Fudgy Texas Sheet Cake

This recipe is from the 2009 Annual of America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve always thought of Texas Sheet Cake as dry and not that interesting. This cake is the complete opposite–it’s really moist, fudgy, and my mother even thought it was a flourless chocolate cake. To top that off, it’s even better the next day (perfect for entertaining purposes), and quite amazing out of the freezer as well (if you need to hide the leftovers). Note: it’s critical to ice the cake hot out of the oven–so make sure to plan time accordingly!

Fudgy Texas Sheet Cake

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. white sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. sour cream
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 T. unsalted butter
3/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. dutch-process cocoa powder

8 T. butter (one stick)
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. dutch-process cocoa powder
1 T. corn syrup
3 c. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla
1 c. toasted pecans, chopped

1. For the cake: Adjust an oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 18″ x 13″ baking sheet. Combine flour, sugar, soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the whole eggs, yolks, vanilla and sour cream in another bowl until smooth.

2. Heat the chocolate, butter, oil, cocoa, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until smooth, 3-5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until incorporated. Whisk the egg mixture into the batter, then pour into the baking sheet. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.

3. For the icing: About 5 minutes before the cake is done, heat the butter, cream, cocoa, and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Off the heat, whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread the warm icing evenly over the hot cake and sprinkle with the pecans. Let the cake cool to room temperature on the wire rack, about one hour, then refrigerate until the icing is set, about one hour longer. Cut into 3″ squares. Serve. Cake can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 2 days. Return to room temperature before serving [Test Kitchen’s advice, not mine].


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