Chocolate Sheet Cake

It dawned on me a few days ago that I’ve never, in my country life, baked a chocolate sheet cake. I’ve eaten my fair share of sheet cake though… I love it to pieces. Given the choice between chocolate sheet cake and any other kind of cake, I’d choose sheet cake every dang time. That’s why when I realized that I’d never made it before, I was a little bothered by it. Making the firm decision to make something is always followed by another equally vital choice: which recipe to use.
I love cake-y sheet cakes with thick chocolate-with-nuts frosting slathered on top. I love my aunt’s sheet cake, my neighbor’s sheet cake, and my sister-in-law’s sheet cake… I could call any of them. I could google.
Then I thought I remembered having seen a recipe in my Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook.
And I remembered right.
Of course I had everything to make it because the very best sheet cakes are made from pantry staples: flour, cocoa, sugar, butter, butter, butter.
Speaking of which: remind me to put butter on my list.

You’re Going to Need:
FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
2 sticks Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
_____
FOR FROSTING:
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1-3/4 stick Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
At this point, my stove looked like this:

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.
It must here be noted: the addition of cinnamon is NOT part of The Pioneer Woman’s plan. My stellar neighbor (who my children fondly refer to as “super grandma”) tipped me off on the cinnamon tip. She always adds it to her sheet cake frosting. It really made a subtle difference!

Because I’ve started watching my weight, I had to be REALLY careful about how much of this cake I ate. I ate one piece on Saturday night, 1/4 of a piece of Sunday morning, and one more piece Sunday afternoon. The rest I gave away which was not easy for me to do. I wanted it alllllll.

This version of the cake was more moist and dense than cake-y. I liked it though. I think I’ll leave the cake-y versions to my relatives because if I took to making them, my weight loss goals would go OUT the window. As it is: this version takes a little more effort and I’m less likely to make it on any given Tuesday.
Weight loss, ho!

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