Many of you may know this cake as Texas Sheet Cake or Chocolate Sheet Cake or even Buttermilk Brownies (found in Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book). If you don't know this cake, then you should. It is moist and the perfect amount of chocolatey-ness.
I grew up with this cake. It was guaranteed to be at every Langton family gathering, thanks to my beautiful grandma, and there was always two sheets - one with nuts and one without.
I have found several variations of this recipe over the years and have combined them to make it just right.
Chocolate Sheet Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons buttermilk
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
3. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and baking soda. Mix with a fork and set aside.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine water and butter. When the butter is just about fully melted, add the cocoa. Whisk together to combine. Bring the mixture just to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture. Stir together until combined, then pour in the egg mixture. Stir together until smooth.
6. Pour into an ungreased 17x12x1-inch baking pan. Bake 20 minutes. (If using a smaller sized pan, then you may need to bake longer, so measure your pan!)
7. Frosting: When the cake has about 15 minutes left, begin making the frosting. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. (I wash and use the same saucepan as before). Add the cocoa and stir until smooth. Add buttermilk and vanilla and stir. Then add powdered sugar and stir together. Dump in the chopped pecans and stir until well combined.
8. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, pour the warm icing over the top. Try to distribute the icing evenly as you pour. This will make it easier to spread. The less spreading you do, the better it will look.