Brown Butter Sheet Cake

This recipe is a sim­ple & yum­my twist on one of my all-time favorite cake recipes :: White Texas Sheet Cake. This cake recipe has it all — it’s easy, quick and yields such a moist, fla­vor-packed cake. And — as you can see by doing a key­word search on my blog using the word “cake”, I have twist­ed and con­trived the orig­i­nal recipe into MANY vari­a­tions. Check them out HERE.

For this recipe, I am start­ing off by brown­ing but­ter.

Over medi­um-high flame, melt 3 sticks of but­ter. Once the but­ter achieves that nut­ty brown col­or add 1½ cups of water and con­tin­ue cook­ing until the butter/water mix­ture boils. If you’ll look close­ly at the above pho­to, you see tiny flecks of brown — those are the browned milk solids and that’s where the fla­vor for this Brown But­ter Sheet Cake comes from.

BUT — once that but­ter browns, it is super easy to burn. So keep a close watch.

Next, add sour cream and sug­ar, whisk­ing until smooth.

Then com­bine dry ingre­di­ents — flour, salt & bak­ing soda. Whisk eggs and alter­na­tive­ly add flour & eggs in thirds, whisk­ing vig­or­ous­ly until both are incor­po­rat­ed into the cake bat­ter.

Pour the bat­ter into a parch­ment-lined 12″ x 17″ cake pan and bake 22–24 min­utes at 375°.

While the cake is bak­ing, pre­pare the brown but­ter stove­top but­ter­cream by brown­ing 1½ sticks of but­ter in a small pot over medi­um-high flame. Melt ½ stick of but­ter with ¾ cup 2% milk, bring to a low boil and then remove from the flame. Add a pinch of salt, 2 t vanil­la 6 c pow­dered sug­ar and browned but­ter. When adding browned but­ter, be sure to scrape all of the lit­tle brown bits out of the pan. That’s what gives the but­ter­cream those gor­geous brown flecks!

Whisk every­thing togeth­er until smooth.

Add addi­tion­al pow­dered sug­ar or milk (by table­spoons) to reach desired con­sis­ten­cy.

Now, back to the cake. You’ll know the cake is done by the famous “tooth­pick” test. But I real­ly hate pok­ing lit­tle holes in the top of my beau­ti­ful cake. So I do a “jig­gle test”. When cook­ing time nears com­ple­tion, open the oven and (using a pothold­er-cov­ered-hand) give the cake pan a lit­tle jig­gle. If the cen­ter of the cake jig­gles back, add a few min­utes. If the cen­ter is sta­tion­ary — cook­ing time is com­plete. It’s impor­tant to keep a close eye on the cake dur­ing the last few min­utes of bak­ing. You def­i­nite­ly don’t want a raw cake — or a dry cake. And, trust me — the more you prac­tice, the bet­ter you’ll get!

When bak­ing is done, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 5–10 min­utes.

Last, pour the warm but­ter­cream over the warm cake. Allow the cake to con­tin­ue cool­ing for 30 min­utes to 1 hour before serv­ing. Unless you sim­ply can­not wait one more sec­ond and in that case — just dig in.

Look close­ly. See those tiny flecks of browned but­ter in the but­ter­cream?! Oh my word. It’s home on a plate. All those dis­tant hap­py mem­o­ries, sweet famil­iar smells and tastes that linger like a whis­per on your taste­buds — all those food rec­ol­lec­tions wrapped into one per­fect bite. This Brown But­ter Sheet Cake recipe isn’t a recre­ation of a child­hood recipe that mom­ma or grand­ma made — but wow, it sure does remind me of those sweet and spe­cial things they did make. I hope you first bite reminds you of all the “sen­ti­men­tal bests” of your food rec­ol­lec­tions!


Brown But­ter Sheet Cake
Serves 20
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
24 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
24 min
578 calo­ries
84 g
94 g
26 g
4 g
16 g
161 g
557 g
69 g
1 g
8 g
Nutri­tion Facts
Serv­ing Size
Amount Per Serv­ing
Calo­ries 578
Calo­ries from Fat 226
% Dai­ly Val­ue *
Total Fat 26g
Sat­u­rat­ed Fat 16g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyun­sat­u­rat­ed Fat 1g
Monoun­sat­u­rat­ed Fat 7g
Cho­les­terol 94mg
Sodi­um 557mg
Total Car­bo­hy­drates 84g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sug­ars 69g
Pro­tein 4g
Vit­a­min A
Vit­a­min C
* Per­cent Dai­ly Val­ues are based on a 2,000 calo­rie diet. Your Dai­ly Val­ues may be high­er or low­er depend­ing on your calo­rie needs.
  1. 3 sticks salt­ed but­ter
  2. 1½ c water
  3. 3 c pure cane sug­ar
  4. ¾ c sour cream
  5. 2 t vanil­la
  6. 3 c flour
  7. 1½ t kosher salt
  8. 1½ t bak­ing soda
  9. 3 eggs
Stove­top But­ter­cream
  1. 2 sticks salt­ed but­ter, sep­a­rat­ed
  2. ¾ c 2% milk*
  3. 6½ c pow­dered sug­ar*
  4. ½ t kosher salt
  5. 1½ t vanil­la
  1. Pre­heat oven to 375°. Pre­pare a 12″ x 17″ cake pan by but­ter­ing and lin­ing with parch­ment paper.
  2. In a medi­um saucepan over medi­um-high flame, brown the but­ter. Keep a close eye to pre­vent burn­ing — you are want­i­ng a medi­um brown col­or.
  3. Once the but­ter is browned, add water and bring to a low boil. Remove from flame and add sug­ar and sour cream. Stir to incor­po­rate.
  4. In a medi­um mix­ing bowl, com­bine dry ingre­di­ents: flour, salt & bak­ing soda. In a small mix­ing bowl, whisk eggs.
  5. Add eggs and flour mix­ture in thirds alter­na­tive­ly while whisk­ing vig­or­ous­ly until all are added and mix­ture is smooth.
  6. Pour cake bat­ter into pre­pared pan and place on the mid­dle rack of the pre­heat­ed oven. Bake until the cen­ter is set, 22–24 min­utes.
  7. While cake is bak­ing, brown 1½ sticks of but­ter in the same man­ner as pre­vi­ous­ly described. In a medi­um saucepan, com­bine milk and remain­ing ½ stick of but­ter. Bring to a low boil and remove from flame. Add browned but­ter, pow­dered sug­ar, salt & vanil­la to the milk/butter mix­ture. Stir and add addi­tion­al milk and/or pow­dered sug­ar if nec­es­sary to obtain desired but­ter­cream con­sis­ten­cy. Whisk vig­or­ous­ly to remove any lumps.
  8. Once the cen­ter of the cake is set and bak­ing is com­plete, remove cake from the oven. Allow to cool 5–10 min­utes before pour­ing the warm but­ter­cream over the warm cake.
  9. Allow cake to cool for 30 min­utes to 1 hour before serv­ing.
  10. Serves 20
  1. *may need to add more of one or the oth­er in order to reach desired con­sis­ten­cy.
Adapt­ed from White Texas Sheet Cake
Food for a Year:

In true show & tell form: "I am open for questions & comments"

%d bloggers like this: