“What makes it Tex Mex?” asked a friend of mine when I instagrammed a picture of my Tex Mex Sheet Cake with Sugar Spiced Pecans . I responded back that it was actually a variant of a Texas Sheet Cake , but my friend still seemed perplexed as to what that was, so my description didn’t help. Apparently Texas Sheet Cake isn’t as popular out here in San Francisco as it is in the Midwest (and, I can only presume, in Texas as well). A potluck favorite in the landlocked states that I grew up in, it’s a cross between a chocolate cake and brownie, something made in a large baking sheet pan and that can serve a large number of people. Easy to make, easy to serve, I gave it a little twist, adding Mexican Chocolate spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch (just a touch) of cayenne pepper for kick. I had heard of Texas Sheet Cake from my friend Deb in St. Louis years ago but I had never actually made it (despite having cut out recipes for it for the past 20 years). So I was thrilled to have found a great recipe for it in The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook , a fabulous cookbook that lists every recipe from all five seasons of the show. The cake seemed like it would go over well at the 18 Reason ’s DIY Dessert Ice Cream Social I was co-hosting. I wasn’t wrong.