On my dad’s side of the family when I was growing up, there were four standard desserts: pumpkin roll, strawberry gelatin salad, ice cream salad, and Texas sheet cake. Of course, we enjoyed other desserts, depending on the season, but those four were our go-to’s because everyone seemed to love them.
I thought it was time to give one of these classic desserts a try, but with a new twist. Instead of making the traditional Texas sheet cake (which was chocolate), I decided to give Peanut Butter Sheet Cake a go.
Although I do love chocolate, when it comes to dessert, it’s not necessarily my first choice. (Though, let’s be honest, I’d never turn it down.) So, trying this variation was right up my alley. What I love about this sheet cake is that no mixer is required. You only need a big bowl, sauce pan, and cookie sheet. That means less time cleaning up the mess and more time for eating the cake!
Both the cake batter and the frosting start with ingredients that come to a boil on the stove. I don’t have in-depth knowledge of the science of baking, but based on experience, I assume the boiling results in a rich, super moist cake. If you’ve never had a sheet cake, you really need to make a traditional one, too. It’s good stuff.
Once your cake is baked and still slightly warm, that’s when you pour on the frosting. I actually like my frosting just a tad thicker, so it stands up on the cake, but you can make it however you prefer.
I had some peanut butter eggs left over from my Easter tablescape, so I decided to put them to good use on this cake. Each piece got topped with an egg. Perfection!
Now that, my friends, is a mighty fine cake. if I do say so myself.
Here's what you will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup water
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar
Peanut butter eggs to garnish, optional
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10x15x1-inch cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) with baking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the butter, water, and peanut butter. Bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, immediately remove it from the heat and pour it over the flour mixture. Start to combine, then add the milk, vanilla, and eggs. Mix with a spatula or spoon until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until just slightly warm.
For the frosting, add the butter, peanut butter, milk, and a pinch of salt to a sauce pan. When this mixture begins to boil, remove it from heat. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix to combine. (If needed, add more milk, one teaspoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency.) Pour the warm frosting over the cooled cake and spread evenly with a spatula. Allow the frosting to cool before serving. Garnish with peanut butter eggs, if desired.
In my opinion, simple, classic desserts like this never go out of style. Garnished with a mini peanut butter eggs, this rich cake is such a delicious treat. Plus, it reminds me of my family. A double win!
What were some of your family’s favorite desserts when you were growing up?