may is birthday month around our home.  so, for the 8th this year, i made Martha’s recipe for Texas sheet cake, from her cookbook titled Martha’s American food.  the cake is made in an old-fashioned rectangular pan, and is probably a recipe that has been made for 60 or more years.

it is a super easy recipe to make, but be certain to bake the cake thoroughly until well done.  i think i may have baked according to the directions, and the cake was more of a brownie texture in the end.  still delicious, still sweet, but maybe would be more light if baked longer than suggested.  

i used a 9 by 13 pan as suggested by Martha, but i know i have had this cake made by others baked in a true sheet pan, so it is very thin and not as high.  perhaps that is the secret to avoiding the brownie texture.

to make the cake: preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  spray butter the pan.  whisk together the following:  2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

next, melt 2 sticks unsalted butter in a saucepan, and add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, then add 1 cup water and boil.  add to the flour mixture.  

then in a mixer, add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. pour batter in the pan and bake until the sides come away from the edges.  Martha says 12-14 minutes, but i think longer.  pour the icing over the cake while it is still warm and sprinkle with pecans which have been chopped.  cool before serving.

Boiled icing recipe

1 stick unsalted butter, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar.

bring butter, cocoa and cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  stir during this process.  remove from heat and add vanilla and sugar.  use while warm.


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