KITCHEN WIT AND WISDOM: Let them eat sheet cake

There’s nothing much faster than baking a sheet cake to feed the hordes.

Most everybody has had the occasion when they had to make a quick cake for a crowd; perhaps a pot luck, dessert, or unexpected company, and there’s nothing much faster than baking a sheet cake to feed the hordes.

When I wore a younger woman’s clothes, I didn’t realize there was a name for these sorts of cakes. I just wanted a cake big enough to serve a lot of people and would simply mix up one of my favourite moist cake recipes and pour it into the largest pan I owned, like the jelly roll pan for instance, or a cookie sheet (something  learned from being raised in a family of 10).

Sheet cakes usually end up slightly less than two-inches deep – perfect for some of us watching the waist line (well, OK that might just be my reasoning). These cakes are almost always iced or at a minimum, will have a sweet topping on them. My favourite is a cream cheese icing.

Today I have two simple sheet cake recipes for you to try. The great thing about these are that they freeze extremely well so you can have them on hand in your freezer for those times people drop in unexpectedly.

Pineapple Sheet Cake Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained

In a large bowl, combine cake ingredients; beat until smooth. Pour into a greased 15-inch-by-10-inch-by one-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Cool.

For icing, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over cake and sprinkle with nuts.

Yield: about 24 servings.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

FROSTING:

1 package (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened

5 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 to 4 teaspoons milk

Chopped nuts or  sprinkle of cinnamon

In a large bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar and oil until blended. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture, beating until well blended.  Pour into a greased 15-inch-by-10-inch-by one-inch baking pan baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For frosting, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until smooth. Add milk until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Frost cake. Sprinkle with nuts or cinnamon.

Yield: 20 to 24 servings.

 

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