Tobins' Tastes: Barefoot Contessa's Birthday Sheet Cake

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Barefoot Contessa's Birthday Sheet Cake

The pictures of this cake do not do it justice. I was originally skeptical when Justin asked me to make this cake for his Fire School graduation in 2008. It had lemon in it and if you know me, you know I don't like lemon, or any fruit flavors for that matter, in my desserts. This cake is the exception.

We first saw it on an episode of Barefoot Contessa. It can also be found in her cookbook Barefoot Contessa Family Style .We love Ina Garten in our house but many of her recipes are very technical and call for expensive ingredients. Once again, this cake in an exception.

Ina's recipe calls for a chocolate ganache icing (which is amazing) but my friend who I recently made this cake for is not a huge fan of chocolate (impossible, I know). So I tried it with a cream cheese icing from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes and it was delicious.

Barefoot Contessa's Birthday Sheet Cake
  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
1.) Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

2.) While this is going, I zest and juice the lemon.

3.) On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice.

4.) Slowly add dry ingredients in with the mixer on low speed until smooth.

5.) Pour into a greased 12x18 sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until slightly browned on top.

5.) Cool completely before icing.

Martha Stewart's Cream Cheese Icing
  • 12oz of cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 sticks of butter room temperature
  • 1 pound (16oz) of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.) Cream together butter and cream cheese with an electric or stand mixer until smooth.

2.) Add in vanilla.

3.) Slowly add in powdered sugar until completely smooth and fluffy.

4.) Ice the cake before you eat all the icing by itself : )

Perfect ratio of cake to icing!
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