Happy Birthday Marcia! White Texas Sheet Cake w/ Orange Icing or Chopped Pecan Icing

I decorated the cake w/ an orange peel rose (made by cutting
a continuous thin strip of peel from an orange; the peel
was then rolled up) and fresh mint leaves.
     It was a real SURPRISE! Marcia Sim’s sons and their spouses plotted and planned and really did surprise her with dinner at Martinelli’s. For a minute she was even at a loss for words and then, as predicted by one of her grandsons, she started hugging everybody! A very fun event and we were glad to be a part of her celebration. Exactly which birthday was she celebrating? 29 again, of course!
     And, birthdays mean birthday cake. Ever since I interviewed Mike Jantz (July 2011, Reflector-Chronicle food column), I’ve been looking for an excuse to try his recipe for White Texas Sheet Cake. The cake is made like the Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake that begins by heating butter with water and then stirring in the dry ingredients; the frosting for both the chocolate version and this one also begins with melted butter.
      Mike’s recipe calls for nuts and almond flavoring but since some of Marcia’s family has nut allergies, I turned his recipe into White Texas Sheet Cake with Orange Icing. I’ve included both his recipe and my adjustments.
      By the way, Mike credits Elfie Alice Tolle, a neighbor from his childhood, as the source of this delicious and simple to make cake.
Marcia and Meta with her two cakes.
Since there were two, I actually made just half of the White Texas Sheet Cake.
I've included the notations below.    
White Texas Sheet Cake
Note: I actually cut this recipe in half and baked it in a quarter pan –9“x13”. The full recipe follows . . .     
1 cup (2 sticks) butter                                   
I cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour                                
2 cups granulated sugar          
2 eggs, beaten                         
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond flavoring  (for my variation, I used vanilla)        
I teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

1.  Bring butter and water to a boil.
2.  Remove from heat, stir in flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, beaten eggs, sour cream, and almond (or vanilla) flavoring, until smooth.
Dry and wet ingredients have been added to the butter and water -- everything is done in the saucepan.
3.     Pour into greased and floured large cookie sheet with sides – could range from about 15”x10” to 18”x13”.
Cake is ready to bake.
4.  Bake in a preheated 375° for 20 to 22 minutes (15 minutes if making half batch) or until cake is golden brown and tests done (it pulls away from the sizes and the center springs back when lightly touched).
Cake is done - it is golden brown, pulling away from the sides of the pan and center springs back when gently touched.
5.  Cool for 20 minutes.

Chopped Pecan Icing for above cake:
½ cup (1 stick) butter                        
¼ cup milk
4½ cups powdered sugar, sifted        
½ teaspoon almond flavoring
1 cup chopped pecans

1.  Combine butter and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2.  Remove from heat, add sugar, flavorings and nuts; mix well.
3.  Spread over slightly cooled cake (it will still be warm after cooling just 20 min.).

Orange Icing for above cake:
This is the variation I used and since I cut the cake in half, I did the same with the frosting. The full recipe follows . . .
Grate the rind before juicing the orange.
½ cup (1 stick) butter                        
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (may need to little more to achieve desired icing consistency) – grate the orange rind 
before juicing the orange
4½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
Grated rind from 1 orange      
½ teaspoon vanilla

1.  Combine butter and ¼ cup orange juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2.  Remove from heat, add sugar, granted orange rind and vanilla; mix well, adding a little more juice if needed to achieve desired icing consistency.
Powdered sugar has been whisked into the wet ingredients.
3.     Spread over slightly cooled cake (it will still be warm after cooling just 20 min.).
An off-set spatula is the perfect tool for spreading the icing on the cake.
Marcia w/ her three sons: Chris (in green), Ben and Luke

1 comment:

  1. The pics tell the story, this cake looks so yummy and moist. Great job!