Monday, January 26, 2015

Samoa Sheet Cake

Samoa Sheet Cake - made January 25, 2015 from Chef in Training
As I've celebrated every year, January 27 (tomorrow) is National Chocolate Cake Day. We're also getting into Girl Scout cookie selling season if my Facebook feed is anything to go by with parents of said Girl Scouts pimping offering their kids' cookies for sale. With this recipe from Chef in Training, I'm going to honor this sacred day and its Girl Scout cookie namesake as well as maximize your empty calories to the fullest extent.

I'm just going to say it: skip the cookie pushers. Salve your conscience by donating $20 directly to the local Girl Scout troop and/or buy the boxes of cookies and ship them to our troops. I've done both. So I can feel free to break out this Samoa Sheet Cake. Move over Girl Scout Samoa Cookie, there's a new cake in town and it kicks your butt. Best rendition of Samoas ever.

If all the versions I've made of Texas Sheet Cake are any indication, we all know of my fondness for easy-to-make chocolate fudge cakes. This is that and so much more. As always, I never actually bake the cake in a sheet pan so I've modified the directions slightly. Instead, I baked it in a 9 x 13 pan because that gives the right amount of cake thickness to me. I kept the frosting amount the same this time and that turned out okay too. Do not skip the step about toasting the coconut. It gives the cake a nice crunch and provides a great contrast with the gritty sweetness of the frosting. The chocolate and caramel drizzled on top just push this cake over the edge and I made the leap right along with it. As long as I have this cake, I'll never eat a Samoa cookie again.

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter
1 cup water
4 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup shortening
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup butter
6 tablespoons milk
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅛ cup caramel sauce

Additional Toppings
2½ cups toasted coconut
7 to 8 ounces caramel
⅛ cup whole milk
¾ cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening or oil
  1. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spread shredded sweetened coconut evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, checking and stirring regularly every 2-3 minutes to toast coconut evenly and keep from burning. When at least 2/3 of the coconut is light golden brown, remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, measure flour and sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a medium sauce pan, combine butter, water, cocoa and shortening. Bring to a boil. After mixture reaches a boil, add it to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Add buttermilk, then baking soda, then eggs, then vanilla in that order, mixing in-between each addition.
  6. Pour into 9 x 13 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  1. In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine butter and milk and bring to a boil. Stir in caramel sauce and then add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth.
  2. After cake has baked, remove from oven and poke holes in hot cake with a fork. Pour frosting evenly over top. Immediately sprinkle top of warm frosting with toasted coconut.
  3. In microwavable bowl, add caramel and milk and cook on high in 30 second increments, string in between each increment. Continue to cook and stir until caramel is smooth. Drizzle over coconut.
  4. In another microwavable bowl, add chocolate chips and shortening (or oil). Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment until the chocolate in melted. Drizzle over caramel.
  5. Let caramel and chocolate drizzle set before cutting cake into squares.

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