This is a healthier version of a classic sheet cake that is a Southern favorite. Texas Sheet Cake is traditionally not very tall; instead it is spreads out over a large sheet pan. The frosting takes center stage in giving this cake its rich, chocolaty, buttery flavor.
Healthified ingredients. When my sweet tooth is screaming for satisfaction, there are few desserts that do the job as well as this cake. Although I usually try to make healthier ingredient substitutions when I cook, my goal is to make changes that result in a recipe that tastes darn close to the original. I started with a Texas Sheet Cake recipe that has been in my recipe box for years. I'm not sure where it originated; however, it is very similar to this one that I found online. From there, I started experimenting with subbing some healthy ingredients. I used 100% whole wheat pastry flour (none of the white stuff), and yogurt and applesauce in place of some of the fat and sugar. I maintained the original flavor by leaving the frosting ingredients alone and making all of my healthy substitutions in the cake itself.
This makeover recipe totally passed the test when I served it at a party we had last week. Everyone was raving about this cake and no one had a clue that it had been "healthified" until I told them later. So, although I still consider this to be a splurge (after all, it still has butter, sugar, carbs, and calories), it's definitely a healthier improvement over the original.
Simplified procedures. This cake was already easy to make, and I've made it easier. You don't have to grease the pans (just isn't necessary), you don't need an electric mixer (a spoon and whisk will do), there's no stovetop preparation for the batter and frosting like the original (I do some quick microwaving instead).
Make ahead and freeze it. This cake keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I also did some experimenting and figured out that you can freeze this cake after it's been frosted, and it thaws beautifully; making it a convenient, make-ahead dessert.
Nutritional Information (per serving when cut into 40 2x3" pieces). 160 calories, 7.2g fat, 23.3g carbs, 1.4g fiber, 17.7g sugar, 1.8g protein
Step-by-step instructions for making
Texas Sheet Cake - A Healthier Makeover
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients.
view on Amazon: whole wheat pastry flour
Step 2. Add the butter, water, and cocoa to a bowl and microwave until it boils, approx. 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool.
Step 3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs; then add the yogurt and applesauce and whisk until combined. Set aside.
Step 4. In a third bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the warm chocolate mixture; stir to combine completely.
Step 5. Add the yogurt mixture; stir until completely combined. Pour into one 13x18 baking sheet (jelly roll pan) or two 13x9 baking sheets. I used two smaller baking sheets so that I could serve one cake now and freeze the other one for later.
Step 6. Bake the cake for 15-20 minutes.
Step 7. Make the frosting while the cake bakes. (You want freshly made frosting to pour on top of the hot cake when it comes out of the oven.) Put the butter in a bowl and melt it in the microwave. Whisk in the cocoa powder until any lumps are gone. Whisk in the vanilla and milk. Last, whisk in the powdered sugar. Keep whisking until it's smooth.
Step 8. Stir in chopped nuts, if desired. It's fine to omit the nuts altogether.
Step 9. When the cakes come out of the oven, pour the frosting on top. And gently spread it to the edges. If the frosting has thickened too much to pour, you can zap it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to thin it (be sure not to overcook it--just warm it up).
Let the frosted cake(s) cool completely, cover, and refrigerate until it will be served. The cake can be served either chilled or at room temperature, however it holds up better if it's stored in the fridge.
The cake has a light texture and rich frosting. It develops a gooey layer between the cake and the frosting--a result of frosting it when it's hot.
Refrigerate or freeze. I make mine in these baking sheets that come with lids. They're easy to stack and store in the fridge or freezer. If you freeze the cake, remove it from the freezer about 1 hour before serving time and let it thaw with the lid removed to prevent condensation from making the top soggy. These can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
view on Amazon: baking sheets with lids
Ooey gooey chocolate goodness is what it's all about.
Trust me, this does not taste like a healthified recipe. It tastes like a naughty treat.
Make it a Yummy day!