6/ Chocolate Sheet Cake

The ubiquitous Texas sheet cake ... Only not overly sweet and with the most tender crumb. You can replace the chocolate with ½ c. cacao; add to dry ingredients and increase butter to 9 tbl.

Mix and let sit until chocolate is melted:

  • 3 oz. unsweeted chocolate, chopped*
  • ¼ c. hot water (or coffee!)

Beat until mixture resembles wet sand: 

  • 6 tbl. butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ c. cake flour
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt

Add and thoroughly beat until light and uniform:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • chocolate mixture from above

Scrape into a greased ½ sheet pan. Bang on counter to release bubbles. Bake  at 350° for 20-25 minutes (or until toothpick comes out with crumbs on it, 22 min. by my oven). 

Make frosting by whisking in small sauce pan over medium-low heat until melted, uniform and bubbly:

  • 1 stick butter
  • ¼ c. natural cocoa
  • ¼ c. half + half (or milk)
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Mix in: 

  • ½ (or to taste) finely chopped pecans
  • vanilla to taste

Pour over cooled cake and spread to edges. 

The tender crumb of this cake  is due to the mixing of the butter and dry ingredients. The flour is coated in fat and resists the gumminess of activated gluten in the flour that over-mixing batters can cause. Top-quality cocoa and chocolate are a must.