Sheet cake recipe a hit at church social

Published 9:00 am Saturday, September 16, 2017

By Sarah Condley

We were having another church social and this time everyone was asked to bake a cake to share.

After a little discussion with Brad on which cake to make, I decided to make a sour cream pound cake.

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While it was baking, I found today’s recipe in a stack of recipes I hadn’t put in my folders yet and decided I would take two cakes to the social.

This recipe comes from

The recipe is similar to a recipe for chocolate cake recipe I have, which is very moist and everyone loves it.

A couple of years ago, I was at a book signing for Ralph Tyree and part of the refreshments included a luscious white sheet cake. I was hoping this recipe was equally good.

When starting this recipe I did not cube the butter to be melted in the sauce pan with the water. I saw no point in doing that.

I turned the stove on kind of low and then followed the recipe to mix the dry ingredients. The recipe says to just bring the butter and water mixture to a boil then remove it from the stove.

I guess I got caught up in mixing the dry ingredients, because before you know it, I heard a boiling over noise (my back was to the stove). Sure enough, when I turned around, the butter and water were boiling over.

I grabbed the pan and removed it from the heat, immediately the boiling stopped. I didn’t lose too much from the boil over, so I continued on with the recipe adding the butter/water mixture to the dry ingredient.

I had some farm fresh eggs, so after giving them a good scrubbing I combined the rest of the wet ingredients to the cake batter and stirred.

I’d already greased my rimmed cookie sheet pan and though I was tempted to flour the pan too, I didn’t. I poured the batter onto the pan and placed it in the pre-heated oven.

I set the timer for 18 minutes and began cleaning up my mess. After 18 minutes, I was certain the cake would need to cook longer — the chocolate cake I make in this pan takes about 20 minutes to bake. But after sticking a toothpick in the center of the cake, it was done.

While the cake was cooling, I started making the frosting (I call it icing). I didn’t cube the butter for the icing part of the recipe either.

This time, I stayed right at the stove so I didn’t let things get out of hand and boil over.

Once the butter was melted and the butter/milk mixture was just at a boil, I removed the pan from the stove and started adding the powdered sugar a cup at a time. I added the almond extract about half way through. After all of the powdered sugar was added, it seemed really runny so I added 1/2 cup more powdered sugar.

I didn’t have walnuts, but as you know, I keep pecans in the freezer so I used them instead. If you don’t like nuts or can’t eat them, you could just leave them out.

About the time I finished making the icing it was time to ice the cake. After pouring the icing out onto the cake and starting to spread it around, I realized that adding the extra powdered sugar probably wasn’t the best idea. The icing was a little difficult to spread, but I managed to get all of the cake covered — barely.

When church social time rolled around the next evening and people started tasting the cake I heard lots of good things about it and several people asked for the recipe.

I think the almond flavoring helped make this cake a hit.

Yes, I nailed this recipe and it will be added to my self-made cookbook.

There were a few pieces of cake left after the social, so I figured I would take them home and maybe Brad would take some to his co-workers on Monday.

I had the pan sitting on top of the basket I was carrying and as I was heading out of the church kitchen the pan slid off the basket and cake slices hit the floor.

After a few gasps from those around I just said, “Well I guess Brad’s co-workers weren’t meant to have cake.”

I cleaned up the mess and was glad I hadn’t had the accident before the social because everyone would have missed out on a really good cake.

Though it wasn’t exactly like the one I tasted at Ralph’s book signing, it was close.

White Texas Sheet Cake

— 2 cups all-purpose flour

— 2 cups sugar

— 1 teaspoon baking powder

— 1 teaspoon salt

— 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

— 1 cup butter, cubed

— 1 cup water

— 2 large eggs

— 1/2 cup sour cream

— 1 teaspoon almond extract


— 1/2 cup butter, cubed

— 1/4 cup 2 percent milk

— 4-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

— 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

— 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the first five ingredients.

In a small saucepan, combine butter and water; bring jut to a boil. Stir into flour mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream and extract until blended; add to flour mixture, whisking constantly.

Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes

For frosting, combine butter and milk in a large sauce pan; bring just to a boil.

Remove from heat; gradually stir in confectioners’ sugar and extract. Stir in walnuts. Spread over warm cake. Yield 20 servings.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.