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Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake

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Moist, deep dark chocolate cake is topped with my favorite chocolate fudge frosting to make this gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake. My hubby requests this gluten-free chocolate cake for his birthday cake almost every year! It’s much easier to make than a layer cake so I happily oblige.

Slice of gluten-free chocolate cake on plateChocolate cake is definitely in my Top 5 favorite desserts. My family declares this the best gluten-free chocolate cake ever! My husband never really liked chocolate cake until I started making this one! 

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. I didn’t have to start fresh on my search for a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe – this was perfect right away!

Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake is the perfect potluck dessert too. You make it in a huge rimmed sheet pan (15.5″x10.5″), also known as a jelly roll pan. This is the jelly roll pan I have and use, it even has a lid! 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 gluten-free Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting. And the same pan I use for my gluten-free revel bars so it gets a lot of use around here between all these recipes!

Because of the large pan, this makes a thin gluten-free sheet cake with plenty of servings for birthday parties or potlucks.

Pan of Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake

You can also cut the pieces small if you want to serve a large crowd, so I do that when bringing to a potluck where people are grabbing multiple desserts so they don’t need each serving to be so big.

At home, we like slices nice and big with a glass of milk or scoop of ice cream.

Gluten-free Chocolate Sheet Cake slice

Notes on Ingredients for gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake:

  • Gluten-free Flour: As always, I recommend using a good quality gluten-free flour blend that isn’t made of bean flours. I have had great success with the texture of this cake when I use King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour, Gluten free Mama’s Almond Blend, and also with Cup4Cup flour. Try with your favorite good quality flour blend (not Namaste or Pillsbury).
  • If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.
  • Butter: Real butter produces the best results in this cake and the frosting. If you absolutely need to substitute it, like to make it dairy-free, then use a good stick butter alternative like Melt or Earth Balance in an equal amount
  • Baking cocoa: In this recipe, I like to divide the total amount called for and use about 1/2 of dutch-processed, Hershey’s regular or Saco blend cocoa and 1/2 Hershey’s special dark cocoa. That is how I achieve a deep, dark brown to the cake and icing.
  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can either use 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk alternative with 1 tsp lemon juice mixed in or use buttermilk powder, following the package instructions for how to replace 1/2 cup buttermilk with it.

One thing I like about making this cake is that you don’t have to wait for it to cool completely before you frost it. The  cake is still warm when you put the warm frosting on. 

Ingredients for the amazing fudge frosting:

Ingredients for fudge frosting

The chocolate frosting for this cake is sooo good – it tastes like fudge! It’s made simply with powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter, milk and vanilla extract. I use a hand mixer for making the frosting. You probably have all of these on hand already!

Yes, you can make this frosting dairy-free by using a dairy-free milk alternative. I do that when I want to use this frosting on other cakes/cupcakes that are dairy-free.

After you frost this, let it cool completely before cutting it. You can put in the refrigerator to speed up the process.

You can cut in a 5×3 pattern for 15 big slices, or a 6×4 pattern for 24 smaller slices, or whatever you prefer! If I’m bringing this somewhere that there are a lot of desserts, I’ve even cut into a 7×5 pattern for 35 smaller pieces.

Everywhere I bring this people can’t get enough and I always come home with an empty pan!

Slice of gluten-free chocolate cake with a bite on fork

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

You can even stack two pieces of this sheet cake on top of each other for two layers of deliciousness!

Two pieces of Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake stacked together on a plate

If you make this sheet cake and love it, please come back and give this recipe a 5 star rating in the recipe card! Feel free to comment with tips or to share any successful substitutions you made.

Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake Recipe:

Yield: 15-24 pieces

Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake

Slice of gluten-free chocolate cake on plate

Gluten-free chocolate cake that's ready to serve a crowd! Serve up slices of this gluten-free Texas sheet cake at your next potluck or party.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 cups good quality gluten-free all-purpose flour blend*
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum *(see note)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks or 16 Tbsp.)
  • 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. pure vanilla extract

Fudge Frosting:

  • ½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 7 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Spray jelly roll pan (about 15.5"x10.5"x1" pan) with cooking oil.
  2. In your mixing bowl, combine gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
  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 23-26 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 a bit while you prepare the frosting.

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.
  2. While still warm, pour frosting over the hot cake. Work quickly to gently spread to cover.
  3. Allow to cool completely before cutting. You can refrigerate to speed up the process. You can cut in a 5x3 pattern for 15 big slices, or a 6x4 pattern for 24 smaller slices, or whatever you prefer! If I'm bringing this somewhere that there are a lot of desserts, I've even cut into a 7x5 pattern for 35 smaller pieces.

Notes

*If your flour blend already contains xanthan gum or guar gum, omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.

As always, be sure to double-check your ingredients for gluten.

For the cocoa powder, I like to use about 1/2 of dutch-processed or Saco blend cocoa and 1/2 Hershey's special dark cocoa. That is how I achieve a nice dark brown to my cupcakes and icing.

The number of servings will depend on how big you want to cut slices of cake. If serving with ice cream and toppings, we cut a little smaller. If bringing to a potluck with a lot of desserts, we cut a little smaller.

I hope you and your family enjoy this gluten-free chocolate sheet cake as much as we do!

Pin this to your gluten-free cake board on Pinterest:

 

Gluten-free Texas Sheet Cake Pin

Old photo from 2014 when this was originally posted!

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

Gluten-free Peanut Butter Pasta and Chicken - An easy and delicious dinner you can have on the table in less than 30 minutes!
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Debra

Friday 11th of September 2020

Just wondering why not the Namaste gf flour? That is my go to flout

Kendra

Sunday 16th of August 2020

I made this for the first time today. It was easy and SO good! It was perfect for a family gathering. I have Celiac and have been the family Baker for years. It's so great to have gluten free options in my arsenal! This is my 3rd recipe of yours that has officially made it into my recipe book. Thank you!!!

Kat

Friday 15th of May 2020

Just wanted to drop a note since this recipe has become a staple for me and my gf relatives (celiac runs in the family). Fabulous recipe! If I ever wonder what to make for a dinner party, I always make this cake. Everyone raves about it. One friend told me he doesn’t even like chocolate cake, but he had an extra slice of this one. No one ever guesses it’s gf. They mostly just think it’s the most delicious chocolate cake they’ve ever had. It’s moist, not too sweet, and very chocolatey. Just how I like chocolate cake. Even though it’s not over-sweet, when I’m making the frosting, I replace a good portion of the sugar with cocoa powder so it’s even more chocolatey. It ends up being like fudge. Ridiculously delicious. One note: rather than using a sheet, I use round cake pans and put the frosting in the middle and then over the top and sides and serve it as an elegant layer cake. Perfection.

Sarah Levine

Wednesday 25th of December 2019

At the beginning, you say that you use a 13"x18"x 1" jelly roll pan, but the recipe says 15"x 9"x 1". I can only find the larger size, so hopefully that's correct.

I have made this before, and it was amazing, but I forget what I used! Along the same vein, can this be made in 9"x 13"pan?

Thanks,

Sarah

Laura Jolly

Saturday 3rd of August 2019

Can you make this with almond flour?

Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen

Saturday 3rd of August 2019

No almond flour wouldn't work as a straight substitution. If you are looking for recipes that only use almond flour, I would google almond flour chocolate cake. Probably some paleo ones will suit you most.