A White Texas Sheet Cake with a Sweet Cherry Glaze Topping. Perfect for a birthday cake or celebration for any cherry lovers (and those who don’t like traditional frosting)! Super easy recipe.
Recently I was having a conversation with my grandparents about our favorite family recipes that have been passed down, and ones that maybe I don’t have yet.
My grandpa mentioned he remembers a cake his mom (my Gram) used to make. He described it as a white sheet cake with cherry topping that he LOVED.
Nobody else in my family seems to remember this cake, let alone have the recipe. But it was his 80th birthday this week and I wanted to try to recreate it to celebrate the special occasion!
To start with – the white sheet cake. While I was searching, the one recipe that kept coming up was a white Texas sheet cake. It’s not really white, because true “white” cakes use mostly clear ingredients (no egg yolk, for example).
So this is a yellow cake. I’m not color blind (maybe with the color purple, but that’s a different story), I know it’s yellow. But it’s called a White Texas Sheet Cake so just humor me.
One reason I was drawn to this recipe is it’s super simple! I actually hate making cakes, (so if I’ve ever made a cake for you, know that I REALLY love you). So when it comes to baking cakes, I’m drawn to simple ratios and easy measurements.
- 1 cup water + 1 cup butter <~boil
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon each of baking soda salt, and vanilla extract. (Except I always like to add an extra teaspoon of vanilla for good measure)
See how easy? No 3/4 cup that, or 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoon this. That drives me crazy.
ALSO – no frosting! A big reason I think I don’t like most cakes is because of frosting.
I also decided to make it more of a poke style cake for the topping to infuse flavor in every bite. I’m going to pretend this was intentional and not a way to cover up how many times I checked if the cake was done.
And a little slice of taste testing.
That’s another thing – a sheet cake is traditionally bigger and thinner than a regular cake or any casserole size pan you have in your kitchen. Mine was taking much longer to bake than the original recipe said and I finally realized it was because I was used a 9×13 pan instead of the recommended 10×15.
Also – 9×13 technically counts as a quarter-sheet cake. If you’re one to get technical.
Now for the cherry sauce! This is also super simple, 4 ingredients, and hands off.
Since it’s not quite fresh cherry season at the moment, I used frozen dark sweet cherries I found from Trader Joe’s.
Depending on the sweetness of your cherries, you won’t need much sugar. I reduced the amount from the original recipe greatly and it added a nice tartness to the already sweet cake.
Then a dab of cornstarch to thicken, and half a lemon. Simmer until desired consistency!
Turns out, he actually remembers it as a cherry frosting after all, but he still ate it with a smile on his face.
Happy 80th, Grandpa! <3
A White Texas Sheet Cake with a Sweet Cherry Glaze Topping. Perfect for a birthday cake or celebration for any cherry lovers (and those who don't like traditional frosting)! Super easy recipe.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs , beaten
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract , or almond extract*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb. frozen pitted sweet red cherries (or 2 heaping cups fresh after pitting), rinsed
- 2 tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste depending on the sweetness of your cherries)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1/2 lemon , juiced (1-2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together all other ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.
Gradually pour in hot butter mixture to flour bowl and stir to combine. Batter will be very thin.
Pour batter in a greased 9x13 inch pan . Bake at 375°F. for about 30-35 minutes or until knife comes out clean. (If using a 10x15 pan, 20-22 minutes.)
While cake is baking, add pitted cherries, sugar, lemon and water to a medium sauce pan. Cover and heat over medium-high until cherries burst, stirring as needed. Reduce heat to low and simmer until desired consistency is reached (I did about 20-25 minutes), stirring occasionally. Taste as needed to see if more sugar is desired. Sauce should coat the back of a spoon and not be too runny.
Once sauce is cooled, add to top of cake (poking holes in first if desired for a poke cake!). I prefer this cake once cherries have been refrigerated first, but can also serve hot.
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