I have made my share of chocolate cakes but this one really really knocked my socks off. I wasn't even prepared to be wowed. I mean, it's a sheet cake. It's just a casual, serve in the pan, non decorated chocolate cake. Sounds pretty ho hum. But this cake is now my hands down complete favorite chocolate cake I've ever made. This cake is so ultra moist and so chocolatey. But it's not a dark chocolate and it's not milk chocolate either. It's somewhere in between - perfect actually. I found this recipe quite by accident while I was reading a friend's Paula Deen magazine. There was an article in there about Alan Jackson and his daughter Mattie. This recipe is a family favorite of theirs and I guess the recipe is also in his cookbook (which I didn't know he had but then again, I hardly know who he is). The photo in the magazine was sure nothing special but for some reason I was still compelled to make it. I cannot rave enough about this recipe. I will for sure be making this again and again. Easy to make. Easy to transport. Easy to serve but most of all, it's completely satisfying and delicious. I LOVE this recipe!! Mark this recipe as one you MUST try. I'm telling you, you won't be disappointed.
I made a few personal notes, in blue, down below in the recipe.
Gosh, this cake just looks so unimpressive sitting here in the pan. Don't let that fool you! It may not be the prettiest cake but it's the best tasting!
You can tell in this photo how the fudge icing seeps down into the holes in the cake. When the icing cools & solidifies, it makes the whole cake super fudgey & moist. That's why I think bigger and lots of holes poked in the cake are a must.
This cake was wonderful while warm and the next day is just as delicious if not better. Wow, I'm going to have a difficult time leaving this cake alone. Better give it away, quickly.
Alan Jackson's Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup butter (divided - 1 stick for the cake & 1 stick for the icing)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa (divided - (1/4 cup for cake & 1/4 cup for icing)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (divided)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 6 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
- Spray a 13x9 inch pan with nonstick baking spray
- In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar and salt together
- In a large saucepan heat water, 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, oil, 1/4 cup of the cocoa.Whisk until blended. Bring just to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
- Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and stir until smooth.
- Blend in buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and vinegar until smooth.(I combined my buttermilk, vinegar, baking soda and vanilla in a measuring cup before I added it to the bowl)
- Pour into the greased 13x9 inch baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.(mine took less time so be sure and check starting at 25 minutes)
- After removing cake from the oven, place on cooling rack. While the cake is still hot punch holes all over using a fork. (I used a rather thick chopstick to poke holes in the cake and it worked perfectly. I made a LOT of holes - like every 1/2 inch. The holes that you make are where the fudgy icing will seep into so I wanted to make sure there were lots of kind of large holes. The holes cannot be seen after icing has been poured on & cooled)
- Make Icing:
- In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, melt remaining 1 stick of butter, add the milk (I used whipping cream instead of the milk) and the remaining 1/4 cup cocoa and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir until smooth. (I used my electric hand mixer for this part. It made my icing super smooth & silky) Pour over the hot cake. Let cool and enjoy! (I couldn't wait till the cake was cool. I cut and ate some while warm. SOOO good! Like a warm pudding cake.)