Editor’s note: I honestly did start this post in a timely fashion — then my boyfriend came to visit me for a week in Minneapolis, I had to transform some peaches on the precipice of rot into jam, the stock market collapsed for about 36 hours and the world fell into disarray. I apologize for its complete lack of relevance, but it’s still a damn good cake.
Also, excuse my pathetic Cake “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” reference. I couldn’t help myself.
Anyhoo, in a birthday celebration of one of my heroes, President Obama, and my blog which turned 1 on the same day, I decided a birthday cake was in order, but not just any birthday cake. I decided on Amy Sedaris’ chocolate sheet cake recipe from her domestic manifesto I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.
This cake is not messing around. Make sure the event you are making it for is worth celebrating. It’s possible you could send your Uncle Rick to the hospital. We’re talking about not only a whole stick of butter, but also a half cup sour cream and a half cup of vegetable oil. If you are on the South Beach, the Atkins or the Weight Watchers, cover your eyes and just look away. This thing has as many points as the Chicago Bulls scored during the 1995-96 season.
You will need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 stick butter
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
In a big bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another big bowl, melt butter and add water, oil, cocoa and vanilla.
Pour wet mixture over dry, and mix well.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip eggs and sour cream lightly.
Add cake batter and combine.
Grease up and flour a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan and pour batter into it. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or in accordance with the the toothpick rule. You might think the cake isn’t done because it will have more of a brownie-like consistency at first. Don’t think this. Everything will be okay.
Frost it up however you’d like. I used vanilla frosting with a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste for added fancy-ness.
I had planned a clever haiku that I was going to write in multi-colored frosting for our president, but after the first word I decided that poetry and formalities are overrated.
Whether you’re celebrating your child’s first birthday, your second cousin receiving parole or your grandparents 55th wedding anniversary or you need something to bring to your Wiccan neighbor’s Samhain potluck, I hope you enjoy this cake. It’s a doozy.