Celebrate with Cake!

We have a lot of celebrating going on in this part of the world.  Someone persevered through high school and was able to walk across the stage and turn that tassel with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen.  You know who you are.   Someone went in for big-time surgery and came out kickin’.  Go you!  One amazing athlete went to San Francisco to swim with sharks, bike up and down mountains, and run her butt off.  On purpose.  You rock.  We successfully hauled a bunch of people across the country to the beach and back without anyone getting seriously hurt or lost.  Apalachicola!


It seems like forever ago that I made this cake, but I still remember how good it tasted.  Some celebrations require fancy cakes with tiers, fillings, and decorations.  And sometimes a white cake frosted in the pan with creamy vanilla frosting hits the spot, and that’s exactly what this is.  I complicated matters by lining the pan with parchment, removing the baked cake to cool, and inverting it back to the pan to frost.  Don’t do that.  It’s completely unnecessary unless you want to frost the sides and you have a platter large enough to hold a 12 x 18 cake.  Again, sometimes simple hits the spot.


What are you celebrating?  You don’t have to look far for a reason to celebrate with this cake.  Just be sure to invite everyone over when you do, because it feeds a crowd.  And please, don’t forget the sprinkles.


White Sheet Cake
Makes one 12 x 18-inch cake


  • 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter,
  • 4 ½ to 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 large pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • up to 6 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • Zest of ½ lemon

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Spray the bottom and sides of a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan with cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda.  Mix well and set aside.

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. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix well.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed.

Pour evenly into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan to room temperature.  Use an offset spatula to frost the cake, then top with sprinkles.

To make the frosting:
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed.  You may want to cover the bowl with a dish towel at first to avoid having the sugar fly out.  Mix until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk or cream and beat for 3 minutes.  Add 2 more cups sugar, and carefully combine on low speed.  If your frosting is too thin at this point, add remaining sugar. If it is too thick, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.

  •  Cake recipe is slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe from foodnetwork.com.  
  • Many of the reviewers of this recipe from the website had issues with the batter overflowing while baking.  It does make a lot of batter.  Before filling my sheet pan, I spooned about two cups batter into a 6 x 3 round pan and baked it separately.  You could also bake 4 to 6 cupcakes separately. 
  • When making the frosting, it’s important to get the butter fluffy before adding the sugar, or you will never the consistency the way you want it. 
  • If you mix the frosting in a food processor instead of a mixer, it isn’t necessary to sift the sugar.


  1. Apalachicola!

  2. Nicole, this is such a great post. That first paragraph just put the biggest smile on my face. And the cake sounds and looks delicious, too. I love the frosting color. Apalachicola

  3. Every time we see a bird Apalachicola!

  4. its almost like Idaho

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: