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Dr Pepper Texas Sheet Cake

Dr. Pepper claims to have 23 flavors so you can be sure this cake is full of it too.

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Some say a Texas Sheet Cake is named that way because it’s the size of Texas. Others say it’s just because the recipe showed up in a Texas newspaper first. We may never know the true origins but I can live with that kind of uncertainty if the end result is a cake as big as a sheet pan. Even better, there are countless versions of Texas Sheet Cake. There’s coconut, black forest, almond, even eggnog… and then there’s possibly my favorite, this Dr. Pepper Texas Sheet Cake. It’s a chocolate sheet cake, but with some serious pep in its step.

The ingredients are pretty simple. You need the usual stuff like flour, sugar, butter, and eggs and then the things that give this cake its unique flavor, like cocoa powder, pecans, buttermilk, a touch of cinnamon, and of course, that Dr. Pepper. (It’s in the cake AND in the frosting!)

While the ingredients are pretty basic, the method is a little different from most cakes. You start on the stovetop by boiling the Dr. Pepper, some butter, and some cocoa powder in a saucepan. Once that’s come together, you whisk it into a mixture of flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon.

Eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla go in last to keep anything from scrambling or curdling and then it all goes into a 9×13-inch baking pan. (If you like a thinner cake, you can use a true sheet pan instead and shave a few minutes off of the baking time.)

The frosting is also a stovetop endeavor. So again you’re going to melt butter and cocoa powder in a saucepan but this time you’ll stir in milk and Dr. Pepper before you add powdered sugar and vanilla. Voila, a chocolate-Dr. Pepper icing!

You pour that immediately all over the warm cake, maybe helping it get even with the aid of a rubber spatula, and then sprinkle the top with some chopped pecans.

You want to let it set up for about an hour before you cut into it, but it should still be plenty ooey-gooey in the end. It’s also fudgy and full of chocolate flavor and a nice nutty crunch. And since Dr. Pepper claims to have “23 flavors just on its own, you can be sure that this cake has plenty of it too.

Yield(s): Serves 12

15m prep time

30m cook time

Rated 4.0 out of 5
Rated by 2 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Eggs, Gluten, Nuts

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For the cake:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Dr Pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
For the icing:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup Dr Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the Dr Pepper, butter, and cocoa powder to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the Dr Pepper mixture and whisk until combined.
  4. Whisk in eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla, then pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 16-20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside while you prepare the icing:
  6. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and cocoa until smooth, whisking often, about 1 minute.
  7. Reduce heat to low, then whisk in Dr Pepper and milk. Gradually add powdered sugar, whisking constantly, until smooth. Whisk in vanilla.
  8. Immediately pour icing over the warm cake, then spread out gently with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Let cool completely before slicing and serving, about 1 hour.

Recipe adapted from Homesick Texan.