Tex-Mex Sheet Cake recipe, an easy moist chocolate Texas Sheet Cake from scratch with dark chocolate, ancho chile, cinnamon, almonds, and cajeta.
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Tex-Mex Sheet Cake recipe an easy moist chocolate Texas Sheet Cake from scratch! Three words describe this cake… OH MY GOD!! Beware…you may just eat the whole thing!! I fell in love with Texas Sheet Cakes when I lived in Alabama years ago. A local restaurant chain, Zoes Kitchen, had a version that I could NOT get enough of. They called it Yaya’s Chocolate Cake; I called it HEAVEN.
I’m fairly certain Zoes Kitchen’s cake is a version of a Texas Sheet Cake even though they don’t “call” it that. I consumed so much of their cake while I was pregnant that it’s no wonder my son now loves chocolate! There are lots of recipes for Texas Sheet Cake all over the internet. They are all a little different and I could have just given you one, but that would be boring wouldn’t it??
So instead, I decided to put a little Mex in the Tex and came up with what I like to call my Tex-Mex Sheet Cake. My version has dark chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, ancho chili pepper, almonds, and cajeta! Let’s just say even my family members (who will remain nameless…) who do not usually like chocolate cake were licking their plates!! This cake is so rich and moist it will definitely be one of your favorites!
You can definitely change this recipe a bit for your family depending on what you like and I’ll give you some tips along the way. But trust me, you do NOT want to miss out on this cake! Definitely one of my family’s favorites now! It’s kind of a cross between a cake and a brownie and the icing is incredible! Speaking of the icing, one of the best parts about Texas Sheet Cakes is that you do NOT wait for the cake to cool before putting the icing on. The cake needs to be a little warm for the icing to soak in a little. Perfect for those like myself with no patience!!
If you like this flavor combination, you may also like my recipes for:
Yes, I’m a little obsessed with this flavor combination! And I have another idea I’m already planning for an upcoming post… :)
Let’s get started on this cake! This Tex-Mex Sheet Cake and Texas Sheet Cakes are made a little different than your usual chocolate cake, but don’t worry, it will turn out ok! Start by preheating your oven. Then grease your pan with shortening or nonstick spray. The cake is made in a jelly-roll pan (15×10 inches). If you don’t have that size pan you’ll have to adjust the recipe or cooking time. This makes a huge cake, but it’s a thin cake.
When your oven is done preheating, you can toast your almonds if you want while you’re making the cake batter. The almonds only take a few minutes to toast so keep an eye on them.
Start making the cake batter by mixing the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. If you want to add cinnamon and ancho chili powder you would also add those in at this time (or you can add them at the very end if you’re unsure how much you wan to add, see below.).
Then you stir in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until just combined. It will look a little gloppy.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan then whisk in the water and cocoa. I like to use Hershey’s unsweetened dark cocoa powder. Broing mixture to a boil so that everything is smooth and the cocoa has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool slightly then mix into cake batter.
Add the cocoa mixture to the cake batter and stir until just combined. If you did not add the cinnamon and ancho chili pepper you can do that at this time. Just add a little at a time until you get the taste you want. The ancho chili pepper is a nice subtle smoky flavor without being really spicy, so give it a try!
Pour the batter into your greased pan and bake. You’ll know when it’s done when a toothpick comes out of the center clean. The picture is the “before”. Unfortunately, I did not get an “after”.
When the cake is just about done, you can start your icing. In a small saucepan melt the remaining butter. Stir in the milk, cajeta, and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar and continue to whisk until smooth (may take a few minutes to get the sugar lumps out). Stir in the vanilla. Turn heat off and keep icing slightly warm so that it will pour. Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool slightly then pour the icing over the cake. Sprinkle the nuts on top. Place the cake in the fridge to set or cool on a wire rack. Sorry, did not get a picture of the whole finished cake!!! Ugh!
Depending on the size of the sides of your pan you may (or may not) have a little icing left over. If you have any leftover, it’s great on ice cream! Or after the icing has set on the cake, you can warm the icing up a bit then pour more on top!!
Hope you enjoy!
Tex-Mex Sheet Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups cajeta (caramel)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups almonds toasted & chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease (or spray with nonstick spray) a jelly-roll pan that is 15x10 inches.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ancho chili powder, and salt until well combined.
- Stir in sour cream, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until just combined.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in water and 1/4 cup cocoa and bring to a boil stirring constantly until smooth. Cool slightly then stir into cake batter.
- Pour cake batter into prepared pan and cook about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- When cake is almost done, start preparing icing by melting 1/4 cup butter in small pan over medium-high heat. Stir in milk, cajeta, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Slowly stir in powdered sugar and continue stirring until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool slightly but keep warm.
- Pour icing over warm cake (be careful that frosting does not go over edge of pan). Cool cake in fridge or on wire rack for frosting to set.
SNAPPY TIPS: If you’re unsure about using cinnamon and/or ancho chili pepper, add it at the end and add just a little at a time. Depending on the size of the sides of your pan you may have frosting leftover. Use it to top ice cream or after frosting has set on cake, add more icing on to the cake then cool again in fridge or on wire rack.
SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: You can use any store bought or homemade cajeta, dulce de leche, or thick caramel. Any kind of nut could be substituted for the almonds, or omit. Regular unsweetened cocoa powder could be used instead of the dark.