Filed Under: cake | Dessert | Fall

Butter Pecan Sheet Cake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
October 26th, 2020
5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

Super quick and easy, this spongey sheet cake is studded with butter pecans and topped with a luscious brown sugar glaze. No mixer required!

Yield: 20 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 27 minutes

Thank you Tillamook for sponsoring this post.

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Tons of warm brown sugar and vanilla flavor that’s perfectly complemented by the buttery pecans.
Texture: The cake is ultra moist, tender, and spongy while the glaze is thick and lucious. The crunchy pecans studded throughout are the perfect balance!
Ease: Super simple and easy recipe. No stand mixer required and takes under an hour from start to finish.
Pros: Perfect recipe for fall! Easy to transport to family.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

You know those days when you’re really craving cake but have no time or energy to construct an entire layer cake?

This recipe is perfect for those days.

No mixer. No waiting for butter to come to room temperature. No waiting for cake layers to cool. No assembly. And no decorating!

One of the things I adore most about this recipe is the cake to icing ratio. Sheet cakes are traditionally on the thin side so you get a generous amount of icing in each bite!

brown sugar glaze being poured on top of homemade butter pecan sheet cake

This cake is made extra rich and delicious thanks to the Tillamook Extra Creamy Unsalted Butter

You may know Tillamook from their amazing cheese and ice cream products and I’m pleased to report their butter is just as amazing. It’s made with just two simple ingredients, but It’s extra creamy extra creamy and really adds something special to any recipe.

Check out where to score Tillamook butter in a store near you.

slice of butter pecan sheet cake on a plate with Tillamook butter in the background

(By the way — if you’re craving cheese check out my Easy Cheddar Biscuit recipe made with Tillamook!)

This recipe is ridiculously quick and easy, but I’ve included some tips and answers to common sheet cake questions below.

butter pecan sheet cake cut into squares with brown sugar frosting and chopped pecans on top

Butter Pecan Sheet Cake Recipe Tips

How is Texas-style sheet cake made?

This is basically a super easy method of making sheet cake that will feel totally wrong if you’ve never done it before. You melt the butter with water on the stovetop, then add the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients. It’s the complete opposite of baking a traditional layer cake but it all comes together into an ultra moist, spongey, and soft cake! What kind of pan should I use for sheet cake?

What’s the best baking pan for sheet cake?

This recipe was developed for a 10 by 15-inch jelly roll baking pan. I’d highly recommend a light colored pan as opposed to one with a dark nonstick coating. That will dry out the edges more quickly. If you use a larger pan your cake will be very thin and you’ll need to decrease the baking time. If you use a smaller pan, such as 9 by 13-inches, you’ll need to increase the baking time to about 30 minutes.

How to store sheet cake

The cake can be baked, cooled, covered and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

slab of butter pecan sheet cake

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

5 from 1 vote

How to make
Butter Pecan Sheet Cake

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes
Super quick and easy, this spongey sheet cake is studded with butter pecans and topped with a luscious brown sugar glaze. No mixer required!


For the butter pecans:

  • 3 tablespoons (43 grams) Tillamook Extra Creamy Unsalted Butter, diced
  • 2 cups (227 grams) pecan halves, finely chopped

For the cake:

  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) Tillamook Extra Creamy Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 stick (113 grams) Tillamook Extra Creamy Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt


Make the butter pecans:

  1. In a large stainless skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the pecans and cook until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Spread on a baking sheet to cool.

Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter and water and heat until the butter melts. Bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, remove from heat and add in the flour mixture. Let cool slightly before adding in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Gently stir in three quarters of the butter pecans.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Tap the pan against the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool slightly on a cooling rack while you make the glaze.
  5. Make ahead: The cake can be made a day ahead of time. Store covered at room temperature.

Make the glaze:

  1. Combine the butter and cream in a large heat-proof bowl. Microwave until the butter is melted. You can also do this using a small saucepan on the stove.
  2. Whisk in the brown sugar and powdered sugar until combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour evenly over the warm cake. Sprinkle immediately with remaining butter pecans.
  3. Let set for about 15 minute before slicing and serving. Cake can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter pecan, butter pecan sheet cake, cake, sheet cake

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Linda — October 27, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Since I eat gluten free, I substituted gluten free flour and added 1/4 tsp of xantham gum. The cake was perfect! This is definitely a keeper! I am planning on freezing some of it, as there are only 3 of us at my home.

    • #
      Tessa — November 5, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      Yay! So happy you tried this recipe out!

  2. #
    Dawn Seeman — October 27, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    I’m not familiar with a 10 x 15 sheet pan. Do you mean a half size sheet pan? 12 x 18″?

    • #
      Tessa — November 5, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      You can also use a 9 by 13-inches pan, but you’ll need to increase the baking time to about 30 minutes.

  3. #
    Andrea — October 27, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Sounds like a good recipe. Just wondering why you used water with the melted butter.

  4. #
    Carol — October 28, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    The butter pecan sheet cake calls for baking powder and baking soda is that correct

    • #
      Tessa — November 5, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      Yes it is correct!

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