My friend, Janna, and I were talking about cakes a few months ago, and she mentioned that her chocolate sheet cake recipe was super delicious. So I prodded her some about what she puts in her cake and was surprised to find sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon as ingredients.
Well, curiosity got the best of me, I asked her to share her recipe and I made it! My kids loved it and my husband loved that the icing wasn’t “grainy” – he has texture issues. Lucky for me, she agreed to let me share it here on my blog!
In case you’re wondering how I magically got clean cuts – I used this handy scraper. I love it for cutting cakes and brownies. Plus it’s great for frosting cakes as well.
Nuts are completely optional, Janna likes to add them chopped to her cake, but my family is 1/2 and 1/2 when it comes to nuts, so I opted to toast 12 pecans (on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 9 minutes) and place them on the top of the icing.
A couple of extra notes. . don’t be crazy like me and even think of omitting the cinnamon – it really compliments the chocolate and my daughter that dislikes cinnamon didn’t mind it in the cake. Also, the cake may look a little bumpy coming out of the oven, but miraculously when coated with icing it’s not noticeable – see for yourself!
Need more incentive to make it? My son claimed that “all great cake tastes like this.” So there you go, words to live by from a future food critic. Now go get in that kitchen and bake up some deliciousness!
Chocolate Sheet Cake Adapted from my friend Janna
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup cocoa powder, divided
1 cup water
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 can of sweetened condensed milk, divided
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped nuts or 12 pecan halves toasted, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 15 x 10 inch pan with parchment. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan add 1 cup butter, 1/4 cup cocoa, and the water. Heat on low to melt the butter.
In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt – whisk until combined.
Bring the cocoa mixture on the stove to a boil and then add to the flour mixture – whisk just until combined. Whisk in 1/3 cup condensed milk, the eggs, and the vanilla. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 15 minutes. Be sure to test with a toothpick.
Let the cake cool on the counter for 30 minutes before adding the icing, otherwise it will run off the cake – I learned this the hard way!
To save dishes Janna makes her icing in the same pot she boiled the cocoa mixture in, and I suggest you do the same.
Pour the remaining sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup cocoa, and 1 cup powdered sugar into the pot at the same time and on low heat whisk vigorously to prevent lumps. Let sit on a warm burner (turned off) until the cake is cool enough to ice.
You may have to heat the icing and whisk it off and on to minimize a crust forming on the top – if you make it too far in advance. Pour the warm icing on the cake and top immediately with the pecans before the icing sets. Let sit for another 30 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers covered at room temperature for 2 days.