Happy Birthday, Olive and Artisan. I give you Chocolate Sheet Cake with Coconut Buttercream. It’s necessary for celebrating birthdays and first days of school alike. I don’t know about you, but where I’m from, the sheet cake ruled the elementary classroom. Us kids were all about it. And since A) it’s my 2nd blogiversary, B) It’s the first day of school, and C) I have zilch sheet cake recipes on my blog thus far, I decided to grace my blog with the most chocolatey, perfection-every-time, easy sheet cake.
First off, let me apologize if I get a little sentimental here for a hot moment. My little blog is growing up to be a big girl. Not like the ones that walk on their own yet, or the ones who grow up so big they eventually leave the house. My blog still waddles and falls every time she tries something new. She depends on me for EVERYTHING #Ineedabreak. Before I take a picture of my laptop next to a chalkboard naming all the things this blog has done over this past year, I’m going to stop talking in this analogy.
This place, is my home. It’s my therapy sessions. It is my hustle and happy place. I never quite thought I would love doing this as much as I do. I never thought I would have the most kick-butt readers, but I do. Why do you come day in and day out to hear me rant about my life, post pictures of food, and sometimes make said food? I’ll never know, but I couldn’t be more thankful for our weird Internet relationship. You all have brought so much joy into my life this year. This really tough, and at times, SUCKY year :). You have taught me about vulnerability. You’ve listened, you’ve encouraged, you’ve showed up. Thank you, deeply.
The blog this year has started to stretch it’s wings. I’ve grown in my photography, and I’ve grown in my writing and development. This year also marks the first time I’ve made money on this little website. Am I not supposed to talk about that? Who cares! I don’t mind being honest! I’ve gotten some great products and a little fun money out of this year, and I think that’s pretty, darn KEWL.
Olive and Artisan also made its first TV appearance on Portland Today! One or two deep huffs into a dry, brown paper bag and I realized, I actually didn’t mind it at all. In fact, I enjoyed being on TV. My stage career has just begun. La La Land, look out!
I’ve had many shares this year, but none I’m more proud of than England’s very own, Nigella Lawson recommending me as a blog to follow. Um, Hi, I’m not freaking out, you are. Do you think she will want to do a cooking show with me where I just eat all the food she makes and stare at her doe-eyed?
These are all, of course, the highlights. The moments of fun sprinkled with joy and a hard pat on the back of a job well done. However, those moments are just on top of the days of self-doubt, algorithm changes, unfollows, and un-replied e-mails. That’s where I nestle in. Where I spent 99% of my year. It’s not always fun. Definitely not always easy. Yet, oddly enough, 100% worth it.
This last year of blogging had some personal trials that collided first hand with the blog. “Hello, Type One diabetes, can’t say it’s a pleasure to meet you.” I’ve spent the greater part of this year trying to hold my tongue from screaming “Google Type One diabetes, and come back with a less ignorant statement.” But, here is the take-away, Type One diabetes is a life sentence, however, it doesn’t have to take away my dream too. In fact, it’s added salt to my story in ways I never dreamed. I mean, I hate it, and if I could, I’d leave it on the side of a road in a box marked “free”. As it is, I can’t do that. But, it’s helped me grow as a food blogger. It’s helped me grow as a person. So, let’s call it even.
I give this year a solid A-. It’s been a thrill to process all the ups and downs of this year. To reminisce not only what has happened but to see how far I’ve come. I get to see the trajectory that I’m heading on. What will the next year hold? My comfort zones are starting to shrink to the point of claustrophobia, and I can’t wait to do more things that scare me.
Therefore, eating cake is deserved. It’s deserved times one thousand when you throw in a year of hard work and a swift goodbye to the lazy (hazy/crazy) days of summer. I really did save the best for last — I’m talking about this chocolate sheet cake. It’s my favorite sheet cake in the world. And, simple to boot. There is just something about coconut and chocolate together that gets me deep in my belly. However, you are free to use vanilla if you so desire. It’s a flexible American buttercream recipe.
I mean, it’s sheet cake. It’s supposed to scream 1996 and ten melted birthday candles dripping onto the buttercream. It brings me back to days of 4 p.m. Wishbone and Reading Rainbow weekends. Sheet cakes need their time in the light again. They need a full on comeback, and I’m happy to be a part of it anyway I can.
Chocolate Sheet Cake with Coconut ButtercreamPrint Recipe
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup boiling hot water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- -for the frosting-
- 1 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9" x 13" pan.
For the cake, place all dry ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk until combined.
Over the stovetop, heat the water, butter, and instant coffee together until just melted.
Add eggs and buttermilk into the dry ingredients and turn the mixer on low while pouring in the melted butter/coffee mixture. Scrape down the sides, and continue to stir for another 30 seconds.
Pour batter into prepared sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center has just set. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan.
For the frosting, whip the butter and water together for 2 minutes until pale. Add in the rest of the ingredients and whisk on low.
Frost the top of the cake once it's cooled, and top with sprinkles.