Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Total Time:
2 hr 5 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
24 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • Sheet Cake Variations, follows
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 18 by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the sour cream, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and stir in the cocoa powder, and hot water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from the heat. Cool slightly, and incorporate the cocoa mixture with the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

  • For the frosting:

  • In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the peanut butter and mix until smooth. Remove from the heat. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the milk, and powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla, and slowly incorporate the peanut butter mixture, blending well after each addition.

  • Frost the cake while both the frosting and cake are still warm. Top with nuts, if desired.

  • Cook's Note: Making a sheet cake is the best bang for your buck when it comes to dessert for a group. To vamp it up, take small biscuit cutters and create tiered cakes that can be dusted with powdered sugar. Cake scraps can be saved for a delicious trifle the next day.

  • Sheet Cake Variations:

  • Chocolate Fudge Frosting: instead of peanut butter frosting, replace peanut butter in frosting recipe with 1/3 cocoa powder. Prepare the frosting the same way.

  • Toasted Coconut: In addition to topping with nuts, top cake with toasted coconut.

  • Caramel/Fudge Cake: Drizzle warm caramel sauce and/or fudge sauce over frosting just before serving.


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