Howdy, Saturday: Texas Sheet Cake

March 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

Today is my friend’s birthday, and being a fellow native Texan, nothing says happy birthday like a Texas Sheet Cake.  If you’ve never had this, you’re in for a treat.  This was a staple in our family growing up.  I remember my aunts making it quite often, and my grandmother, too.  If there was a family event, this was the go-to dessert since it takes only an hour, uses ingredients almost everyone has in the pantry already, and it’s baked and served right out of a jelly roll pan.

2 sticks butter

4 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Special Dark)

1 cup boiling water

2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup buttermilk (or make your own with the ole milk + vinegar trick)

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

(See below for frosting ingredients.)

In a sauce pan over low heat, melt two sticks of butter.  When they’re almost completely melted, add 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder and stir.  When combined, add your boiling/hot water.  Let mixture bubble together for a few seconds and then set aside.

In a large bowl, combine your sugar, flour, and salt.  Once combined, add in the chocolate mixture from the sauce pan.  Get ready to work your spatula.  You could use an electric mixer, but there’s really no need with this recipe.

In a measuring cup, combine the 1/2 cup of buttermilk with 2 eggs, 1 tsp. of baking soda, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  Whisk together and then pour into batter, combining all the ingredients with a spatula.

Once the batter is thoroughly combined, pour it into a greased pan.  The pan I used was a deep cookie sheet, or jelly roll pan by Wilton.  You can find industrial baking sheets to use, but most cookie sheets will work as long as they are deep enough.  You only want your batter to fill it up about half way.

While your cake is baking at 350 for about 25 minutes, you will start your frosting.  This is basically like starting the recipe over again.

1 3/4 sticks butter

4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

6 tablespoons of milk

1/2 a bag of powdered sugar (about 1 pound)

chopped pecans (I used about 2/3 cup)

Melt your butter in the sauce pan and add the cocoa powder.  When this is starting to simmer, add in the milk, and let bubble a few seconds before removing from heat.  Add in the powdered sugar–I did this in two parts so that you can get it good and combined and decide if you need to add more or less.  Once combined, add in pecans.

Never again will you see this direction here, but do not let the cake cool–pour the icing onto the cake when it comes out of the oven so that it’s warm and will allow the icing to spread in a thin layer over the top.  Try to resist licking your fingers.

Cool it, wrap it up, and be sure you have some Blue Bell on hand.  Sing happy birthday and cut into the cake!

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