First-Week Cake

New Orleans sheet cake

It’s hard to believe, but our little guy is already a week old. I think that constitutes a reason for New Orleans sheet cake! Since it is my personal favorite birthday cake, I had planned to bake this cake on Nolan’s original due date of the 13th and freeze most of it to eat after he was born—but amid other preparations, I never got the chance. Fortunately, however, my parents are still here visiting and they graciously offered to bake it for us today.

Nolan, 1 week old

Nolan won’t be eating any cake for a while yet, but we’ve been eating extra slices on his behalf, never fear. We’re currently working on building his appetite so that he can regain his birthweight, and he appears to be making some good progress.

New Orleans Sheet Cake

I think most of the country knows this cake as a Texas sheet cake, and I’m not quite sure the origin of my family’s name for it. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it is moist, gooey and fluffy at the same time, and only about as thick as a brownie. It freezes beautifully, and is at its very best alongside a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

1 stick unsalted butter
1 C water
4 T cocoa powder
1/2 C canola oil
2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 C AP flour
1/2 C buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Grease a 15x10x1″ jelly roll pan.

Mix and bring to a boil in a heavy saucepan the first 4 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients in order and mix well. Pour into the jelly roll pan, and bake for 25 minutes at 375F. Watch not to overbake. Cool and frost.

6 T milk
4 T cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter
1 lb. sifted powdered sugar
4 tsp vanilla
1 C chopped pecans or walnuts

Bring to a boil in a heavy saucepan the milk, cocoa and butter. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. It is better to ice the cake while it is still a little warm.

New Orleans sheet cake

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