Chocolate Sheet Cake, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on April 20, 2010

(photo made possible by my willpower in being able to stop eating this last piece long enough to photograph it)

OK, you know that I love chocolate.  My most favorite desserts contain chocolate.  I’ve also shared that I love pecans.  So, when I was going through Ree Drummond’s cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl for another recipe to make for the bake sale,  I saw her recipe for Chocolate Sheet Cake and knew I had to adapt it to gluten-free.  I mean, seriously.  Chocolate cake with chocolate pecan frosting?  Food of the goddesses.

This is the second baked goodie I brought to the National Food Bloggers Bake Sale this past Saturday.  It is easy to make and it packs a flavor punch.  For the bake sale, I cut it into 2″x2″ squares to sell.  Even if you don’t have a bake sale to make this for, this would be a super recipe for a potluck or a birthday party or a family dinner or just because.  And, if you are allergic to pecans or don’t like them, you can leave them out.  Perfect and delcious!  If you do use the pecans, I like to toast them before chopping them–it brings out their flavor a bit more.

Chocolate Sheet Cake, Gluten-Free (baking time edited 5/6/10)
-adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, by Ree Drummond

Special Equipment Needed
-a stand mixer is nice, but a hand mixer will do
-9×13 baking pan

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cake)

Ingredients

For the Cake
2 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 heaping TBL unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large or extra large eggs
1/2 C buttermilk or milk with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar added
1 C hot water
extra melted butter and tapioca flour for the pan

For the Icing
14 TBL (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
4 heaping TBL unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
6 TBL milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 C finely chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour your pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy–3-4 minutes.  Add sugar, beat for 2 minutes.  Add vanilla extract.  Add eggs, one at a time, beat for 2 minutes more.

Add your flour mixture and your buttermilk alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  After everything is mixed together, very carefully add the hot water to the batter and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into your prepared pan.  Thump on counter once to release any trapped air bubbles.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes–or until tester comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make your icing.  Melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.  Add the milk and the vanilla, whisk again.  Add the powdered sugar, a bit at a time, whisking after each addition until the entire thing is smooth.  Add the pecans if using.

As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, pour the warm icing over the hot cake.  Try to distribute it as evenly as possible–you don’t want to do too much fooling with it.

Cool completely in pan.  Ree says: “Please make this cake today.  I don’t want you to live another day without it.”

Enjoy!
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