Saturday, September 06, 2008

Do you need a reason for cake?

I woke up this morning and for no apparent reason decided we needed to have a cake today! Who knows why, but after a little browsing through my stack of recipes, I found this basic Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting that lured me into the kitchen to start working on it.

Since it is just two of us, I scaled the recipe down as cake sounded good, but we really didn't need a whole 9" x 13" pan of it (I'm sure Jeff would argue with that though)! Sour cream and buttermilk work their voodoo on this cake to make it very moist and light with a mild tang. I did use a combination of all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flour, but using completely all-purpose flour would be fine. You often see me switch a part of the all-purpose flour with this because the lighter whole-wheat pastry flour will still give you a bit of nutrition from the wheat, but it doesn't weigh baked goods down like a heavier whole-wheat flour would. Scaling the recipe down, I baked the yellow batter in an 8" square baking pan instead - bake it just until the center springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick placed in the center comes out we a few moist crumbs attached.

For a striking contrast, we prepared a dark and luscious chocolate frosting to completely cover the tender cake. A combination of cream cheese and butter gave the fluffy frosting a flowing movement that held its shape when spread over the entire cake, yet firmed up a touch as it sat to create a soft crust. We used Dutch-process cocoa powder for its smooth flavor, but you could easily use natural cocoa if that is what you have. We both commented that the frosting was a little on the sweet side, but the cake did well to off-set that with its richness - I do think a bit of instant espresso powder would have been a nice addition to the frosting to add interest and enhance the chocolate flavor.


  1. Where'd you find those dragees?

  2. Quinn - We got them from a local cake decorating store!

  3. There are few things I like more than yellow or white cake with chocolate frosting. And when you make one for no real reason at all, all the better. Yum.