Here's another food holiday I can get behind and one I make an effort to acknowledge each year – Jan. 27 is National Chocolate Cake Day! Is that the best day ever or what? Especially since it gave me the perfect excuse to try out this Texas Sheet Cake from The Southern Lady Cooks.
Texas Sheet Cake or Texas Fudge Cake is my favorite version of chocolate cake. It's easy to make, the taste and texture are sublime, the frosting is also easy to make and adds just the right touch of sweetness to the cake, says the person who normally doesn't like frosting. I never make it in an actual sheet pan because I don't want it too thin and instead always use my 9- x 13-inch pan to get the preferred thickness. The only cautionary note is if you do make it in the smaller pan, don't pour all of the frosting over it since the frosting amount is designed to cover a larger surface area. Instead, I spread only enough to make a thin layer and save the rest for another use.
I love this version of Texas Sheet Cake as much as the other versions I've tried. The texture is soft and moist and the chocolate flavor is superb. And as always, I'm enamored with how easy this is to make. For the frosting, because it's fairly liquid and you don't want to beat it too much, strain it once you've incorporated all of the powdered sugar – this will get rid of any lumps and give you a smooth-textured frosting. Use it immediately and it'll set as the cake itself cools.
Texas Sheet Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15- x 10-inch jelly roll pan or a 9- x 13-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Mix well with a wire whisk.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, vanilla extract, buttermilk and baking soda. Mix well with wire whisk.
4. In a pan on top of the stove, melt butter, add cocoa and water. Bring to a boil. Remove from stove and pour into flour mixture and mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated.
5. Add egg and milk mixture and continue mixing just until all ingredients are wet. Pour into prepared pan.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, testing for doneness at 20 minutes. If baking in a 9- x 13-inch pan, it may take a little longer. (I baked in a 9- x 13-inch pan and it took 35 minutes.) Remove from oven and pour frosting over warm cake.
7 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toasted pecans or walnuts, optional
Bring milk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and nuts if using. Spread over warm cake immediately.