SMiLes by Meg

Tahini Brown Sugar Cake

When I picked this recipe, I didn’t mean for it to be a clear-out-the-pantry recipe. And I’m not sure what it says about my pantry that this recipe did clean it out – I only had to buy some buttermilk and unsweetened chocolate, and happened to have everything else on hand.

I did pick it entirely because I wanted to use my sprinkles. I didn’t expect this, but leaving the sprinkles in an airtight jar resulted in them all starting to clump together. I’m guessing because our apartment is a bit on the warm side, and maybe because I should have let them dry a little longer. Either way, once I saw I had a sprinkle clump, I wanted to use them up before they became unusable.

When I made the pink, yellow and white sprinkle mix, I envisioned them sprinkled on a dark chocolate frosting. I wanted to make a more interesting cake than chocolate though, so worked back from there to end up with this tahini brown sugar cake out of Weeknight Baking.

I think sheet cakes are seriously underrated. I was able to frost this right in the pan, and therefore use a LOT of frosting. Plus, there was no wasted cake from leveling the layers, and the whole thing took very little time at all.

To start, whisk together the flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

This used up almost all of my dark brown sugar.

Then, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the tahini, buttermilk, water, canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients in a couple of additions, scraping down the sides as necessary, and whisking until fully smooth.

The batter will be a nice caramel color, and VERY runny. Pour it into a 9×13 inch cake pan, sprayed with cooking spray and lined on the bottom with parchment paper.

Give it a couple of taps on the counter to remove the air bubbles, then bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes – until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.

Let the cake cool on a wire rack completely. While it’s cooling, you could pull out the butter to soften.

To make the frosting, start by melting the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring with a heatproof spatula until melted.

Set aside to cool slightly on a wire rack while you prep the rest.

In a food processor, pulse together the butter, confectioners sugar, water, milk and salt few times to bring together.

Add the melted chocolate and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

I think I may have over processed this , because it should have been light in color (which it was about 2 minutes before I stopped). With the overprocessing, it also became much runnier than I was expecting. However, since I was keeping it all in the baking pan, I decided I didn’t care You should probably keep a better eye on things than I did, though, if you want a frosting you can actually use on sides of a cake.

I spread it over the top and let it seep down the sides a bit.

Then I basically poured my sprinkles all over the top. Because have you ever eaten a piece of cake and thought, this has too many sprinkles? I thought not.

Anyways, this is now covered with foil and sitting on my counter, waiting to go to work tomorrow. So I unfortunately don’t have any cross-section pictures for you. I’m sure it looks great, though.

Enjoy!

Tahini Brown Sugar Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) cake flour
  • 2 cups (15 ounces) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/12 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup (9 ounces) tahini, well stirred
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk tahini, buttermilk, water, canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract to combine.
  3. Whisk in dry ingredients in a couple of additions, scraping down the sides as needed, until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour batter into a 9×13 inch cake pan sprayed with cooking spray and lined on the bottom with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center mostly clean. Allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4 1/2 cups (18 ounces) confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together confectioners sugar, butter, milk, vanilla extract and salt a few times to bring together.
  3. Add melted chocolate and run until frosting is light brown in color and smooth, scraping down the sides if needed.
  4. Frost cake. Add sprinkles. Be happy.

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