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Texas Turtle Sheet Cake

Unapologetically decadent and that’s why we love it!

Texas turtle sheet cake – it’s unapologetically decadent and we absolutely love it for that. It seems impossible to think there are some who haven’t tasted the glory that is Texas turtle anything, but if you were going to make any sort of iteration on this classic, let it be this amazingly delicious Texas turtle sheet cake. A rich, chocolate and coffee-flecked cake, topped with a buttermilk chocolate frosting (YUM), then topped off with caramel sauce, chocolate chips and pecans (or walnuts, if that’s what you’ve got on hand). Holy guacamole, guys, this stuff is good.

If you wanted to cut some corners, you could use a store-bought cake mix, but if you’ve got the time…man, this from-scratch cake is really something. We use a cup of coffee to add a special depth of flavor, then we use buttermilk to add a tiny bit of tang and keep things super moist – no dried out cake here! You might find the color of the cake to be a little lighter than your average chocolate cake, but don’t worry, there’s just as much flavor – if not more – packed in there to shake up your taste buds. And that’s just the cake, we haven’t even gotten into the frosting and topping of this bad boy!

Not only do we use buttermilk in the cake, it also plays a role in the frosting, and let us tell you, this stuff is addictive and quite possibly our favorite chocolate frosting. Buttermilk wouldn’t be our first guess of star ingredients, but it really balances out the flavors here in this cake. We mentioned that it adds tang, but it also balances out all the sweetness of the recipe and keeps this cake from being too sweet or cloying. Once you pile on the caramel sauce and chocolate chips and nuts, the buttermilk and coffee are what keep this cake on the rails – bottom line: you need this cake and you need it now!

Serves 16-20

1 hour

  • Cake:
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup black coffee
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a jelly roll pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together butter, coffee and cocoa powder, stirring until butter is fully melted and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk together self-rising flour and sugar, then beat in wet ingredients until combined.
  4. Beat in eggs and buttermilk, then mix in vanilla extract, being careful to mix just until batter comes together and eggs are fully incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into greased jelly roll pan, then place in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. In a second saucepan over medium heat, whisk together 1/2 stick butter, buttermilk and cocoa powder. Stir continuously and bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  7. Working in batches, carefully whisk in powdered sugar until thickened and smooth.
  8. Pour sauce over cake, then drizzle caramel sauce on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let set, then slice, serve and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Cooking All

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