Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake

Looking for an easy and incredibly delicious cake to take to all your summer festivities?  Look no further.  Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake fits the bill perfectly.

My husband's favorite dessert is his mother's yellow cake with caramel icing.  For years I heard him go on and on about how good it is. My mother-in-law only seemed to make when I wasn't around but that didn't stop me from trying to replicate it several times.  Each attempt tasted good to me but was always met with "It's good, but it's not the same as Mom's." from my husband.  Desperate to get this right I called her for the recipe and found out it was simply a boxed cake mix and a simple caramel sauce.  My mother-in-law is old school and doesn't cook with recipes or a cookbook so the directions I received were vague and I ended up with another fail on my table.

About a year ago I finally got to taste a slice of the infamous caramel cake.  I love my mother-in-law and she is a great cook, but I didn't see, or taste, what all the fuss was about.  My two sister-in-laws were there and told me that they had tried to make the cake too but it was never right.  I'm not accusing my mother-in-law of leaving an ingredient out or purposely not relaying the recipe correctly, but something was missing.  Let's just say it was mother's love.

This Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake is the closest I've come to taking the Best Caramel Cake award from my mother-in-law.  I knew it was a contender at first bite.  Incredibly moist, the cake is flavorful from on its own the layer of caramel frosting takes it over the top.  

Cut the pieces bigger than you think you need to.  Trust me.

Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake
Taste of the South, May/June 2013

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel Frosting (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Spray a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick baking spray with flour or butter pan well.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring butter and 1 cup water to a boil.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.  Add hot butter mixture to flour mixture, beat at low speed with an electric mixer just until moistened.  Add sour cream, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Baked until cake is lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted at the center of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Pour hot Caramel Frosting over warm cake, spreading to edges.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Let cool completely on wire rack.

Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large, heavy saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; slowly stir in sour cream.

Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

Sift confectioners' sugar.  Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beating at medium speed with a mixer until smooth.  Use immediately.  
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  1. I have to try this! Kudos to you for not giving up on replicating the cake!!

  2. oh Yum! This is hilarious! Is she going to read your blog and be upset? I wouldn't be...


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