I’m a year older. I got to 21 and now all the ‘fun birthdays’ are over! I have to look forward to things like taxes, life decisions and drive through breakfast! (This is a thing I believe adults do, pay for breakfast at fast food restaurants. I ate Chick-fil-a breakfast once, okay. Okay like once last week. OKAY FINE I LOVE CHICK-FIL-A BREAKFAST). With every passing year (I’m aware of how dramatic I am being) I am moving towards my goals but also the inner dialogue is saying “What do you want to do with your life! Are you sure? Really sure? Really?”.
So this birthday for some reason was a little more OMG. My life is completely different from how it was a year ago- I was about to graduate college, I was publishing my first cookbook, and saying goodbye to a life I had for four years. All that change caught up to me a little bit, and especially as I move into the next year, with new decisions and more milestones to meet. Where I will be in 6 months will be completely different from where I am right now, even if I am in the exact same location. Why don’t more people flip out more often, life is real complicated!
Do you have any advice on getting older? Gems of wisdom? Fountains of inspiration? Send them my way, peeps, because I have a lot more birthdays to freak out about! Send more cake!
Everyone should eat chocolate cake for breakfast, especially on their birthday. My holy trinity is the luscious chocolate, nutty green studs of pistachios and a generous sprinkle of sea salt- I’m so about it. I waited a little too long to add toppings and the frosting set, but who doesn’t love that crunchy sugar tackiness? The sheet cake was inspired by my heart currently residing in Texas (cue: awww) and I felt it only appropriate to create a cake that reminded me of my partner in crime/life/cake.
Sheet Cake: A cake made in a flat pan (such as this 9×13 pyrex variety) intended to serve a large number of people. I might be totally making this up, but the Texans have pretty much claimed this cake as their own. I’m cool with that. Also, who has time for layers? No fabulous birthday girl, that’s for sure!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for baking dish
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for baking dish
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped unsalted, roasted pistachios
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
- Cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 13x9" baking dish. Bring cocoa powder, 1 cup butter, and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk sugar, baking soda, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla to well. Blend with a fork, then gradually incorporate dry ingredients. Add butter mixture and whisk until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared baking dish and smooth top.
- Bake until cake starts to pull away from edges of dish and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35–40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack.
- Frosting: Just before cake has finished baking, heat butter, milk, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth (do not let boil). Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Pour warm frosting over warm cake and spread out and smooth with an offset spatula. Top with pistachios and sea salt.
- Serve slightly warm or room temperature.