We moved to Texas in August 2005, and until this August I just didn’t understand Texas Sheet Cake. To me it was simply chocolate cake with frosting. No big deal. It showed up at parties sometimes, and I saw it at the grocery store, but nothing drew me to it. I furrowed my brow in confusion every time a friend talked about how wonderful it was. It’s just cake.
But then, I made it for myself. Y’all. There are certain things in life that can only be fully comprehended once you experience them for yourself, and I now believe that Texas Sheet Cake is one of those things.
Maybe it’s because I went through the process myself, or maybe it’s because I was able to taste that first piece, still warm from the oven, with ever-so-slightly gooey frosting dripping down the side. This cake is both fluffy and moist, not at all like the mushy ones I’ve had before. This is still cake-cake, and perhaps it’s because I used a 9×13-inch cake pan rather than the standard sheet-cake pan, but I think it’s better this way.
Don’t confuse this with a healthy cake, of course — it’s still a special-occasion cake, something you will want to share with others lest you be tempted to eat a square here and a square there, each one successively larger. Serve it up with a tall glass of cold milk (a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t be remiss here) to cut through the chocolate flavor.
Be sure to pour the icing on while everything is still warm, or it will be harder to spread and you’ll miss out on that softened layer of cake that is created when the icing coats it.
And, for all you pecan haters, trust me when I say you can’t skip them in this cake. I mean, you could, but then it wouldn’t really be Texas Sheet Cake, and then what’s the point?
Texas Sheet Cake
For the cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
For the frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine butter, water, and cocoa powder. Heat just to a boil, whisking to melt butter and combine ingredients.
- Remove from heat and whisk in flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in yogurt, baking soda, and eggs until well-blended and no streaks remain.
- Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes.
- To make the frosting, in a medium saucepan combine butter, milk, and cocoa powder and heat to boiling.
- Remove from heat and quickly whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla, and pecans. Pour over cake while still warm.
For sheet pan style, use a 15x10x1-inch baking sheet and bake for 22 minutes.
Adapted from Family Circle
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