Sunday, March 11, 2012

Red Velvet Sheet Cake

I know this statement will cause all sorts of outrage, but I don't get the appeal of Texas Sheet Cake. It's just an inferior chocolate cake. Thin, powdered sugary frosting... what's the point? My anti-Texas Sheet Cake attitude has bled into other sheet cakes as well. But a couple weeks ago, we were watching Pioneer Woman's show on our DVR and she made Red Velvet Sheet Cake for a potluck. It looked so delicious and easy I had to try it. We were having quite a few people over for dinner so I had the perfect opportunity to try it.
The recipe starts with creaming shortening (not my fave) and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add, alternately, flour/salt and buttermilk. Stir together red food coloring, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add vinegar and add to the cake mixture. Pour in a sheet pan and bake! Easy!
Instead of a cream cheese frosting, PW uses a buttercream made of a cooked milk.flour mixture, sugar and butter. I've used this buttercream before, from Our Best Bites. It is a great alternative to powdered sugar frostings, but it uses quite a bit of butter (one pound). One recipe of the frosting covers this sheet cake perfectly- PW suggests doubling it, but I didn't de-pan my sheet cake and therefore didn't need frosting for the sides.
A little Instagram shot:
This cake is moist and the frosting is light and fluffy. I enjoy red velvet cake, but I think the red food coloring gives it a weird taste. I've tried all different types of food coloring- liquid, paste, gel and even no-taste, but I can always taste the food color. I did love the ease of this cake and it may have even changed my mind about sheet cakes (not Texas sheet cake, though)! :)
I want to try this one next!


  1. Looks good. I saw that episode, too. I have been DVR'ing them and I have a couple of posts coming up on things I made. I agree about the food coloring in the cake. I definitely think it changes it and I do notice it.

  2. I'm not a big fan of red velvet and I've never had texas sheet cake, but your cake looks pretty tasty.

  3. Such a fun idea for a sheet cake. I seem to always taste the food coloring too. I was hoping the no taste food color would help.

  4. So I've seen that frosting all over the internet, but I've never tried it because it seems a little...odd. Is it really good? Should I put aside my prejudices and suck it up?

    Also, red velvet has never been my favorite, but I find when I use a good-quality cocoa powder (I like Valrhona) and use a little more than is normal, the cake tastes much better. The trade-off is that the cake is more of a darker red, but I also kind of like that better than the bright-red color of some cakes.

    1. It depends on what you're comparing it to. It's definitely better than powdered sugar frostings, but with that butter content, I prefer Italian or Swiss merengue buttercream.
      I'll have to try sufferer cocoa powder! Thanks for the tip!