Texas Sheet Cake {Gluten-free}

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on January 29, 2014

in Cakes

Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake - Super rich and chocolate cake and icing that everyone loves!

Chocolate cake is definitely in my Top 5 favorite desserts. This gluten-free Texas Sheet cake is one of my favorites! Moist, deep dark chocolate cake is topped with my favorite chocolate fudge frosting to make this gluten-free version of Texas Sheet Cake. I’ve been making the regular version of this Texas Sheet cake for many years and was happy to see that it turns out just as delicious when using a good quality gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

Texas Sheet Cake is the perfect potluck dessert. You make it in a huge rimmed half sheet pan (13″x18″x1″), also known as a jelly roll pan. The pan I love is this Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet with Storage Lid, 13 by 18 Inch. I love having the lid so I can cover desserts like this without foil or saran wrap sticking to the top of the dessert. This is the same pan I use for my Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting so it gets a lot of use around here!

Because of the large pan, this makes a thin cake. You can also cut the pieces small if you want to serve a large crowd, but we like them nice and big with a glass of milk or scoop of ice cream. Everywhere I bring this people can’t get enough and I always come home with an empty pan!

To make this cake and frosting have a deep, dark brown color, I like to use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa for half of the cocoa called for in the recipe. You can see my post about gluten-free baking cocoa and chocolate here. You can use whatever cocoa you prefer or have on hand, I just wanted you to know how to get that dark color!

I’ve also posted this recipe adapted as cupcakes and as “Love Cakes” for Valentines! Happy Baking!

Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake


Texas Sheet Cake {Gluten-free}
Recipe from:
Recipe type: Cakes & Cupcakes
  • 2 cups good quality gluten-free all-purpose flour blend*
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if using a flour blend that contains xanthan)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder (I use part Hershey's Dark Cocoa, and part regular cocoa)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Fudge Frosting:
  • ½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (I use ¼ cup Hershey's Dark Cocoa, and ¼ cup regular cocoa)
  • 3 ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 7 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Spray jelly roll pan (15"x9"x1" pan) with cooking oil.
  2. In your mixing bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, and 1 cup water. Bring just to boiling, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add to dry ingredients, beat until combined.
  4. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla to mixing bowl and beat for one minute on low-medium speed.
  5. Pour batter into greased pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into cake will come out with moist crumbs attached, but not wet batter.
  6. Place pan on a cooling rack to cool.
Fudge Frosting:
  1. Using a medium glass bowl, melt the stick of butter in microwave. Whisk in cocoa powder, then heat for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately, beating with a hand mixer until creamy. Add vanilla last, beating in until mixed well. While still warm, pour frosting over the hot cake. Work quickly to gently spread to cover.
  2. Allow to cool completely before cutting. You can refrigerate to speed up the process.
*This recipe has been tested numerous times successfully with each of these flours: Gluten-free Mama's Almond Blend All-purpose flour and gfJules gluten-free flour.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes January 30, 2014 at 11:10 am

Chocolate heaven right here!


Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen January 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm

You got it! I won’t admit how much of this sheet cake I ate this week!


Adele February 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Definitely giving this a try! Not too many ingredients either plus it’s chocolate… Mmmm, melt!


Mary Renee February 4, 2014 at 6:30 am

Ok, I REALLY wanted to love this cake.
But, something went massively wrong and I’m not sure what!! :(
It was so thick and springy just as a batter. Is that normal?
Seriously, when I was mixing it, it kept growing up the mixers like a bad science experiment come to life. It was pretty comical. lol

I used a cup for cup flour that already contained xantham and as I had no buttermilk on hand, I did the regular milk with vinegar substitution. That was my only difference, but I don’t think it would make that much of a difference.

Yours looks fantastic and I really want to make it again. Any suggestions?


Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen February 4, 2014 at 9:52 am

The only two times I’ve had something like what you are describing happen, I stood there shaking my head wondering what in the world?! Then I tasted the batter and realized I had completely forgotten the sugar! If that happens, you have to toss it and start over. Could that have been what happened to you? It is important that the sugar is in there with the other dry ingredients when you add the liquid. The sugar will liquify then helping make a more runny batter.
The only other thing is if you used a flour blend with coconut in it. The coconut flour really absorbs the liquids and you end up with a much more solid batter. It still turns out okay once baked though.
Hope you’ll try it again Mary!


Mary Renee February 4, 2014 at 10:44 am

Nope, I added the sugar. The taste was fine, the consistency was just off. The flour I use is a rice flour/cornstarch/tapioca mix. It’s done well with all the other breads and sweets I’ve made.
I did realize that I made a total rookie mistake and used baking powder instead of soda. I’m hoping that that is the major factor.
I’m going to make a half batch here in a little bit. I’ll let you know if that changes anything. :)


Jen G February 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm

I had the same problem. I used my own brown rice, tap and potato starch mix and also used vinegar to sour my milk. It tastes OK but it’s a little gummy/chewy. I was wondering if it could be too much xanthan gum but now I’m wondering if it has something to do with the vinegar.


Norma Jean Stapleton May 24, 2014 at 2:21 am

When I bake with a rice flour blend , it tends to be more gummy,chewy also.


Linda billingsley March 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Do you have a yellow cake gf recipe? Thank you.


Judy May 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

We have always loved this cake for many years. Especially with chopped nuts on top! Thank you for sharing this! Recently our diets have changed and now I need to know if I can substitute coconut palm sugar for the regular sugar?


Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen May 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Chopped nuts on top is totally great for this!
I haven’t tried using coconut palm sugar in this recipe, but I do think it would work. Give it a try and let me know!


Susan June 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm

I’m not an expert here but I’ve baked with all the flours you mentioned. The almond flour gives the cake a sponge like texture. I have a wonderful coconut cake recipe with white chocolate and whipped cream frosting that uses the almond flour I believe that’s what went wrong with some of the cakes. I use King Arthur’s gluten free flour and never have a problem with my cakes turning out. If a recipe calls for coconut flour I’d advise you to use it at first then see if it turns out to your liking. I can even see it in the photograph that’s pictured of the cake. I don’t like baking with the dutch processed chocolate unless it’s called for in a recipe. it can have a different taste and look. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ll try it and let you know how it turns out. I have to wait until I have a big event though. Too much cake for me. I’d eat too much of it.


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