Michelle Lopez's Tahini Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Michelle Lopez's Tahini Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

We cannot get over how stunning this cake is, especially that silky frosting! The recipe comes from Michelle Lopez's cookbook Weeknight Baking, and these gorgeous photos were taken by Erin Clarkson of Cloudy Kitchen. It's a perfect elevated and interesting treat that nods to the nostalgia and tradition of a sheet cake.


For the tahini brown sugar sheet cake
225g cake flour 
425g dark brown sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder  
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp kosher salt 
225g Seed + Mill Organic Tahini, well stirred 
225g buttermilk, at room temperature
170g water 
115g canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate fudge frosting
170g unsweetened chocolate, from a high quality chocolate bar, broken into pieces 
510g confectioner's sugar, sifted 
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
85g whole milk
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp kosher salt 
Sprinkles for finishing, optional


For the cake

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Prepare your 9”x13” sheet pan by spraying with cooking spray and lining the pan with parchment, then lightly spraying the parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl, combine the tahini, buttermilk, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk on low until the mixture is smooth and caramel in color, about 1 minute. Gradually add the dry ingredients, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Take extra care here - a small amount of tahini always sticks to the bottom. Whisk until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. When done, the op of the cake should bounce back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pan before adding the chocolate fudge frosting on top and smoothing with an offset spatula, then decorating with sprinkles. Alternatively, remove the cake from the sheet pan using the parchment paper as handles, then frost with the chocolate fudge frosting.

For the frosting

    1. In a food processor, pulse the chocolate for a few seconds at a time until chopped into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Transfer the chocolate to the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Cook over medium heat, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir the mixture and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the chocolate has melted, about 10 minutes. Set the top of the double boiler or the bowl on a wire rack and let the chocolate cool while you prep the other ingredients.
    2. In the food processor, combine the confectioner’s sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, and salt. Pour in the melted chocolate and pulse briefly to combine, and then process until the frosting is creamy, smooth, a d light brown in color, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then process for an additional 30 seconds. Use immediately.


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