My Favorite Chocolate Sheet Cake


Try it … you’ll love it, and so will your guests! I have made this cake over and over again, and it always turns out great. Made from scratch, yet soooo quick and easy … and the buttermilk and toasted walnuts in the icing give it a distinctive taste that is downright addictive.  This is the kind of cake that, once it’s been cut, you want to take a knife to as it sits on the counter to “even it out.” Like I said … addictive!

The Cake:
2 cups sugar
2 cups unbleached flour
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup water
½ cup oil
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

The Icing:
1 16-oz. box powdered sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted*
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup (1 stick butter)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl. Melt the stick of butter with the water and oil in a small saucepan and bring it just to a boil. Pour it over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. In a small bowl, combine the eggs and ½ cup buttermilk to blend, and add to the batter along with the baking soda and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend thoroughly. Pour into an ungreased 18 x 11 rectangular roasting pan**. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

As the cake is baking, make the icing by combining the powdered sugar, toasted walnuts and ¼ cup cocoa in a large bowl. Melt the stick of butter and add it to the sugar mixture along with the 1/3 cup buttermilk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend thoroughly, adding more buttermilk, a little at a time, if necessary to make the icing thin enough to pour and spread. Immediately pour the icing over the hot cake and spread it evenly to the edges. Let it cool completely in the pan on a rack.

* Don’t skip toasting the walnuts! It adds a wonderful and distinctive flavor to the cake. To toast them, spread in a shallow baking pan and put into a 300 degree oven for about five minutes, just until lightly toasted.

** The pan size is important! If you don’t have an 18×11 roasting pan, buy one! The pan I use is one of those black speckled pans, and it only gets used for this cake. Just seeing that pan come out of the cupboard now makes our mouths water! While you could use a smaller pan and bake the cake longer, it really benefits from being a thinner cake with a higher icing to cake ratio!

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2 Responses

  1. Hi, Candace!!! Made the cake today and everyone loved it. Used the roaster pan…brought a piece home from the dinner party for my mom (and I ate it!!!! 🙂

    Thanks for the delish recipe!
    Ann Marie

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