Tuesday, August 28, 2012

“Texas Style” Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake

That was the title when I pulled this recipe off the Interwebz.  Texas Style.  I grew up spending my summers on the beaches of southern Texas, down around Corpus Christi & Port Aransas.  My grandparents on my dad’s side were teachers in Aransas (Go Panthers!) until they moved back to Missouri in 1994. So from the mid-80s until that time, my cousin Manda & I LIVED for that month or two when our parents would ship us off during the summers to stay with Nana & Pawpaw.  We spent 95% of those waking hours outdoors, and thusly came home at the end of every summer looking like crispy critters. 

facebook_31885 (‘Scuse me, I think your 1/16th Native American is showing.)

In my mind, there are certain things that DEFINE Texas, due to my own personal childhood experience:

1. Whataburger. (But only in Texas.  Every burger from a non-Texas Whataburger tastes like sadness.)

2. The Carousel inside the Corpus Christi Mall, that we DEMANDED to ride upon at least once every summer.

3. Schlitterbahn.

4. Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

5. Sandburs.  Our Nana bribed us to eradicate them from her yard every summer, and since we didn’t enjoy getting them stuck in our feet, we were happy to help….for a quarter a pop.

However, “sheet cake” was never included in that definition.  I saw sheet cakes at church functions in Missouri, so what was all “Texas” about them?

After having made this cake, I can see the comparison: It’s Frickin’ Huge.

Seriously.  The BIGGEST cake I’ve ever made.    No matter how well the Hubs & I tried to put a dent in it, it never seemed to get any smaller.  Finally, when there was a little over half left, I conceded & brought the rest of it to work.  My coworkers converged upon it like the Free Territories and after two hours, it finally disappeared. (Thank you, fair coworkers, for your willingness to eat nearly anything that gets left in the break room.)

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I modified the original recipe a bit to reduce the fat/caloric content. 


  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded fresh zucchini
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

    For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup light butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


    Heat your oven to 375 and bust out your “sheet cake pan”…aka, “the REALLY big cookie sheet”.  Typical measurement is 10” x 15” and one inch deep.  A regular cookie sheet won’t work, because you need that deepness to hold the cake batter.  Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray—you can also lightly dust the pan with flour, which makes the cake easier to get out of the pan.

    In a large mixing bowl (or Kitchenaid):

    feaux 038 The sign of a well-loved Kitchenaid.  …I promise I cleaned it after I was done baking.

    …Add the sugar, yogurt, and eggs; beat until well combined.  Then mix in the cocoa, baking soda & powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Now, add the flour and the milk, alternating back & forth between the two (helps to keep the batter from getting lumpy).

    Once that’s well combined, stir in your zucchini and vanilla.

    Pour the batter into your sheet cake pan, making sure you don’t overflow, since your batter should be JUST ENOUGH to almost totally fill the pan.  Then VERY CAREFULLY move it into the oven.

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    Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  You will want to check on the cake about halfway through for bubbles.  I did not do this, & ended up with lumpy cake.

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    While it’s baking, you can make your icing. 

    Note: This was my first attempt at making icing in a very, VERY long time.  It should not be hard…I mean, when the directions are “combine all ingredients & mix ‘til smooth”, how difficult can it be?

    Apparently, quite difficult.  Particularly when you spend 15 minutes freaking out about why your icing looks HORRIBLE…only to realize you haven’t yet added the powdered sugar.  So remember the powdered sugar, kids.  It’s sorta the main component.

    Once the cake is done, set it on a rack & let cool COMPLETELY before pouring the icing over top.

    Think a lumpy cake top isn’t a big deal?  It is when you’re icing/glaze is thin:

    feaux 047 They’re like little cake islands, in a seaaaaaa of chocolate…

    Allow the icing to set up.  Assuming it does.  Because mine did not.  But I probably jacked it up at some point during that 15 minute panic attack.  But that’s okay, because it still tasted AWESOME.

    feaux 051

    It was a bit dense, almost more like a brownie.  And the gooey icing was pretty well to-die for….probably would have been better if I hadn’t broken it, but it was still deelish.

    A 10” by 15” pan will make 25 servings. (2x3 inch pieces)  And each serving is under 200 calories!


    Calories 191.6

      Total Fat 2.6 g

      Saturated Fat 0.8 g

      Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g

      Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g

      Cholesterol 22.4 mg

      Sodium 70.4 mg

      Potassium 131.3 mg

      Total Carbohydrate 40.1 g

      Dietary Fiber 1.2 g

      Sugars 28.2 g

      Protein 3.8 g

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