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Gluten-Free Texas Sheet Cake (Sugar-Free)

Who doesn’t love a thin layer of moist, chocolate cake, covered in chocolate frosting and sprinkled with roasted pecans? This Texas sheet cake delivers on this promise and more; it’s an easy-to-make, sugar-free, gluten-free, lectin-free, and dairy-free cake.

I consider Texax my second home. I lived in Dallas for five years, but I only heard of the famous Texas sheet cake after leaving. From one Instagram post in The New York Times, I found out about it. I enthusiastically started to do some research and I was stunned to see some versions of this cake are made with five cups of sugar. Five!!!! I know Texas’ taste for sweetness, but why five cups? How sweet a sweet tooth can be?

The challenge: a Texas sheet cake without sugar, gluten, and lectins

Can I make a moist, delicious Texas sheet cake without sugar, gluten, and lectins, I wondered? Talking about a challenge. But working for so many years without all these elements, I have a few tricks.

Firstly, I needed to use lectin-free and gluten-free flours that are naturally sweet, and chestnut flour is the sweetest out there, followed by tigernut and almond flour. They are also earthy and flavourful, compared to plain wheat flour, so extra points.

Luckily, mimicking the properties of buttermilk in a cake is no longer a novelty. Add some vinegar or lemon juice to full-fat coconut milk and you have the best dairy-free substitute for buttermilk.

You can add your favorite sweetener, and adapt the quantity depending on who is eating. I personally don’t like a lot of sweetness, so I keep sweeteners to a minimum, but you can certainly add more. Inulin powder is my favorite, but it doesn’t have the strength other sweeteners have. You can use monk fruit or a mix of erythritol and stevia. I hear allulose is now the new favorite natural sweetener, but it’s not yet approved in Europe (as I type this).

The chocolate frosting

The chocolate frosting is a common one I use for other cakes, feel free to use your own recipe if you have a favorite one. To assemble the cake, add the warm frosting to the cake, spread it on the entire surface, and sprinkle it with chopped roasted pecans. Serve it immediately or let it cool. It stores well in the fridge.

I checked a few recipes, and of course, things are slightly different, with the preparation method more or less complicated. But in general, a sheet cake has to be an easy cake. Why I wanted was to keep it simple.

Why Texas sheet cake?

Some say it’s because it was first mentioned in Texas, some say is because of its size of it: large, like Texas, if you are not familiar with how big Texas is.

What is a sheet cake?

A sheet cake is a cake made in a large, sheet cake pan or jelly roll pan. The result is a moist, thin layer of cake. I also believe a sheet cake has to be one easy to make, unpretentious, but nevertheless a crowd-pleaser. Something you can quickly put together for a family gathering, party, or potluck.

I have a 15×12 inches (40×32 cm) All-Clad stainless steel sheet pan (I heard they stopped making them), which works perfectly for this cake. I did not need to line it with parchment paper, but you can do that if you are nervous about the cake sticking to the pan. You just need to oil it very well with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.

It’s hard to find a stainless steel sheet pan, so if you are like me and don’t want to use a non-stick or aluminum pan, you can use parchment paper.

This lectin-free and gluten-free Texas sheet cake is indeed one super easy to make.

How to make a sugar-free Texas sheet cake?

  • First, make the buttermilk replacement. Mix the coconut cream or milk with the apple cider vinegar. Let them sit for 15 minutes, while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and oil a sheet pan (shallow baking tray) with olive or avocado oil or line it with parchment paper.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. You can sift the entire mix if you don’t want any clumps. The chestnut flour and cacao are the most likely to form clumps.
  • Whisk all the wet ingredients in another bowl, including the coconut cream mix, until well combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk. You will have a runny, creamy batter, similar to a waffle batter.
  • Pour the batter into the pan sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes. The cake will not be soft to touch and the smell of baked cake will guide you. Because of the color, it’s hard to see if it burns, so be careful.
  • Take the sheet pan out and allow it to cool.
  • While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Add the chocolate to a saucepan and melt with the sweetener and cacao powder, over low heat, stirring continuously.
  • Start adding the coconut milk, bit by bit, and continue mixing until you get a soft and creamy consistency.
  • Spread the frosting on top of the cake. I like to portion it before adding the pecans on top, it’s easier this way. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans.

Here is a video I made for my Instagram account. I don’t own the rights to this beautiful song but usually, the soundtrack is removed automatically if it’s not allowed to be shared.

Gluten-Free Texas Sheet Cake (Sugar-Free)

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By Claudia Curici Serves: 12
Prep Time: 45 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Who doesn't love a thin layer of moist, chocolate cake, covered in chocolate frosting and sprinkled with roasted pecans? This Texas sheet cake delivers on this promise and more; it's an easy-to-make, sugar-free, gluten-free, lectin-free, and dairy-free cake.

Ingredients

  • WET INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 pasture-raised eggs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 tablespoons of approved sweetener (inulin power, erythritol, monk fruit)
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup chestnut flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup tigernut flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
  • 12 oz/340g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener or 8 drops liquid stevia
  • 4 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 cup roasted pecans, roughly chopped, to add on top of the frosting

Instructions

1

First, make the buttermilk replacement. Mix the coconut cream or milk with the apple cider vinegar. Let them sit for 15 minutes, while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.

2

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and oil a sheet pan (shallow baking tray) with olive or avocado oil or line it with parchment paper.

3

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. You can sift the entire mix if you don’t want any clumps. The chestnut flour and cacao are the most likely to form clumps.

4

Whisk all the wet ingredients in another bowl, including the coconut cream mix, until well combined.

5

Add the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk. You will have a runny, creamy batter, similar to a waffle batter.

6

Pour the batter into the pan sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes. The cake will not be soft to touch and the smell of baked cake will guide you. Because of the color, it's hard to see if it burns, so be careful.

7

Take the sheet pan out and allow it to cool.

8

While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Add the chocolate to a saucepan and melt with the sweetener and cacao powder, over low heat, stirring continuously.

9

Start adding the coconut milk, bit by bit, and continue mixing until you get a soft and creamy consistency.

10

Spread the frosting on top of the cake. I like to portion it before adding the pecans on top, it's easier this way. Sprinkle with the roasted pecans.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    karen makowski
    April 11, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    omg just made this didnt’ have the chesnut flour so i used coconut instead. very easy ill let you know how it goes over with the family

    • Reply
      Claudia
      April 13, 2022 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Karen, I’m actually surprised it worked with coconut flour. Thanks for letting me know. xx

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