4/13/22

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake (Birthday Sheet Cake)

The very best sheet cake recipe with that signature “yellow cake flavor” topped with white icing - perfect for birthday cake!

JUMP TO RECIPE

My baby boy loves the taste of yellow cake from a boxed mix (Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, Pilsbury or store brand – it doesn’t matter to him). For years I have made his birthday cake from a box mix because he would rather have it than any bakery cake or homemade cake.

I’ll have to admit, the taste is amazing. It’s not really vanilla… it’s… well, it’s just “yellow cake” flavor.

I figured out where to get the taste a few years ago. I was at Mama’s making my pound cake and realized she didn’t have any lemon extract (I use 2 parts vanilla and 1 part lemon extract in my pound cake).

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake (Birthday Sheet Cake) - The very best sheet cake recipe with that signature “yellow cake flavor” topped with white icing - perfect for birthday cake!

I was fixing to grab the almond extract as a substitute but spied an old bottle of McCormick’s Vanilla Butter & Nut flavoring and added a teaspoon of it to my pound cake batter.

Just that one teaspoon in all that pound cake batter was all I needed to know Vanilla Butter & Nut flavoring IS the taste of “yellow cake”. Holla!! My boy is gonna love this!

Except I couldn’t find the flavoring in the grocery stores. None of them. I even went to a small country grocery store looking for it but nope, they didn’t have it either.

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake (Birthday Sheet Cake) - The very best sheet cake recipe with that signature “yellow cake flavor” topped with white icing - perfect for birthday cake!

But I did see something I’d never noticed before – ‘Cake Batter’ flavoring. I suspected maybe McCormick’s had rebranded the old stuff and my suspicions were confirmed when I noticed the shelf tag where the Cake Batter flavoring was stocked read Vanilla Butter & Nut.

AH-HA!! I knew it!! 

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake (Birthday Sheet Cake) - The very best sheet cake recipe with that signature “yellow cake flavor” topped with white icing - perfect for birthday cake!

So, I had double confirmation. 1 – the Cake Batter flavor is the same as Vanilla Butter & Nut and 2 – I was right about it tasting like the boxed yellow cake “flavor” (because they literally renamed ‘Vanilla Butter & Nut’ to ‘Cake Batter’).

Man, dang it, give me a magnifying glass and a notepad because Nancy Drew ain’t got nothing on me!

I have to tell y’all this stuff. If you’re still reading, it’s because you love cooking so you’ll appreciate my little epiphany. I told all this to Husband and he just stared at me like a couple of my screws had come loose.

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake (Birthday Sheet Cake) - The very best sheet cake recipe with that signature “yellow cake flavor” topped with white icing - perfect for birthday cake!

I mentioned this when I shared my recipe for Coconut Texas Sheet Cake but I’ll go into a little more detail here because I think it’s important.

I based this recipe on my Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe (which I think is absolutely perfect). I make other varieties too (I shared the coconut and I’ll get around to sharing the others as soon I can get pictures of them!)

You can’t just omit the cocoa in the chocolate version to make other varieties. There’s too much liquid in the chocolate version to work without the cocoa. I learned that the hard way. 

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake (Birthday Sheet Cake) - The very best sheet cake recipe with that signature “yellow cake flavor” topped with white icing - perfect for birthday cake!

NOTES ABOUT MAKING YELLOW SHEET CAKE (TEXAS BIRTHDAY SHEET CAKE)

  • Use McCormick’s Cake Batter flavoring (extract) or any brand Vanilla Butter & Nut. I’m pretty sure Happy Home’s Butter & Nut flavoring is the same but I haven’t personally tried it.
  • I use the clear vanilla flavoring in the White Icing to keep the color brighter white. You can totally use regular vanilla extract or not use any at all. I don’t know that I’d use almond or another clear extract/flavoring because it may not pair well with the flavor of the cake.
  • You can also prepare this in 18x13 half-sheet cake pan. If you do, reduce the baking time to 15-17 minutes then test with a toothpick for doneness.

RECIPE FOR YELLOW TEXAS SHEET CAKE

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake (Birthday Sheet Cake)

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake (Birthday Sheet Cake)
Yield: 24 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min
The very best sheet cake recipe with that signature “yellow cake flavor” topped with white icing - perfect for birthday cake!

Ingredients

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter (real, salted)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Cake Batter extract (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
White Icing:
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring (extract)
  • 1 1-lb box powdered sugar
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

Yellow Texas Sheet Cake:
  1. Grease a 10x15 baking pan (or spray with cooking spray) and preheat oven to 350 degrees. See notes below regarding other pan sizes.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate ingredients then set aside.
  3. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan then heat and stir over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour butter/milk mixture into bowl with flour mixture then stir to incorporate.
  5. Beat eggs in a small bowl. Stir about a half cup of hot batter into bowl with eggs to temper then pour into batter.
  6. Add extracts then whisk all ingredients together for one minute.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan then bake for 22-27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven then prepare icing
  8. Do not prepare the icing while the cake is baking. The 10 minutes or so it takes to make the icing is the perfect amount of time for the cake to cool a little bit before pouring on the icing.
White Icing:
  1. Combine melted butter, half & half, salt and clear vanilla flavoring in a small bowl then stir until combined.
  2. Sift powdered sugar into a mixing bowl (the sifting is optional but it prevents lumps). Pour warm butter mixture into bowl with powdered sugar then whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour icing over warm cake then garnish with sprinkles if desired. Let cake rest for an hour or two before serving to ensure the icing sets up some before cutting the cake.
  4. Once the cake is cool, cover then store at room temperature.

Notes

  • Use McCormick’s Cake Batter flavoring (extract) or any brand Vanilla Butter & Nut. I’m pretty sure Happy Home’s Butter & Nut flavoring is the same but I haven’t personally tried it.
  • I use the clear vanilla flavoring in the White Icing to keep the color brighter white. You can totally use regular vanilla extract or not use any at all. I don’t know that I’d use almond or another clear extract/flavoring because it may not pair well with the flavor of the cake.
  • You can also prepare this in 18x13 half-sheet cake pan. If you do, reduce the baking time to 15-17 minutes then test with a toothpick for doneness.
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If you LOVE Texas sheet cakes, be sure to check out my other recipes too!

COCONUT TEXAS SHEET CAKE A velvety tender Texas sheet cake recipe made with coconut milk for a super moist texture and tons of coconut flavor.

CHOCOLATE TEXAS SHEET CAKE A tried-and-true family recipe for velvety tender, perfectly chocolate Texas sheet cake.

Keep up with my latest shenanigans by following South Your Mouth!


5 comments:

  1. Not only am I going to make this for our next family gathering, but I am OVER THE MOON about your discovery that the vanilla butter nut flavoring has simply been rebranded. I have been hoarding the original as I use it in our favorite pound cake for 30 years and the thought of never having that pound cake again made my entire family so sad so thank you! I'll look for the new one!

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  2. I've been a cake baker and decorator for 40 years. The flavor you are looking for is called Crème Bouquet. You can find it in cake baking supply stores or on line. All you have to do is open the bottle and once you smell the flavoring, you know you've found it. You can use it in most any cake except chocolate and get a pleasant flavor but my favorite and most everyone's is in the yellow cake mix. So yummy. Holler if you have any questions. Good luck. Love your stuff on here.

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  3. I’m making your Coconut Texas sheet cake this very minute and suddenly I’m wondering how much Cake Batter flavoring I should use in this recipe. I’ve added ½ teaspoon and crossed my fingers so I hope that works! I’d really appreciate knowing how much you would recommend. Thanks so much! Love the blog. Shrimp Delicate on the menu for tonight!

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    Replies
    1. I'm afraid I don't understand what you're asking me 🙁

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  4. I loved this recipe so much . It's really awesome

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Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy