Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake

I recently started following Weightwatchers again. I haven’t been on Weightwatchers for over ten years, but I knew I needed to do something when earlier this year during my vegan Lent, I only lost two pounds. Generally, I try not to equate weight loss with my Lenten promises, but (Come on!) I should have shed a few more pounds. I was obviously eating healthy, so I knew my problem was with portion control. And, Weightwatchers has been helping.

My only problem with Weightwatchers, or any weight loss program really, is that I don’t do well with someone else telling me what to eat and how much exercise I need. My mind plays tricks on me, and I end up cheating. Somehow I never think of it as cheating on myself, but as cheating on “the man.” I know, it doesn’t make any sense—it’s just how I am, and I have to work on that.

So, last week, all I could think about was cake. I’m not even a huge cake fan, but all I wanted to do was bake, and all I wanted to bake was cake. I found this recipe for Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake in Taste of the South magazine. I’m not sure how I ended up with this magazine, but I received it in the mail, and when I saw this cake, I couldn’t resist the frosting. I’m a sucker for caramel frosting!

This cake is easy to make. I love sheet cakes for their technique. I used my hand-held mixture, but with a little fortitude, you could mix the cake and frosting by hand. And, who doesn’t love being able to pour warm frosting over a warm cake? It saves so much time, and keeps the cake tender and moist.

Les and our son loved this salty sweet cake, and were disappointed to see me packing it up to take to work. I wanted to bake a cake—I just didn’t want to eat it all! I am on Weightwatchers after all. My co-workers polished the cake off before 9:30am. Win!  

Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake 
From Taste of the South 
Printable Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel Frosting (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 15x10-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring butter and 1 cup of water to a boil. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Add the hot butter mixture to the flour mixture and beat at low spread with an electric mixer just until the mixture comes together. Add the sour cream, beating well. Add the eggs one at a time and mix, and stir in the vanilla. Pour mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until it is lightly browned, and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Pour hot Caramel Frosting over warm cake, spreading to edges. Sprinkle with pecans. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.

Carmel Frosting
½ cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sour cream
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

In a large heavy saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and slowly stir in the sour cream.

Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating at medium speed with a hand mixer until the frosting is smooth. Pour immediately over warm cake.


  1. Janice -- I am the same way with diets! I always try to see what I can get away with -- even though I know (intellectually) I'm only hurting myself. It makes for a pretty vicious cycle. Don't feel bad about not losing weight on your veggie regime, I didn't lose ANYTHING when I had my mouth wired shut for two weeks! Apparently you CAN have too many milkshakes.

  2. Hi Colleen, Hope everything is okay now! But, I'm a little bummed. Wiring my mouth shut was going to be my next step ;-) Janice



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