Carolina Chocolate Sheet Cake with Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

If you love chocolate, I’ve got a classic southern recipe for you that’s perfect to serve a crowd.   This rectangular, frosted chocolate cake is often called a Texas Sheet Cake because it’s as big as Texas but since this is my blog, today I’m christening my version the Carolina Chocolate Sheet Cake.  State pride aside, you can call it what you will, in terms of taste, this cake is hard to beat.  Top with toasted pecans, cinnamon spiced pecans or vanilla ice-cream for the perfect chocolate indulgence.

What to buy:

for the cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

for the icing

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cinnamon sugar pecans (or plain pecans)

What to do:

to make cake

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease a large baking dish or jelly roll pan (I used a 9×13 casserole dish)
  • in a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt
  • in another bowl combine eggs and yolks, vanilla, and sour cream
  • heat chocolate, butter, oil, water, and cocoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes
  • whisk chocolate mixture into flour mixture until combined
  • whisk egg mixture into batter, then pour into prepared baking pan
  • bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes
  • poke top of the cake with a fork to make holes for the icing to sink into

to make icing (while cake is baking)

  • heat butter, cream, cocoa, and corn syrup in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth
  • turn off heat and whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla
  • spread warm icing evenly over hot cake and sprinkle with pecans

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