Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Another Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake - made January 29, 2014 from A Hint of Honey
(Note: apologies in advance for the somewhat blurry pictures. I was testing out a new camera and still going up a learning curve on how to use it properly.)

I might be a tiny bit obsessed, fanatic, super in love with into Texas Sheet Cake since I just made another one so soon after I had already made one for National Chocolate Cake Day. I had planned on making one anyway since I needed it for care packages and for one of my nieces. Typically I do most of my baking on the weekends when I have more time but I was gone last weekend with no time to bake and I needed it for Thursday when I was going up to Berkeley for a recruiting fair for my company and doing a treat bag handoff to my niece. Texas Sheet Cake is perfect when you need a good amount of cake to give away and you don't have much time. Not to mention, I just like eating it.
I had planned to make it Wednesday night when I got home from work but I woke up irritatingly early on Wednesday morning, more than an hour before my alarm clock was due to wake me up. Usually I try to convince myself to go back to sleep and half the time I can fool myself back into a light doze. But this was the other half of the time when, once I'm awake, my brain decided to do backflips, cartwheels and twirls so the more I tried to go back to sleep, the more awake I became. I typically wake up early anyway since I like to workout before work but this was really early, more than an hour ahead of my schedule for preferred consciousness. So I decided if I was going to be awake, I might as well be baking.
Normally when I do bake before work, I mostly make cookie doughs and don't actually bake anything but just get the cookie dough made, formed and into the freezer ready for baking when I have time. But the best kind of cake to make in under an hour is Texas Sheet Cake so I went hunting on pinterest for another version to try out. The typical Texas sheet cake has the same ingredients, mixed the same way, differentiated mainly by the proportion of ingredients to each other. Some have sour cream, some have buttermilk and some have both. I didn't have any sour cream on hand, just milk and dried buttermilk powder so I culled out an appropriate recipe and got started. True to form, I was able to get this cake mixed, baked, and frosted in less than an hour, including cleanup of my kitchen. Even did my workout and got to work by 8 am as usual. The only difference being the cake was already made and ready to be packaged up by the time I got home. Bonus that my kitchen was already clean and I had no dishes to wash that night.

I would like to say double bonus that this was another great cake. But I can't. It was good but it wasn't as good as the other versions of Texas Fudge Cake I've made. The texture wasn't dry but it wasn't as moist so I don't know if I baked it a trifle too long or if that was just how it's supposed to turn out. The frosting wasn't as smooth either as the other versions. It's odd because when I compare this version to the last version I made, the recipes are very similar but just vary slightly in proportions yet I definitely prefer the last version.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan or sheet pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and chili powder (optional) and stir together with a whisk. 
  3. In a small saucepan, combine water, butter, and cocoa and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Pour into flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. 
  4. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes (it will bake even faster if you are using a sheet pan) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.
  5. To make the frosting, combine the butter, milk, and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Spread over warm cake. Cool completely.

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