Thanks to pinterest, the most viewed recipe on my blog by a wide margin is Texas Fudge Cake. It must've struck some popular pinners and spread accordingly from there (ah, the power of social media). And it IS a pretty good recipe. But get your pinning fingers ready because if that was a good chocolate cake recipe, this is an excellent vanilla cake recipe. In fact, I'll even go so far as to say it's the best vanilla cake I've made so far. (Let's mull on that for a moment, considering how many cakes I've made over the baking years.) I loved everything about it: taste, texture and ease of preparation. I don't know where either name came from but if there's any truth in the names' origins, then they really know how to make cake in Texas.
If you don't like chocolate, you can make a vanilla frosting for it or leave it unfrosted as it's good enough to stand on its own without frosting. It might be a simple cake but that makes it even better because it doesn't rely on fancy add-ins to be a delicious cake. Sometimes simple is best.
ETA: Forgot a couple of baking notes. The frosting recipe makes a lot for a 9 x 13 pan as the original recipe called for baking in a jelly roll pan which has a larger surface area for the frosting to cover. But I don't like my cakes to be too thin so I baked this in a smaller pan. I only used half the frosting for this recipe as I don't like a lot of frosting so you'll notice in the picture that it's a thinner frosting layer. I reserved the remaining frosting for a different recipe (to go up in a few days). So if you don't like a lot of frosting either, you might just want to make a half recipe.
1 cup milk
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large saucepan, bring butter and milk just to a boil. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Combine flour, sugar and eggs. Temper in the milk mixture, adding slowly and whisking smooth. Add sour cream, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste is using.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- For frosting, 10 minutes before the cake is done, in a large saucepan over medium heat,whisk the sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in the milk, butter and corn syrup. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Add vanilla extract and blend until smooth; spread over warm cake. Cool completely.