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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Texas Sheet Cake

This classic is sometimes called Chocolate Buttermilk Cake or Chocolate Cinnamon Cake, but I like "Texas Sheet Cake" because to me it gives the expectation of being BIGGER and BETTER than regular cakes. And sure enough, it is. Rich, slightly dense, warm from the cinnamon and super sweet from the icing, this is a crowd-pleaser. And it feeds one.

This won't fit in your 9x13 pan. You need a half-sheet pan ideally (about 12x16) but many of us don't have one. A 10x15 lasagna pan will work well, or I use my 11x17 jelly roll pan (which is my cookie sheet on other days.) Once I doubled the recipe and three 9x13's did the job well. Since pan sizes will not always be exact, just watch the clock as it cooks so you can learn how long it takes in your pan - somewhere between 15 to 20 minutes.
Every New Year's, my dad makes a huge pot of chili. I mean the kind of huge I have to stand on my tiptoes to see into when it's on the stove. The kind of huge that ten people can have several servings throughout the afternoon and it's still almost full to the top. TEXAS HUGE. So this New Year's, when we went over to play games, hang out, watch TV and eat chili, I brought this Texas Sheet Cake. What could be more fitting?

Texas Sheet Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk soured with a few teaspoons vinegar)
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Icing
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 T (1/3 cup plus 1 T) milk
1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Chopped pecans, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400. Grease and flour your pan (see pan discussion above.)

2. Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl of an electric mixer. In a saucepan, combine butter, cocoa and water. Bring to a boil and pour over the dry ingredients. Beat well.

3. Add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla, mixing until combined. Pour into greased and floured pan. Bake for about 16 to 20 minutes (closer to 16 for more shallow pan like 11x17; closer to 20 for deeper pan like 10x15.) Allow to cool slightly on wire rack (10 to 20 minutes) while making the icing.

4. To make the icing, in the same saucepan, melt butter, cocoa and milk. Bring to a boil. Add a box of powdered sugar and vanilla; beat well for several minutes until smooth. Pour and spread over warm cake and sprinkle with nuts if you like.

1 comment:

Kelsey Carreon said...

My ex-MIL used to make this and I lost the recipe. It is such a good cake.

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