The Contessa's Birthday Sheet Cake

In the Walt Disney film, Alice in Wonderland, (1951) there is a scene where Alice is sitting on the riverbank and a funny little rabbit rushes through saying...

"I'm late, I'm late for a very important date
No Time to say "Hello", "Goodbye"
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late. . ."

That has been the story of my life the last few weeks! I am late. Time slipped by so quickly that I didn't even think about the Barefoot Blogger recipe that was to be posted on September 10th! When I got home that evening, I was determined to get it made and posted. Great plans. While I got it made, it didn't get posted that evening.

Debby at A Feast of the Eyes told me to read the reviews before I did anything. Good advice, thank you, Debby!

It was late in the evening and I had to get moving or I would have been baking at midnight! The Barefoot Blogger recipe was Birthday Sheet Cake from Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook. It was selected by Susy at Everyday Gourmet. If you haven't visited her blog you may wish to stop by to see what she is cooking.

One of the reviews commented on the pan depth....nope, my pan was too shallow. Great, a sheet cake without a pan. Somebody else used a 9 X 13. Too much batter for only remaining choice was my lasagna pan! How about a cake without a straight side?

The recipe can be found here. I adjusted the soda to 3/4 teaspoon as was recommended. I also increased the vanilla to 2 teaspoons and omitted the lemon. I was happy with the results.

I sprinkled some Chocolate Covered CaCao Nibs on top. I decided that an adult sprinkle was called for....I didn't have any M & Ms in the house.

I took the cake to work the next day. This was too much cake to leave at home for three people! One of the guys stopped by to rave about the cake. He even asked for the recipe. So, there are those who like this type of cake.

The reviews seemed to be polarized. You either liked it or you hated it! I followed the directions explicitly. As with many things, expectations cloud one's opinion of the result. I would have expected a "light and airy" sheet cake. That has been my experience. The batter was light and airy...a good sign. The cake was more dense than most but it wasn't dry. In a nutshell, it was an okay cake but nothing spectacular.



  1. You did it! I concur-- the cake was "okay", but if I'm going to blow my calorie consumption, I want something SPECTACULAR! I can't wait to make the next one, though. I hear it's pretty amazing.
    Great to see you're such a trooper, and thanks for the shout!

  2. I love this kind of cake to have on hand for breakfast or a quick snack - or snitching a sliver each time I walk through the kitchen. It looks wonderful!

  3. I love this challenge, and I try to read the blogs when they´re posted. I would love to participate, but we´re traveling too much right now. When we settle back home I think I´m going to join it.

    Thanks for being candid about this cake. It´s hard to go to all the trouble of making something and then finding it disappointing.

    It looks good, though...

    P.S. Where in Germany are your family from?

  4. I really appreciate the honesty of the post:) And you did make people happy:)

  5. for my tastes, that cake requires about 4 times more frosting. :) the nibs are a great touch!

  6. At least you made the cake. I am home alone right now and could not see making a huge cake. I'll make the one selected for the end of the month.

  7. You did an excellent job! I can't wait to try it for my daughter's birthday!


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