Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
16 servings (serving size: 1 square)

This easy sheet cake is rich enough for adults to enjoy after dinner with coffee, yet just sweet enough to be a treat for children, too.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

2 To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk.

Step 3

Place 7 tablespoons butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a mixing bowl; beat at medium-high speed with a mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in egg white. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in 6 tablespoons walnuts. Scrape batter into a 13 x 9–inch pan coated with cooking spray.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Step 5

To prepare frosting, place 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 2 tablespoons butter, corn syrup, and dash of salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook 2 minutes. Scrape brown sugar mixture into a bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons milk and powdered sugar; beat with a mixer at high speed 2 minutes or until slightly cooled and thick. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread frosting in an even layer over cooled cake; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. Let the cake stand until the frosting sets; cut into squares.

Ratings & Reviews

May 19, 2016
Pralines are an extremely sweet home made candy here in Louisiana.  We use pecans and a very little bite goes a very long way.  It is VERY sweet.  That is why this frosting is soooooo  sweet.  It's made a lot like the Pecan Praline!

Annelisa's Review

January 13, 2009
This was amazing! Probably one of the best Cooking Light cakes I have made. I used pecans and substituted applesauce for 3 tbls of butter. I used only 1 cup of powdered sugar in the icing. When I put the icing on the cake, it was very runny, but then I cooled the cake and it set quickly. The icing is delicious! It's still very sweet with 1 cup powdered sugar.

May 19, 2016
If it was grainy, then you  did not cook it long enough to dissolve all the brown sugar.

mariannette's Review

July 22, 2009
Cake texture is okay, the taste, however is somewhat flour-y. I do not weigh my flour--so maybe there was a Tbsp or so too much of it in the batter. Baking time was more like 24 minutes; I have a new oven. Frosting is a bit grainy. I added 1/4 cup of Nutella to try to overcome the graininess, but did not solve the problem.

steponme's Review

October 13, 2010
I've been intending to try this recipe since seeing it in the CL magazine last year. I finanlly made it the other night; excellent, easy, came out perfect. Will make again.

DoctorT's Review

August 17, 2012
Lovely. Keeps well and works equally well with walnuts or pecans.

tfontana's Review

August 03, 2013

ShellyV's Review

April 07, 2009
A very good cake! I substituted pecans for walnuts...everything else was left the same. I will definitely make this recipe again.

JessicaLuu's Review

June 08, 2010
This cake is amazing. I made it twice with rave reviews. It is the perfect fall cake, and I look forward to making it this fall. I weigh all of my flours, and I never have problems with it being too dense. I think this is better than any store bought cake.

LoveToTaste's Review

December 01, 2008
I followed recipe exactly and it came out wonderful, except the frosting was way too sweet. I'm going to try it again but I'll cut the frosting in half since it is more like a glaze and will spread easily. Hopefully this adjustment will make it even tastier. If all else fails, I think the cake alone without the frosting is very good. Enjoy and give it a try!