Texas-Sized Vanilla Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Texas-sized vanilla sheet cake with a fork tender crumb and lots of lightly sweet cream cheese frosting. This Texas sheet cake feeds a crowd and is absolutely perfect!
Y’all. I love cake.
No I mean I really, really love cake. As in I would be perfectly content with skipping every meal of the day for a hunk of cake and a cup of coffee. It’s my #1 dessert of choice at any and all times. The hubby and I often go back and forth when it comes to deciding on dessert, he’s a big fan of ice cream and me? Give me a slice of tender crumb cake topped with a cream cheese frosting and watch me swoon for DAYS.
I have a real treat for you today. How many of you guys love cake like I do? What about one giant Texas-sized cake with tons of sweet and slightly tart cream cheese frosting? I see a lot of virtual hands. I took my most delicious and tender vanilla cake recipe and topped it with my favorite kind of frosting, you guessed it, cream cheese. I don’t know about you, but what I love the most about a good slice of cake is the balance of a not too sweet tender cake and a sweet and tangy frosting. I’ve made this recipes twice now and everyone i’ve shared it with has LOVED it. Nope, not liked it. LOVED IT.
Rave reviews all around my friends. I’m not sharing a cake recipe that’s just ‘meh’ here.
What I love most about this sheet cake recipe is that it takes just simple ingredients to whip up. Not to mention that it’s simple enough to pull together quickly and hey now, it’s Texas-sized so you know that it’s going to feed a crowd for sure.
When it comes to baked goods, my thoughts are butter, always, always butter. Vanilla cakes are meant to be made light and sweet and the butter gives the cake a nice and light texture. But we’re also packing this cake with three eggs, a whopping one cup of buttermilk, and 1/2 cup of sour cream. This makes for moist and tender cake every single time. I dare you to find a dry crumb in this sheet cake.<– that’s quite a claim, friends! You know I mean business. I like to mix the sour cream and buttermilk in a glass measuring cup and alternate the flour mixture with the buttermilk mixture into the whipped butter. This method almost always yields a better end product.
You can make the cake a day in advance, allow it to cool and then wrap it up and refrigerate. I frosted mine the next day and 30 seconds after I was done picturing, I skipped lunch and went right for dessert.
Now for the frosting. The cream cheese frosting is made with 4 simple ingredients. A stick of butter, a bar of cream cheese, a hint of lemon juice, and powdered sugar.
Until now I had the most difficult time making cream cheese frosting. It would always be super liquidy and more of a cream cheese… glaze (is that even a thing?) rather than a frosting. The trick to making your cream cheese frosting perfectly stiff is to whip the butter and remove it from the mixing bowl, then whip your cream cheese frosting separately. I used to put all the ingredients into the bowl and just mix. By the time the butter would whip up the cream cheese would become over whipped and would start to become too loose. By whipping the butter and cream cheese separately, you get a better end product.
And that’s it! I like to keep it simple by sprinkling on a little white sanding sugar and just fresh berries on top. This sheet cake is perfect for barbecues, picnics, birthday parties, anniversaries, and of course, bake sales!
I always say, the simplest desserts are always the best.
- 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature (see notes)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ½ cup (4 ounces) salted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 ½ - 4 ½ cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
- sanding sugar and fresh berries, for decorating
- CAKE: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously grease a 12x17 inch half sheet pan. Set aside.
- Place a sieve over a large bowl. Add the flour, cornstarch, and baking soda and sift. Set aside. In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and sour cream and whisk to combine, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. When the butter starts to lighten in color, reduce the speed to low and add the sugar. Increase the speed to medium and allow the butter and sugar mixture to become fluffy. Stop the mixture scrape the sides of the bowl to get it all mixed. Start the mixture and beat in the eggs one at a time waiting until each is incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk, and continue until you finish the last of the flour mixture. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, give the mixture a final mix.
- Spread the cake batter into the prepared sheet pan. Smooth it out into an even layer with your rubber spatula. Bake the cake for 21-25 minutes stopping at the 12 minutes mark and rotating the pan. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took exactly 22 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. See notes.
- FROSTING: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter for 1-2 minutes or until the butter is light and fluffy. Using a rubber spatula, remove the butter from the bowl into a small bowl. Add the cream cheese and whip for 30 seconds or until the cream cheese is light and fluffy. Add the butter back into the cream cheese mixture along with the lemon juice and 3 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar. Start the machine on the stir setting until mostly combined, then increase the speed and whisk for another 1-2 minutes. If your frosting isn't holding its shape, add the remaining 1 cup of confectioners sugar in and whisk to combine.
- Spread the frosting all over the cooled cake. Top with sanding sugar and fresh berries if desired. The cake will last covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- If you don't have salted butter, unsalted butter may be used. Be sure to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the flour mixture if you're using unsalted butter.
- MAKE AHEAD OPTION: The cake can be made up to 1 day in advance, cooled, then covered completely and refrigerated. Remove from refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before frosting.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before serving.