Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet CakeYou Say It’s Your Birthday…
Once again, it’s birthday week. My boys, my daughter and I all have birthdays. Of course we also have standards testing, baseball, choir, and student council campaigns. At some point I will have to scale the side of Mount Laundry, too. On top of all that, I am still required to come to work…if I expect a paycheck. I know. Crazy, right? So any birthday celebrations are most likely going to be quick and to the point.

My kids are pretty easy to please. As long as there is a donut cake in the morning, they’re good. Just in case you are wondering, a donut cake is a dozen (or so) donuts artfully arranged on a plate with candles sticking out of them. It’s a tradition. We have a donut sugar bomb breakfast while the kids open their gifts. Breakfast of champions.

I am a little more fickle. I don’t really have a favorite celebratory birthday dessert. I like birthday cake, but I also like birthday pie, and birthday pudding. Birthday crisp is pretty good…and don’t forget birthday waffles or pancakes!

This year, I want one of these beauties for a few reasons. First, making a Texas Sheet Cake is easy. Second, I have been harboring an insane craving. Third? Pecans, baby…

Now seems like as good a time as any to make one, though it’s pretty easy to come up with an excuse. You just need to make sure you have others to help you eat it—because a Texas Sheet Cake feeds a crowd.

Texas Sheet Cake
Yields on 18“ x 13” cake

For the cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream at room temperature
2 eggs, room temp
2 egg yolks, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cups water
1/2 cup cocoa
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the frosting
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1-3/4 stick Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

For the cake
Preheat the oven to 350º.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Mix sour cream, eggs, yolks, and vanilla.

In a saucepan, combine the butter with the semisweet chocolate, oil, water, and cocoa. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Pour the sauce into a large mixing bowl.

Whisk dry ingredients into hot chocolate mixture, being careful not to over mix. Next, whisk in the egg mixture until no lumps remain.

Pour batter into a greased 18 “ x 13” baking sheet, and bake for 18-20 till tester comes out clean. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.

For the icing
While the cake is baking, make the icing.

Chop the pecans finely.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off the heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir until smooth. Add the pecans, and pour over the warm cake.

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