March 2nd is a big day for Texas residents, because it’s the anniversary of the day the Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1836. Seven weeks later, Texas won the war for independence from Mexico and became a country. While Texas independence only lasted 9 years before they joined the United States of America, the legacy had a lasting impact on Texas residents. We’re proud of our heritage and our independent spirits. We’re also proud of our food- brisket, chili, giant steak, cobbler, pecan pie, Blue Bell ice cream, and the quintessential Texas dessert- Texas sheet cake.

Texas sheet cake is a large, thin, moist, chocolate cake with chocolate icing. No one seems to know where it came from or how it got its name, but one thing is for sure- almost everyone adores this cake. There are probably hundreds of different versions of the cake- some use buttermilk, others use sour cream, and still others have coconut and pecan in the icing or cinnamon in the cake. With all these options, how can someone choose just one to make? Fortunately, I have access to a fantastic recipe, courtesy of Texas Tables, a cookbook from the Junior League of the Woodlands. I knew going with this recipe was a safe bet because I’ve had many things, both sweet and savory, from the cookbook and everything has been delicious.

This recipe is incredibly easy to make with a big flavor punch. You don’t even have to pull out your hand mixer if you don’t want to, although it will make life a little easier. So how do you make this awesome cake? First, you mix together the dry ingredients, buttermilk, and eggs.

Next, you stir in the melted chocolate oil, and margarine. Make sure you’re careful here. If you rush, you’ll splash the hot, melted mixture out of the bowl and burn yourself. No one wants that, so stir slowly. It’ll take a minute to get it all together, but the wait will be worth not having a scar.

Once the cake cooks and cools for a few minutes, you pour another melted chocolate and margarine mixture over powdered sugar and stir until it is completely combined. Take your time again here- you want the powdered sugar to completely dissolve into the chocolate. If it’s not, you’ll have tiny balls of powdered sugar all over your cake. It doesn’t taste bad, but it’s not the prettiest thing in the world. It would also help to sift your powdered sugar really well to help encourage it to dissolve easily. The last step is to let the icing set in the refrigerator and then cut yourself a nice, big piece!

Now what would an independence day celebration be without wine? Fortunately, I have 3 great Texas wines that pair really well with this cake. The cinnamon in the cake cuts the sweetness a little, so it’s a pretty versatile cake, and the chocolate draws out the fruit flavors in the wine for a really pleasing combination. My top picks are all pretty different, so there’s really something for everyone.

Pinot Noir- Bent Oak Winery
It’s a Zin!- Peach Creek Vineyards
Heritage from Windy Winery

Enjoy!

Need your own copy of Texas Tables? You can purchase one directly from the Junior League of the Woodlands: https://www.jlthewoodlands.org/texas_tables/. You can also send me a message and I’ll make sure you get to the right place. Not only is Texas Tables a beautiful book with fantastic recipes, proceeds from the sale of the books goes directly toward supporting many important community programs in The Woodlands and north Houston area.

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