Recipe: White Texas Sheet Cake

foodsweet treats

Summer brings cookouts, family gatherings and numerous reasons to share a special treat with those you love. Throughout the years, my family has had those special go-to recipes for summer get-togethers around the pool. Most are ice cream based of some sort, but, for some reason, this cake recipe, given to my family by my Aunt Rita, always reminds me of summer. The light buttery cake with a twinge of orange flavor is a perfect end to a family dinner, or an easy treat to bring to a cookout (it is actually best made the day before and tucked away in the fridge overnight). Now, this is not a diet recipe—it is a special occasion, summer treat cake.

So, please enjoy this special treat recipe from my family to yours as you kick-off the summer.

White Texas Sheet Cake


1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup water
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon orange juice (or ½ teaspoon orange extract)
zest of one orange

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
6 tablespoons milk
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon orange juice (or ½ teaspoon orange extract)
zest of one orange
1 cup chopped pecans


To make the cake:
Bring water and butter to a low boil on the stove in a medium size pot. Remove from heat and whisk in, while hot, the flour, sugar and salt until fully incorporated. Quickly whisk in the eggs, sour cream and baking soda. Then stir in the orange juice and zest. Pour into greased jelly-roll pan and bake in a 375 degree oven for 22 minutes exactly until golden on top.

To make the frosting:
Just before the cake is about to come out of the oven, bring milk and butter to a low boil on the stove in a medium pot.  Remove immediately from the heat and whisk in the confectioners sugar, then whisk in the orange juice, orange zest and pecans. Pour frosting on top of the cake just minutes after taking it out of the oven, spread evenly.

Let cake cool to room temperature, then cover and store in the fridge up to 24 hours before serving (or eat immediately if you can’t resist).

What are some of your families favorite recipes?

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, Julia Montgomery Stewart is most at home in the kitchen—cooking for her family of three and experimenting with new ways to eat real, whole foods.  Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of in 2010 with her family. Live Pretty is a lifestyle blog dedicated to family, food, and entertaining, with a special focus on sharing both the extraordinary and everyday moments of our lives.

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