This Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe feeds a crowd, and is delicious served with Old-Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. The perfect summer dessert!

Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

When I think about silence, it has a whole new meaning for me in this new chapter of our lives. It’s early, as I am up reading a new book that UPS just dropped off, and I hear the buzz of the fan (we have no air conditioning here in central Oregon), the dryer tumbling downstairs, the soft sound of the fridge purring, occasionally dropping ice. What I love the most is that the doors are wide open, birds are occasionally chirping, but for the most part, it’s very quiet outside–nature is very still.

Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

I’m also thinking about the leftovers of the dessert that we served last night to our dinner guests, Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting, served with my mom’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Just being honest, here. :)

Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

I love morning times, because they are quiet, introspective, prayerful–I’m listening. It’s the best time for soul work, to read, pray, and to be open and willing for whatever the day may bring. I feel that it’s a small window to be open to change. Not that change can’t happen throughout the day. There’s just something about silence that forces you to listen.

Change can bring all sorts of emotions. It can be soul work that happens right then, being willing to do things differently, or outside of your comfort zone, to have that uncomfortable conversation with that person, or to be willing to receive it. Change can mean moving forward and not looking back—it involves courage and being brave and honest. For me, a year ago, when we entertained the thought of downsizing and moving toward a simpler, quieter lifestyle, it began a ripple effect. A friend reminded me last week that our move was not “crazy,” but “brave.” Indeed, that word fits.

Present over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist

And now, as I’m reading this book, that I quickly ripped the cardboard off of to dive into the pages, Present over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist, I am changed.

Living with new boundaries, more silence, more listening, more nature, more quiet time with God, we are finding new ways to connect.

Connection is huge for me, being a lover of hospitality. We have been inundated with many lovely friends visiting us from back home. So, in a way, it feels like we’ve never left.

My heart is always around the table.

Just this week, we hosted our first dinner party outside on our deck, where I pulled out a tablecloth, made a simple flower arrangement, and got the space pretty and ready for company. If you could have peeked into my heart, you would have seen a GIANT RED HEART. Hosting others for dinner makes me so happy!

For dessert we made my mom’s Old-Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, and earlier in the day I whipped up a pan of Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake. I usually either serve fruit or cake with my mom’s recipe. Both are DELISH.

For me, connection is about binding the food, the drink, and our hearts together, for a several hour moment-in-time; linking of our hands together, giving thanks to our Creator, for nourishment, creation, our beautiful families, and the gift of friendship.

For a few hours around the table, we share something unique and beautiful. People relax, we relax, we talk, we share, we open our hearts, we become real with one another.

Hosting others doesn’t happen for us because it just feels good and we think that it’s cool. It happens because we know that every time we share a meal with others, we are changed. We prepare, we give of our time, and we are willing to lay aside our selfishness (vegging out on television or Netflix, or whatever is “easy,” or because we are tired), to value people in our lives, and want to get to know them, because we know that it changes us. It makes us better people.

Yes, my big red heart becomes even bigger, because with the linking of our hands (no matter our political or religious views, we have an innate appreciation for human dignity), and our hearts (we love unconditionally), we are melded together in LOVE.

And that settles me as a hostess.

Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe feeds a crowd, and is delicious served with Old-Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.
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Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa, I use dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 box, 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted (4 1/4 cups sifted)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  • Combine the butter and water in saucepan over medium heat; heat until butter melts.
  • Add sugar, flour, salt, eggs, baking soda, sour cream, and vanilla; mix well. Pour into a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  • Frost the cake while it is hot.
  • For frosting, combine butter, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and mix well with electric mixer.
  • Spread frosting over hot cake.
  • Cool and serve.
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More brownie recipes:

Almond Flour Brownie Recipe

Salted Caramel Brownies

Chocolate Chip Coconut Fudge Brownies

Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake Recipe feeds a crowd, and is delicious served with Old-Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

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