Photo: @blessthismessblog on Instagram.
Unless you’ve been off the grid recently, you probably noticed that “sheetcaking” is the internet’s new favorite word. We have Tina Fey to thank for making the term trend on Facebook and Twitter, but let’s be honest: bakers have known about the virtues of sheet cake for decades.
The origins of sheet cake are unclear. The Texas Sheet Cake is thought to have come into the dessert vernacular in the second half of the 20th Century. Why did Texas lay its claim to this rectangular dessert? Who knows. Maybe because everything’s bigger in Texas. Or maybe it’s because a Dallas newspaper printed a reader’s recipe for the cake in 1957. Either way, a Texas Sheet Cake is a specific kind of sheet cake that traditionally includes both buttermilk and pecans.
Sheet cake as most of us know it is a celebratory treat. They’re ubiquitous at birthday parties, graduations, family gatherings, and religious services. Baking a sheet cake at home is cheap and easy: just buy a boxed cake mix, add eggs and oil, scrape the batter into a greased 13″ x 9″ pan, bake, cool, and slather it with a tub of frosting. No tipsy layers, no repetitive applications of frosting, and minimal mess.
If you want a sugar rush that’ll feel like crack in your veins, you can’t beat the sheet cakes at bakeries. With their abundant buttercream, freaky colors, customizable themes, and character figurines, it’s amazing we don’t buy sheet cakes more often and come up with an occasion after the fact. Sheet cakes from big box grocery stores taste just as delicious as those from high-end bakeries (some would say the less expensive cakes taste even better). You can get crazy with the flavors, but standards like yellow cake with chocolate frosting or plain old vanilla on vanilla are often just as popular among cake eaters. Toppings are optional, too, from sprinkles to nuts to chocolate shavings.
Whether purchased or homemade, sheet cakes are the most portable form of cake and they feed a crowd. You can even slice and serve the cake right in the pan with plastic picnic utensils if need be. What’s not to like?
These seven sheet cakes are among the most mouthwatering homemade versions from Instagram. They’re big enough to share, but why bother? Grab a fork, a glass of milk, and dig in.