White Texas Sheet Cake

As a kid, the 4th of July was one of my favorite holidays. We would caravan out to visit grandparents and extended family for a week or two of summer fun. The week was filled with playing with cousins, snacking on pretzels from my grandma’s kitchen, backyard BBQs with homemade ice cream and sleeping outside on the street the night before the big 4th of July parade to save our big family a place to watch along the parade route. Evenings were capped off with sparklers and a fireworks show…nostalgic Independence Day at its finest. 

We don’t have those exact same traditions with my little family now, but we do celebrate as best we can wherever we are. This year we are hoping to catch a fireworks show and spend the day with family. I’m also hoping it will include my favorite White Texas Sheet Cake for a festive dessert. This white version of a Texas Sheet Cake can be gussied up with blue and red fruit for a festive treat, or topped with toasted coconut for a delicious coconut version.

Simple and Delicious Sheet Cake

White Texas Sheet cake is the perfect cake to take to a large gathering or family party because it is baked on an 18 by 13 size half sheet pan (affiliate link to my favorite pan). It takes 5 minutes to mix the cake batter together, twenty minutes to bake and five minutes to decorate. The almond extract adds a delicious “wedding-cake-esque” flavor that is so delicious, especially paired with fresh raspberries. If you aren’t a fan of almond flavor, no worries…you can leave it out or substitute some vanilla extract. Easy peasy and oh so delicious. 

My kids especially love being able to decorate a giant sheet cake. I like to set out all the berries or other toppings and let them make whatever decoration they want. I love the combination of fresh raspberries and blueberries, but I’m sure any fresh berry would work. 

White Texas Sheet cake: Coconut Version

I’ve often made this sheet cake for baby showers or other events and top it with toasted coconut. Did you know you can toast your coconut in the microwave? Place 1 cup of sweetened, shredded coconut on a plate. Microwave in 15-30 second increments, stirring between sessions. The coconut will brown right up after a minute or two and you will have the perfect, simple toasted coconut. You could also use the oven to get your coconut nice and toasty if you don’t want to use a microwave. The recipe for the coconut version of this cake is in the recipe notes below.

Recipe Notes: For a coconut version, add 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to the batter and ½ teaspoon of coconut extract to the icing. Top cake with 1 cup of toasted coconut.

Happy Independence Day

However you celebrate Independence Day or whatever your traditions are, I hope this White Texas Sheet Cake will make it to your family’s table. Have a wonderful holiday weekend and don’t forget to tag me if you make it! I’d love to see what you create. Yum!

White Texas Sheet Cake

Yield: One, 18 by 13 sheet cake

Time: 10 minute mix, 20 minute bake

Ingredients:

Cake Batter

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract 

Icing

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Topping

  • Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Toasted Coconut, Chopped pecans, etc…

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a large half sheet pan (about 18 X 13 in size) with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir together and set aside. In a separate, microwave safe bowl (or in a saucepan on the stove), melt the butter. Mix in the water, sour cream, eggs and almond extract. Stir until combined.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined and the batter is lump-free. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean with no batter left on it, it is ready to go. If not, let it bake a little bit longer, checking frequently so as not to overbake the cake.
  5. While the cake bakes, make the icing. In a microwave safe bowl (or a saucepan on the stove), melt the butter. Add the milk, salt, almond extract and powdered sugar. Whisk together to form a smooth, liquid icing.
  6. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the icing on top of the cake and spread evenly to all the edges of the cake. 
  7. Top the cake with fruit, toasted coconut or pecans. We like making it into the shape of a flag for a 4th of July BBQ or to top with toasted coconut for a party. Check the recipe notes for a coconut version of this delicious cake. 
  8. Let the cake cool completely and serve. Enjoy!

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Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

It’s no secret that I love summer strawberry season. Typically I go strawberry picking with my kids around Mother’s Day here in Kentucky. This year it was a little bit late. For the past several years this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake has been my top summer strawberry dessert. Even when we lived in Japan I made sure to find the ingredients to make this amazing cake. It’s the kind of cake that is simple enough to whip up, and has the wow-factor to serve for company. It really is one of my very favorite cakes and something that I have to make every year…or else!

Summer strawberries are the perfect way to welcome in summer. After this long time spent at home, getting outside and picking delicious red, ripe strawberries has done wonders for my spirit. I just hope that I will soon be able to make this cake for friends and not only my family. Who knows, by the time we are able to gather with bigger groups it may be raspberry season and I will be making a Buttermilk raspberry cake. I think many different types of berries would work wonderfully in this cake.

Buttermilk gives this cake a very tender crumb

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake has a very tender crumb. The buttermilk in the batter helps tenderize the gluten in the flour which gives it a soft and light texture. Combined with the baking powder, buttermilk also gives this cake a nice rise. The ingredients are simple and easy to whip up using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. The hardest part of this recipe is just waiting for the cake to bake!

The unique baking Temperature and Time give the strawberries condensed flavor

The baking is where all of the magic happens in this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake. The cake is initially baked at a higher temperature which helps activate the baking powder giving it a nice rise. The temperature is then dropped and it hangs out in the oven for about 50 minutes. This may seem like a long time, but those strawberries need time to react with the heat and sugar to break down into little gooey bites of strawberry jam. The berries create such a condensed, strawberry flavor. They are gooey and delicious giving the perfect flavor to this cake. The strawberries definitely steal the show of this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, as they should!

I have found that this cake tastes better after it has mostly cooled. Because the strawberries are doing their magic in the oven, to get the full flavor of the berries the cake really does need to cool a bit. This cake stores well covered on the counter for a day or two and it will freeze well if you have any leftover. I like to whip up some heavy whipping cream for topping, but you could also use a can and spray some on too. Whatever you do, go pick yourselves some strawberries and make this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake this weekend. You won’t regret it!

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Yield: 1, nine-inch cake

Time: 10 minute mix, 55 minute bake 

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 Tablespoons for topping
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk, shaken before poured
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 lb strawberries, tops cut off and sliced in half

Directions:

Butter or grease a cake or springform pan
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment or in a bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together the softened butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Save the 2 Tablespoons of sugar for the top of the cake. Mix on high for a few minutes until nice and creamy.
  3. Add the egg and mix again for 1-2 minutes to incorporate fully. Then add the vanilla extract and mix.
  4. Shake the buttermilk and add ½ cup buttermilk to the mixture. Mix again to combine.
  5. Add the baking powder and salt to the center of the mixture and mix again. I don’t like getting a second bowl dirty, so instead of mixing the dry ingredients together I mix them right in. Be careful that you put them right in the center and mix fully. You don’t want any of the baking powder or salt to accidentally be left out of the recipe on the sides of the bowl or fly out when mixing. This technique may not be for everyone, but it works for me.
  6. Mix in the all purpose flour and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
  7. Grease a 9 inch cake pan or springform pan with a little softened butter or cooking spray.
  8. Dump the cake mixture into the pan and spread with a spatula until even.
  9. Cut up 1 lb of fresh strawberries. Slice the top off the strawberry and then slice the berry in half. Dot the entire cake with strawberries, nestling them as close together as possible in the cake. The more strawberries, the more sweet strawberry flavor.
  10. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of sugar all over the top of the strawberries and cake batter.
  11. Bake for 5 minutes at 375 degrees. This higher temperature helps activate the baking powder for a nice rise. After 5 minutes reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (with maybe a little strawberry gooeyness clinging to it).
  12. Let cake cool before slicing and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂