You well know by now my love of the humble sheet cake. This offering is delicious and has received raves from grown ups and children. I flavor it with tangerine juice and tangerine zest. The best move was borrowed from Cook’s Illustrated’s Cook’s Country Magazine which printed a recipe for a lemon cake several years ago with a sugar zest topping. I loved the idea and incorporated it here. I have made this cake as simple as humanly possible. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir, bake, glaze, sprinkle. The cake stays in the pan and you don’t lose a drop of the precious tangerine glaze.
This is ideal for the teacher’s lounge, a potluck, a birthday, a picnic…you name it. And it is really simple enough for an everyday dessert. I hope you try this one.
Buy at least 3 tangerines. I used HUGE and juicy tangerines (Sumo) and 3 were sufficient. If you only have small tangerines, purchase extra. But, don’t run back to the store if you are short on zest by a teaspoon or two. It will still be delicious. Just remember to save some for the sugar topping.
|Tangerine Sheet Cake|| |
- 2⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons tangerine zest (2 large tangerines)
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup tangerine juice (2 large tangerines) and zest them before juicing
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 5 to 6 tablespoons tangerine juice (1 large tangerine)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon tangerine zest
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9" x 13" baking pan (I used glass) by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Whisk the dry ingredients thoroughly. In a medium bowl, combine the zest, cool melted butter, eggs, juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and distribute the batter around the dish with a spatula.
- Bake for 27 to 35 minutes (mine took precisely 32 minutes). The cake is finished when it is beginning to get golden at the edges and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (crumbs ok, goo not ok).
- While the cake is baking, prepare the sugar topping by combining the sugar and zest in a lidded jar. Shake the jar until the zest is distributed into the sugar. Remove the lid and set aside until it is time to glaze the cake.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while preparing the glaze. To prepare the glaze, simply pour the tangerine juice into the confectioners’ sugar and whisk it together. Start with 5 tablespoons of juice and add the extra tablespoon if needed. Pour the glaze over the warm cake and distribute it using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the sugar topping over the glaze. Allow the cake to cool completely.
I generally think sheet cakes are a high art. No, they aren’t the prettiest cakes in the world…though I really think this one is very pretty. But they are the craft of those who want to help out, to be a part, to bring comfort. They are the ultimate “bring a little something” dessert. Everybody likes a little square of cake. And somehow “a little square of cake” isn’t nearly as big of a no-no as a full blown slice of cake. Explain that to me.
You get one shot at the glaze. As soon as it hardens a little, it is difficult to redistribute without making the cake look ugly. So have your rubber spatula on hand so that you can start moving the glaze right after scraping the bowl.
Chocolate Lingering Cake (small cake)
And, to learn how to make homemade vanilla extract with vodka see this post.