Texas Sheet Cake

(By Renee Comet For The Washington Post)
By Staff Favorites
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

An occasional series in which staff members share a recipe that we turn to time and again:

Another invitation to a summertime barbecue and I'm asked to bring dessert, again. I don't know when I became the official baker among my relatives, friends and co-workers. I'm routinely asked to bring the dessert, the birthday cake, the treats for my daughter's class.

My mother was my baking teacher when I was a little girl, and I have a vivid memory of making my first cake. I was using the hand mixer to beat the batter, and when my mother told me to stop mixing, I pulled the beaters out -- without turning the mixer off. You can guess what happened, and you can imagine the look on our faces. We laughed until we cried.

I've been baking ever since. My oldest brother says I make the world's best chocolate chip cookies.

Summer isn't a time to have the oven on for long. That's what makes the Texas Sheet Cake a popular treat for the season's barbecues. You bake it for 22 minutes, and it's big enough to feed a crowd.

My mom passed this recipe to me from my grandmother, who lived in Ohio. It's a popular tailgating recipe among Ohioans and a favorite of my family.

-- Aimee Sanders

Aimee Sanders is an assistant systems editor for The Post.

Texas Sheet Cake

Makes 50 1 1/2 -by-2-inch bars

No one seems to know how this cake got its name, but it's a good bet that size had a lot to do with it.

For the cake:

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