I'll Stick with the Proven Winner: Salted Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

I'm not ashamed to admit that I am competitive. Each year I put a lot of thought into what I should enter into my agency's bakeoff contest. The bakeoff is a fundraiser for our on-site childcare center and the winners are determined by popular vote of those who make a donation; my strategy is basically to make whatever I think will have the widest appeal. This year I was thrilled to win the cake category with the Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting from Baked Occasions.

But even with a proven winning recipe, I thought I should try and expand my Texas sheet cake horizons because the recipe from Baked Occasions was the only one I had ever tried. So I turned to a salted Texas chocolate sheet cake recipe on the Bon Appétit website that I had bookmarked a while ago.

You can mix this batter by hand. You combine all of the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl; make a well in the middle and add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla; mix well; and whisk in a mixture of cocoa powder, water, and butter that have been brought to a boil. You bake the batter in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. 
While the cake is still hot from the oven, you pour on a frosting of made of powdered sugar and vanilla whisked into a hot mixture of butter, milk, and cocoa powder. My cake was domed and significantly taller in the center of the pan than it was around the edges. I was afraid that all of the thin frosting would roll downhill and puddle around the edges, but I pushed it around with an offset spatula and the frosting absorbed quickly and evenly into the warm cake. I sprinkled chopped pistachios and Maldon salt on top and pressed them gently into the frosting to make sure they adhered.

I waited until the cake was completely cool to slice it. The cake was quite moist and the frosting was nicely fused to it. This was a very good cake, but of course I couldn't help comparing it to the Baked Occasions Texas sheet cake -- and the Baked Occasions version is a clear winner in my book. The Baked Occasions version has a deeper chocolatey flavor, a more intense peanut butter frosting, and a higher ratio of frosting to cake (because the cake is much shorter).

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this cake and so did my tasters. But I wouldn't enter it in a bakeoff!

Recipe: "Salted Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake" from bonappetit.com.

Previous Post: "Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting," March 1, 2015.


Isla said…
Congratulations on your win! Thank you for the comparison, as well.