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This White Texas Sheet Cake recipe is the only cake recipe you’ll ever need! My mother-in-law is famous for her chocolate Texas sheet cake recipe, and we’ve all decided that this white version is the best – it’s a request at just about every kids’ birthday party!

A single slice of white Texas sheet cake served on a white plate. The thin slice of cake is topped with a thin layer of vanilla icing and colorful sprinkles.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You Should Make This White Texas Sheet Cake
  2. Ingredients for Grandma’s Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake
  3. How to Make White Texas Sheet Cake
  4. FAQs About Making Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake
  5. How to Decorate White Texas Sheet Cake
  6. Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe Tips
  7. More Easy Cake Recipes to Try
  8. Chi-Chi’s Famous White Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Can you believe that I had never heard of a Texas Sheet Cake until I met Keith? And since his mom is known for this dessert, it seems appropriate that it’s the first recipe that she ever served me!

Actually, it wasn’t this exact Texas Sheet Cake since Carole’s original recipe is for a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. That version is amazing, too…but this simple white cake is the TRUE favorite among her grandchildren (let’s be honest… the entire family)!

Why You Should Make This White Texas Sheet Cake

If you needed any other excuses to make this White Texas Sheet Cake, then let me tell you just a few more reasons why it’s one of my favorite cakes…

  • The single layer cake is frosted with just a very thin layer of frosting, which means that it’s not a heavy sugar bomb. Yes, it’s a treat. No, it’s not health food.
  • It’s light enough that I think it works perfectly as a “snack cake.” In other words, grab a mug of coffee and enjoy a small square of this cake for your mid-morning snack. It’s what I did on my birthday (and for the days that followed)!
  • Carole’s white Texas sheet cake recipe is a fluffy, moist cake and a perfectly festive dessert for your next special occasion. You can easily adapt it with festive sprinkles for either Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Christmas!
  • It’s a tried-and-true recipe that works and is always a big hit, even more so than the traditional chocolate version!

Ingredients for Grandma’s Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake

What I love about this vanilla cake recipe is that it has many of the same ingredients as a classic Texas sheet cake, but with warm and sweet almond flavor and homemade vanilla buttercream! It’s perfectly sweet, perfectly light, and perfectly easy to make. Here’s an overview of the simple ingredients you need to make my mother-in-law’s vanilla version of Texas sheet cake. (As always, you can find the full ingredients and directions in the recipe card below.)

  • Shortening: gives the cake that iconic Texas sheet cake texture – a light, soft, moist crumb.
  • Butter: adds richness and flavor to the cake and the vanilla buttercream frosting.
  • Water: thins the batter to the perfect consistency.
  • White Sugar: for sweetness
  • All-Purpose Flour: the base of the sheet cake batter.
  • Baking Soda: leavens the cake, helping it rise for a light and fluffy texture.
  • Salt: balances with the sweetness of the cake and enhances the flavor.
  • Vanilla and Almond Extract: for extra flavor in the cake and frosting.
  • Buttermilk: adds moisture to the cake. You can make your own by adding ½ tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice or ½ tablespoon of white vinegar to ½ cup of regular milk.
  • Eggs: give the cake structure.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: also called powdered sugar, it’s the base of the homemade vanilla buttercream.
  • Milk: to thin the consistency of the frosting.
A fork takes a bite from the corner of a slice of vanilla Texas sheet cake served on a small white dessert plate.

How to Make White Texas Sheet Cake

If the thought of baking a cake or making frosting from scratch scares you to death, then don’t worry! This vanilla sheet cake is definitely the place to start. It’s so easy, and it only requires about 15 minutes of prep! After all, I’m the self-proclaimed Queen of the Boxed Cake Mixes, so if I can do this, so can you!

One bite of the homemade white Texas sheet cake and you’ll be glad that you didn’t bother with a mix…

  • Grease the jelly roll pan with shortening.
  • Prepare a butter and shortening mixture in a small saucepan on the stovetop.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Combine the wet ingredients slowly with the dry ingredients, while mixing the cake batter on medium speed.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Bake the cake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Prepare the vanilla buttercream frosting.
  • Spread the frosting on the cooled cake, decorate as desired, and serve.

FAQs About Making Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake

A traditional chocolate Texas sheet cake is one of the most popular recipes for chocolate cake lovers. The vanilla version is just as delicious and is made in a similar fashion. Before there are so many recipes for traditional Texas sheet cake out there, here are some common recipe questions that may help you understand the recipe, as well as perfect making it in your own kitchen!

Two slices are removed from a pan of white Texas sheet cake. The vanilla sheet cake is topped with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream and rainbow confetti sprinkles.

What makes Texas sheet cake different from regular cake? 

The most iconic part of classic Texas sheet cake is the texture. It’s a decadent cake that’s perfectly moist, a bit dense, yet still light with the perfect tender crumb. So, how does that happen?! It’s thanks to a few simple ingredients.

First, making a mixture of water, shortening, and melted butter packs the perfect amount of moisture into the cake batter. This is a key step in making Texas sheet cake – so don’t skip it! The second key ingredient is buttermilk. It’s creamy and tangy and goes far in flavoring the cake. Finally, mixing the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then slowly combining them, helps the batter mix perfectly without lumps.

How many servings does this Texas sheet cake recipe make?

The kid-friendly sheet cake appeals to big and little appetites, and it’s so much easier to eat than a big, thick, multi-layer birthday cake or cupcake. Carole cuts her Texas sheet cake into small squares, which the 2- and 3-year-old grandsons can pick up and eat like brownies. There’s no messy frosting smeared everywhere, and there’s no need for utensils! It’s the perfect cake-to-frosting ratio! I cut this cake into 36 individual slices so it can serve a lot of people at parties and gatherings.

If you want to double the recipe to serve a larger crowd, you absolutely can! You can also use a larger cake pan or multiple jelly roll pans if you want to make more than one batch.

Can you Freeze Texas sheet cake? How do you store leftovers?

Yes, this cake is great for freezing, even with the frosting on top. Cakes, in general, freeze really well for months! Once frosted, your cake will keep well for 3 days in a cool, dry place at room temperature (covered) or in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can store the cake in the freezer for up to 3 months! I’d suggest cutting the cake into smaller portions for freezing so it’s easier and quicker to defrost.

A silver fork lifts a small bite of white Texas sheet cake from a plate. The slice of vanilla cake is topped with vanilla frosting and colorful sprinkles.

How to Decorate White Texas Sheet Cake

Whether you’re preparing a birthday treat for a child, a sweet dish for a school class, or a festive dessert for the next holiday, this easy homemade white sheet cake can be decorated with sprinkles to suit any special occasion! Carole (or “Chi-Chi” as the kids call her) serves the dessert for many holidays and is definitely a family favorite for just about any occasion.

It’s such a versatile treat because you can decorate it to match any theme! Add black and orange sprinkles for Halloween, red and green sprinkles for Christmas, or rainbow sprinkles for a birthday party! Here are some other toppings to consider for this tasty vanilla sheet cake:

  • Sliced almonds complement the almond extract flavoring in the cake.
  • Fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or mandarin orange slices add a fresh touch to the cake.
  • Crushed nuts like pecans or walnuts.
  • White chocolate or milk chocolate shavings.
  • Cookie crumbles – try golden Oreos, shortbread cookies, or Chocolate cookies for a chocolate touch.
  • Sweetened shredded coconut flakes.

One major difference between decorating a white Texas sheet cake and a chocolate sheet cake is that the white cake should be completely cooled before adding the frosting. Traditionally, chocolate frosting is poured over the warm cake, giving the icing that sweet and gooey texture. In this version, the icing is best applied to cool cake so it keeps its light and fluffy texture.

A close up image of a slice of vanilla Texas sheet cake on a small dessert plate. In the background is the sheet pan of cake, topped with frosting and sprinkles.

Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to use a nonstick pan and grease it, too; this ensures it can be removed with ease. Parchment paper also works well.
  • Make sure to cool the cake completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  • You can easily adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding a little milk. It’s great if you feel you have overwhipped the frosting.
  • Make sure to use softened room temperature butter, or you will get lumpy frosting.
  • Use a spatula to make spreading the frosting easy.
  • If you don’t like almond flavoring, you can leave it out and just use vanilla extract.

More Easy Cake Recipes to Try

Slice of white texas sheet cake on a white plate with rainbow sprinkles

Chi-Chi’s Famous White Texas Sheet Cake

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 36 pieces
Calories 189 kcal
The vanilla version of a classic Texas sheet cake recipe is a must-try! White Texas sheet cake is a light, moist vanilla almond cake with a creamy vanilla frosting. It's perfect for any occasion!


For the Cake:

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 lb. box of confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup butter softened to room temp
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Grease a 10×15″ non-stick jelly roll pan with shortening. Set aside.
  • Prepare the cake: Bring shortening, butter, and water to a boil.
    ½ cup shortening, ½ cup butter, 1 cup water
  • Place flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large mixing bowl.
    2 cups granulated white sugar, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt
  • Pour hot butter mixture over flour mixture in the bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat for 1 minute on medium speed.
  • Slowly add the vanilla, almond extract, buttermilk, and eggs last. Beat for one more minute, and then pour batter into prepared pan.
    1 tsp. vanilla, ½ teaspoon almond extract, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 eggs
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
  • Place cake on a wire rack to cool.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, prepare Buttercream Frosting.
  • In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, combine confectioner’s sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 1-2 minutes, or until fluffy and creamy.
    1 lb. box of confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup butter, 3-4 tablespoons milk, 1 tsp. vanilla
  • If desired, add more milk until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
  • Spread frosting on the cooled cake. Slice into small squares.


  • Make sure to use a nonstick pan and grease it, too; this ensures it can be removed with ease. Parchment paper also works well.
  • Make sure to cool the cake completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  • You can easily adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding a little milk. It’s great if you feel you have overwhipped the frosting.
  • Make sure to use softened room temperature butter, or you will get lumpy frosting.
  • Use a spatula to make spreading the frosting easy.
  • If you don’t like almond flavoring, you can leave it out and just use vanilla extract.
  • This cake keeps well on the counter (covered) for about 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • I use this size jelly roll pan, and I find that this offset spatula makes spreading a thin layer of frosting very easy!


Serving: 1slice of frosted cakeCalories: 189kcalCarbohydrates: 28.8gProtein: 1.2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 24.4mgSodium: 108.6mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 23.7g
Keyword: Texas Sheet Cake, White Sheet Cake, White Texas Sheet Cake
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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    1. Hi, Amber! Not that I know of. I have never tried the cake without the shortening, so I have no idea what the end result would be if you swapped that out.

  1. Sheet cakes are always a delicious idea! I can totally see why this one is such a hit! Yum

    1. Yes! The cake recipe is exactly the same, except you omit the almond extract and you add 4 T of unsweetened cocoa powder to the shortening mix that you boil at the beginning.

      For the chocolate sheet cake, you need to frost the cake while it’s still warm. The icing is like a glaze that hardens as it cools. Here’s the chocolate icing recipe:
      1/2 cup butter
      4 Tbs cocoa
      6 Tbs milk
      1 lb confectioner’s sugar
      1 tsp. Vanilla

      Bring butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil; remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Beat well until smooth. Ice cake while it is still warm.

  2. This cake is amazing! I’ve made something similar in the past, but this has a little more to it, and I will definitely be making it in the near future.

  3. 5 stars
    This is moist, delicious and cut well without crumbling or sticking to the pan. I didn’t have shortening or buttermilk so used butter and 1% milk. I doubled the almond flavoring and thinned the icing a bit more. Easy and fabulous! The site won’t let me rate but this is 5 stars!

  4. 5 stars
    This is an awesome recipe! I’ve been making the chocolate version for years, but love this one as well. Just wondering, has anyone tried this recipe w no egg yolks, only egg whites for a true white version? I love white cake but have yet to find a true white! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. Hi, Connie! I haven’t experimented with just egg whites in this recipe, so I’m not sure how that would turn out. Glad that you enjoyed it!

    1. Hi, Latoier! It should fit, but it will be much thicker than a traditional “sheet cake.” You’ll need to extend the baking time, too.

  5. Do you think this would be less moist if I tried it in a 9 x 13 cake pan? I’ve been needing a yellow from scratch cake that is very moist and I’ve yet to master it.


    1. Hi, Robin! I think it would probably work fine in that size pan. My mother-in-law has also used the batter to make cupcakes. You’ll just need to adjust the baking time for the thicker cake. Hope you enjoy!