Brown Butter Texas Sheet Cake aka THE BEST DAMN CHOCOLATE CAKE that has ever existed. Ever. If I only had to make one chocolate cake for the rest of my life – this would be it. It’s incredibly moist, oh so chocolatey and that frosting. Ooh that frosting. Melty, buttery chocolate. Hoo-boy. It doesn’t get better than this, folks.
All you need is one large heat-proof mixing bowl and one sauté pan to make this chocolate cake. Isn’t that great? Hardly any clean up! I also would highly, highly recommend using this pan for baking. I’m not sure if it’s technically considered non-stick but it acts like a non-stick pan. I don’t bother greasing it and it cleans up really easily. Now, a traditional Texas Sheet Cake would call for a larger pan – 15×10. I prefer a thicker cake but if you want the cake to be a little more traditional, you can use a larger pan. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a heat-proof mixing bowl. You’ll be adding boiling butter to the mixing bowl and the last thing you want is for your mixing bowl to shatter. I used these Pyrex bowls but stainless steal mixing bowls would be a good option, too.
Another non-traditional element in this cake. I like the nutty flavor the brown butter adds; it’s subtle but I think it makes the cake so much more interesting. To brown the butter, you’ll simply add the butter to a sauté pan and let it come to a boil, stirring occasionally to help break up the butter. Once the butter has fully melted, I only stir the butter occasionally. You’ll want to watch it closely so you don’t burn the butter. Once it turns a medium brown and smells nutty, you’ll want to remove it from the heat and pour it in to your large heat-proof mixing bowl. From there, the rest is super easy!
Brown Butter Texas Sheet Cake
- Large Saute Pan
- 13×9 pan
- Large heat-proof mixing bowl
- 1 cup salted butter
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 cup oat milk or milk of your choosing
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 heaping tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ cup salted butter
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1⅓ cups confectioners' sugar
- 3-4 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 375. Grease an 9×13 pan or use a non-stick pan, set aside
- In a large sauté pan, add 2 sticks of butter over medium-high heat. Stirring occasionally. Heat until butter is boiling and starts to turn medium brown. The butter should have a nutty aroma.
- Immediately remove brown butter from heat and pour in to a large heat-proof mixing bowl.
- Add in cocoa powder, espresso powder, oat milk, vanilla extract and vegetable oil to the brown butter and whisk until combied. Mixture will thicken and be shiny and smooth.
- Next, whisk in sugar.
- Add flour and baking soda to mixture, but don't stir. I like to try to concentrate the flour and baking soda right in the center of the mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, crack eggs. Pour eggs in to the center of your flour and baking soda mixture.
- Add mayonnaise and sour cream to the mixing bowl. NOW you can mix all of the ingredients together. I mix by hand using a wooden spoon or whisk. Only mix until everything is well encorporated. Your batter will have a few lumps.
- Pour mixture in to your 9×13 pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in to the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
- While your cake is baking, you'll make the chocolate frosting.
- Rinse the sauté pan you used to make the brown butter and add the "new" butter to the pan. Melt the butter over medium heat. Once only small pieces of butter remain, turn off heat. Stir in chocolate. Next add half of the confectioners' sugar. Stir until well combined. Add the water and then the other half of the sugar. If the chocolate seizes or becomes hard – dont' panic – just add more water, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture smoothes out and becomes a little runny.
- Once you pull the cake out of the oven, pour the chocolate frosting over the top of the cake while both are hot. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly. I like more of a glaze-thickness but if you want a thicker frosting, simply double the frosting recipe. Top with nuts of your choice – pecans or walnuts are my favorites.