Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

texas cowboy cake

(24 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Cindy Moblo
Kingwood, TX

My family's history in Texas goes back to the 1850s, and this recipe has been a family holiday favorite for generations. It primarily contains only ingredients a ranch would have readily available. It's the perfect "non-fruitcake lovers" fruitcake! *Current update: I asked my Aunt Mary (my dad's cousin) where my grandmother received this recipe. It came to her from her cousin, Jennie Morrow Decker. Jennie was the oldest surviving employee of Exxon Corporation and the youngest grandchild of General Sam Houston!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Turn EVERY day into a holiday with this wonderful Texas cowboy cake... a true celebration of family and flavor! Baked in a loaf pan, this is more of a delicious bread than a cake. Filled with warm spices, it's chewy, nutty, and moist. There are bits of dates and raisins for a touch of sweetness. Chopped pecans inside and whole pecans on top add a bit of crunch. So good, you may find yourself sneaking a piece every morning.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(24 ratings)
yield 8 -12 per loaf
prep time 30 Min
cook time 2 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For texas cowboy cake

  • 3 c
    granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp
  • 3/4 tsp
    cloves, ground
  • 2 c
  • 1 c
    strong brewed coffee
  • 1 box
    raisins (15 oz.)
  • 1 box
    dates, chopped (8 oz.)
  • 3/4 c
  • 4 1/2 c
    all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp
    baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp
  • 3/4 c
    chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c
    light corn syrup
  • 1 c
    pecans, halved
  • 2 Tbsp
    bourbon or rum (optional)

How To Make texas cowboy cake

Test Kitchen Tips
If using an oversized loaf pan, you can make 2 loaves using 4 1/2 cups of batter in each. If using regular loaf pans, this recipe will make 3 loaves using 3 cups of batter in each pan.
  • Sugar, cinnamon, cloves, water, coffee, raisins, dates, and butter in a saucepan.
    Combine the first eight ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil while stirring continually.
  • Mixture was brought to a boil and cooling.
    Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove to cool.
  • Flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt sifted together.
    Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Slowly adding wet mixture to dry ingredients.
    Once cooled to lukewarm, slowly stir the liquid spice/fruit mixture into the dry ingredients.
  • Folding in chopped pecans.
    Fold in chopped pecans.
  • Batter poured into loaf pans with whole pecans on top.
    Pour into two large well-greased loaf pans. Arrange pecan halves in a decorative pattern on the top of the loaves.
  • Baking the Texas cowboy cake.
    Bake 1 hour at 300 degrees.
  • Brushing corn syrup over the cake.
    With a brush, gently apply a coat of corn syrup over the cakes. (A few tablespoons of bourbon or rum may be added to the corn syrup.)
  • Baked cakes cooling.
    Continue baking for one hour, or until a toothpick come out of the cakes cleanly. Cool. For an adult dessert, a few tablespoons of bourbon or rum can be poured on each slice prior to serving.