Monday, September 3, 2012

Texas Sheet Cake

In my book, fall starts September first.  And seeing as the grocery store has had the Halloween candy out since mid-August...I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way.  So happy fall everyone!  I am oh so pumped.

Jim and I just got back from a weekend of food, football, and friends in North Carolina.  There was a good deal of pool lounging that happened as well.  Anyway, we discussed a few food-related topics (imagine that...) and Jim went on a small diatribe about his feelings on the cupcake.  

He is not a fan.

The idea sounds so great...portable, single-serving, hand held personal cakes!  What's not to like, right?  Here's what he doesn't like.  Starting from the outside-in.  He's very methodical with this.  First, the liner.  You pull it off, you've got crumbs.  Not liking it.  Secondly, the frosting.  It's stacked so high that it gets all over your face and/or on/in your nose.  Hilarious but problematic.  Third, and this is one I can identify with.  Cupcakes are kind of all corner-piece.  You really only have one "middle piece" bite going on.  Whereas with a (gigantic sheet of) cake, you have middle pieces galore, where ever bite is soft and delectable.

Well Jim has been requesting this cake for quite some time.  You may recall I made Texas Sheet Cupcakes awhile ago...this is basically the same recipe just baked in a sheet pan.  And while Jim enjoyed the cupcakes for their spot-on Texas Sheet Flavor...he still disapproves of the form in which they were presented.  So I did it.

I finally made his cake.

Texas Sheet Cake
(adapted from blue eyed bakers)


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 heaping Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla


1 3/4 (14 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
4 heaping Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the cake: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt and set aside.  Melt butter in the microwave in a separate bowl, and add cocoa powder and boiling water, stirring to combine.

Add butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.  Stir into the flour mixture until incorporated.

Grease and flour a sheet cake pan.  Pour batter into the pan, making sure the batter spreads to the corners in an even layer.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  

Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Frost when cooled.  

For the frosting: Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add cocoa and stir to combine.  Add buttermilk and vanilla, whisking until smooth.  Finally add powdered sugar, whisking again until smooth.  Frost cake generously, sprinkling pecans on top.  Serve directly out of the pan, cover with plastic wrap and store leftovers in the fridge.  

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