttermilk, all-purpose flour (lightly spooned into a measuring cup and leveled with a knife), sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract.
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a jelly roll (10×15″) or half sheet (13×18″) baking sheet. Don’t use anything smaller (like a 9×13″). I mean, we can’t stop you, but the cake will not bake correctly.
Combine the butter and buttermilk in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk/butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the eggs and extracts and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet
and bake for 18-24 minutes or until the top is golden and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean (baking time will vary depending on your oven…start checking sooner rather than later.)
While the cake is cooling, prepare 1 batch of our Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting.
When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the cake.
Now…today we’re going to make an American flag-inspired cake, but you can really do whatever pattern you’d like. For the record, I do know our flag has 13 stripes. This baked good is a flag-inspired interpretation and not a stripe-for-stripe replica. Please do not ingest actual flags. Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times.
You’re going to need about a pint of washed blueberries or blackberries (or a combination of the two.)
And about a quart of strawberries (or both), washed, hulled, sliced, and drained on a paper towel. You probably won’t need an entire quart, but you’re better off having too many berries than not enough. Also, you can totally use raspberries instead of or along with the strawberries.
Lightly mark a flag pattern into the frosting,
then fill the square with blueberries and/or blackberries and every other stripe with strawberries or raspberries.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
White Texas Sheet Cake (Red, White, & Blue Edition)
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 30
This easy White Texas Sheet Cake is a fun alternative to the traditional chocolate version!
- 1 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into a measuring cup and leveled with a knife
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 recipe cream cheese frosting (linked above)
- 1 pint blueberries and/or blackberries, washed
- 1 quart strawberries and/or raspberries, washed (if using strawberries, also hull and slice them and then pat them dry with a paper towel)
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a jelly roll (10×15″) or half sheet (13×18″) baking sheet. Do NOT use anything smaller. I mean, we can’t stop you, but it will not come out correctly.
- Combine the butter and buttermilk in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk/butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the eggs and extracts and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and bake for 18-24 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean (baking time will vary depending on your oven…start checking sooner rather than later.)
- When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the cake. Lightly mark a flag pattern into the frosting, then fill the square with blueberries and/or blackberries and every other stripe with strawberries or raspberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
How many people do you think this would serve?
It makes one sheet pan- so the serving just depends on how you choose to cut it. I recommend pulling out your sheet pan and visualizing the size of squares you like! It ranges from 12 large pieces to 24 small.
So my butter milk and butter mixture seems to be kind of congealing on some point, I have clumps from the buttermilk That almost look like egg whites that of been cooked., am I doing something wrong, should I start over?
It sounds like maybe the cold butter seized up. You’ve probably made this already, but you can try warming it up in the microwave. 🙂
This moist sheet cake had a great flavor. Everyone loved it and my 6 yr old requested it for when he gets to pick the treat for family night. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I made this yesterday for a BBQ. I used a Full size sheet it and doubled the recipe for the cake and the frosting. I went with vanilla and lemon extract. My 8 year old granddaughter and I decorated it with blueberries and mini marshmallows for the stars and raspberries for the stripes. It was massive looked amazing! No one wanted to cut into it but when they finally did… PEOPLE WENT NUTS FOR IT! This is a simple recipe but the flavor is hands down one of the best cakes I have ever had. Honestly.. I am still on Cloud 9 from all the flattering comments. If you are worried about what to make save yourself the worry and make this cake. No matter how you decorate it it’s going to make you look like a Rockstar.
YES!!!! Thank you so much!!!
Do you have a preference between using a jelly roll or half sheet? Thanks!
Jelly roll is preferable–you’ll get a slightly thicker cake. But. My jelly roll pan was missing when I made this and it was just fine in the half sheet.
I made this for a potluck at my husband’s work and the ladies there said they could have bathed in this frosting, lol! It turned out so great that I’m making another one tomorrow for July 4th. Thanks for a great recipe!
I’m making this tonight for my little firecracker’s birthday party tomorrow!! She will be three years old. I think I’ll do a big “3” design out of the berries! Thanks for this adorable timely recipe!!! I made this on Wednesday when we had teenagers over. It was a hit. It was a little thin in my 18×13 pan. I’ve only ever had sheet cake in a 10×15 though. Anyway it was absolutely delicious, and I was out of almond extract so I used regular Tone’s and my Mexican vanilla. I’m excited to see how it tastes tomorrow with the right stuff.
I accidentally used a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon for the vanilla extract… ? I then just added some extra almond extract to help even it out. Did I ruin the cake? Should I start over?!
Nah, I think you’ll be fine, it will just be a little extra vanilla-y. 🙂
This cake was a HUGE hit at a neighborhood BBQ party for the 4th! Everyone loved it & the host of the event made this my personal assignment every year for our gathering! ? I used 3t vanilla since I didn’t have extracts on hand & the cream cheese frosting was a favorite!
Yes!!! This makes me so happy!!
Should you let the buttermilk mixture cool before you add it? Will it make the eggs scramble?
Once you mix it with the dry ingredients the way it needs to be mix, it will be cool enough that it won’t cook the eggs. Hope that helps! 🙂
I just made this for a neighborhood BBQ last night… delicious! Everyone loved it. Pan was empty before any other dessert. Such a yummy alternative to the chocolate. Thank you!!! ?
Yaaaay!!! I’m so glad you loved it!!
Hi! So I typically make the Ina Garten flag cake, but in the past it hasn’t been very consistent for me! So I’m searching for another! I do love how she pipes on the stripes. Would this frosting work for piping?
I noticed your photo shows salted butter but the recipe doesn’t specify. Would you recommend salted or unsalted?
I prefer salted butter, which I know goes against everything they tell you about baking, haha! All of our recipes are formulated with salted butter (unless otherwise specified), but if you’d prefer to use unsalted butter, just increase the salt a little. Hope that helps!
Your comment about baking the cake in a smaller pan made me laugh!!! Thanks for adding humor to the recipe 😀
Hi Kate! Do you think that this recipe could double to fit a large sheet pan? So, the thickness wouldn’t change but the overall size would be bigger? I am having a BBQ with about 20 people this weekend and I’m not sure just one would be large enough. I could always just put it in 2 pans too if the middle would be soggy? Thanks!
How do you get the berries to not run their juices all over after being in the fridge before serving?!
That’s the purpose of draining the sliced berries on the paper towels–the towels will sop up most of those juices and it didn’t end up being a problem. The blueberries and blackberries were whole, so it wan’t an issue. Hope that helps! 🙂
would this cake batter work for cupcakes?
Thanks for sharing all your yummy recipes. I’ve been using your site for years!
I’m not sure…it’s probably not going to have the same nice crown that you might be expecting, but the cake itself will be yummy. 🙂
I would really love to do this for our party this weekend but my husband hates cream cheese and cream cheese frosting (I know, he’s crazy) so do you think it would still be good with a buttercream? Or perhaps you have a different frosting to recommend?
Yep! You could use any white frosting–the buttercream on our sugar cookie bars or our perfect cupcake frosting and filling would both be delicious. Or you could even use stabilized whipped cream or cool whip!
I’m excited to try this recipe!
We can’t do almond extract in our house – do you think lemon would be ok in this?
Lemon would be delicious! Or orange…or lime…or just use all vanilla. It’s super customizable! 🙂
Love it! My grandmother used to make Texas sheet cake on the 4th of July, so it’s totally a summer dessert for me, too. A vanilla version sounds so yummy, especially with cream cheese frosting!
BTW, what is that gorgeous cursive font for commenter names?
It’s called KG The Fighter–isn’t it awesome?! You can find it at free font sites like DaFont and Font Squirrel. 🙂
Ah, this is so pretty! We live away from family and typically don’t have lots of people we celebrate the 4th with. But I may need to force our company on some friends so I can make this cake to share. It’s okay to do that when you bring flag cake with you, right?