This is a preview recipe for our new cookbook, out this fall: ALL-TIME FAVORITE SHEET CAKES AND SLAB PIES. It's all big ol' pies and cakes, made in a 13 x 18-inch sheet pan. Get one. Get several. You're going to want to invite crowds to down these wonderful treats.
Cinnamon Roll Cake
About 24 servings, maybe more
- 3 3/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (or 3 sticks) cool unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus lots more for greasing the sheet pan
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Position the rack in the center of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter the inside of a 13 x 18-inch lipped sheet pan. Cut a large sheet of parchment paper to fit inside the pan. Then generously butter that parchment paper. Seriously. Generously.
2. Whisk 3 3/4 cups flour, the white sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until uniform. Whisk in 2 cups milk, the melted and cooled shortening, the eggs, egg white, and 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract until evenly and thoroughly combined.
3. Using a hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and the remaining 3 tablespoons flour in a medium bowl at medium speed until creamy and light, about 2 minutes.
4. Take out and set aside about a third of this butter mixture. Make olive-sized balls out of the larger share of this butter mixture. Drop these into the flour batter from step 2 and gently fold them in with a silicone spatula. There should be streaks in the batter and even some buttery chunks.
5. Using an offset spatula, spread this combined mixture into the prepared sheet pan. Dot the remaining, smaller amount of the butter mixture over the top of the batter in small dribs and drabs. Use a sharp paring knife to swirl these around and through the batter.
6. Bake until set to the touch, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.
7. To serve, whisk 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, the remaining 1/2 cup milk, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a large bowl until thick enough to drizzle on top of the cake. Whisk in more confectioners’ sugar in 2-tablespoon increments for the right consistency, a loose, wet mixture than will fall off the tines of a fork and puddle into little pools that don’t immediately run.
8. Drizzle this glaze off the whisk and all over the cooled cake, making squiggles across the top, rather than one solid mass of glaze.