Micah A. Leal
Active Time
35 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 10 Mins

This is the scrumptious counterpart to the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting known as “Texas Sheet Cake.” Instead of a chocolate cake, this recipe makes a delightfully flavored white cake that is covered in a browned-butter and toasted walnut frosting. As for the cake itself, we use a simple mixing method that prevents it from doming. Once the sheet cake cools, it has a smooth and even surface for frosting. The cake uses buttermilk, which lends tenderness to the crumb, and vanilla and almond extracts for a familiar combination of flavor. We also incorporate a little vegetable oil into the batter to make the cake itself extra moist. The frosting has one invaluable ingredient as its base: browned butter. Bring one stick of butter to a boil, and allow it to brown until the butter caramelizes and gives off a nutty aroma and flavor. Beat this into powdered sugar with milk to make a silky sweet frosting that’s perfect for highlighting the richness of toasted walnuts. Together, this cake and frosting stands as one of the best sheet cakes out there—I suppose we owe Texas a note of gratitude.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chopped walnuts in a baking dish and toast in the oven until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven to 325°F. Grease a glass 15-by-10-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Step 2

Make the Cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low until evenly distributed. With the mixer on low, add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until each piece of butter is incorporated before adding the next. When finished mixing, the butter should be completely incorporated into the flour with no lumps remaining.

Step 3

In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, egg white, oil, and extracts. Add one-third of the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on low for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula, add another third of the liquid ingredients and mix on low for another 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl again, add remaining liquid ingredients and mix for a final 2 minutes. Fold batter a few times with spatula to ensure that no unincorporated bits are stuck to the bottom and sides of the bowl. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish, using a spatula to level the surface. Bake until lightly golden brown across the surface and until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Allow cake to partially cool before adding the Frosting.

Step 4

While cake is baking, melt butter for Frosting in a saucepan. Allow to foam and boil until butter browns and nutty aromas come from the saucepan, about 5 minutes. Transfer browned butter to mixer. Add milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix on low until sugar is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes. Add toasted walnuts to Frosting and stir to combine.

Step 5

Cover Cake evenly with Frosting, and allow Frosting to set before slicing and serving, about 30 minutes.