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Texas Cowboy Cake

Texas Cowboy Cake

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My family’s history in Texas goes back to the 1850’s, 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 had received this recipe from. 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!

Cook time: 2 Hr
Prep time: 30 Min
Serves: 8-12 per loaf


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


1. Combine first eight ingredients in a saucepan and bring to low boil while stirring continually. Reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove to cool.

2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. Once cooled to lukewarm, slowly stir the liquid spice/fruit mixture into the dry ingredients. Fold in chopped pecans. Pour into two large well-greased loaf pans.

4. Arrange pecan halves in a decorative pattern on the top of the loaves.

5. Bake 1 hour at 300 degrees.

6. 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.)

7. Continue baking one hour, or until a toothpick come out of the cakes cleanly. Cool.

8. For an adult dessert, a few tablespoons of bourbon or rum can be poured on each slice prior to serving.

Last Step: Don’t forget to share!

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