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Somehow Texas claimed the sheet cake as its own in the mid-20th century, perhaps because of the pecans in the frosting, an ingredient that grows in abundance throughout the Lone Star State. The defining element is a large baking sheet or jelly-roll pan for baking . . . and the frosting, which has to be heated and poured on the cake while the cake is warm out of the oven. The result is a rich, chocolaty treat that’s synonomous with Texas.

Makes 24 servings · Hands-on 20 min. · Total 2 hours, including frosting


  • 1 1/2 cups spicy cola soft drink, such as Dr Pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 (4-oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 3 Tbsp. spicy cola soft drink
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended; add warm soft drink mixture. Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour batter into a lightly greased 17 1/2- x 12 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Prepare Fudge Frosting: Heat butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in milk and soft drink until blended. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth and sugar dissolves. Pour over warm cake, spreading gently to edges. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cool completely in pan (about 1 hour).

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