How to glaze brownies or chocolate cake to perfection. Because, it’s all about the glaze.
Every recipe has a story, right? Well, it turns out, so does every hack.
And here it is.
I once invited my sister over for Shabbos. I told her to take the week off and not bring a thing which, of course, she ignored and showed up with 3 different cakes and a salad and also a dessert. Anyway, I have to admit that I do like when people bring stuff because that’s the only way that I get to try new things, you know? I was so bored of my Shabbos cake, and here instead were these gorgeous glazed brownies which were devoured by all.
You know how, when you slice a glazed cake, it’s impossible not to get those bumpy edges, not to mention, crumbs all over the place? Well, these squares were so cute and so perfect. They were so perfect that they looked pretty enough to serve on a platter. Even pretty enough to send for a kiddush!
I also liked the fact that it was easy for the little ones to help themselves without making an enormous mess.
So, what’s the secret? How do you glaze a sheet pan cake in a way that it cuts into perfect squares? The answer might surprise you.
You slice it up first, and glaze it after.
But hey, it makes so much sense.
But, let’s start from the beginning.
Why bake into a sheet pan? It’s the best way to achieve a maximum amount of pieces at minimum effort. We figured out that two boxes of Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix fit perfectly in this half sheet pan. Make sure to line it with a piece of parchment first.
I baked the cake for 1 hour and 5-10 minutes until a toothpick at the center came out dry with just a few crumbs.
Once cooled, I popped the cake into the freezer for about 2 hours. That helped with cutting it with minimal crumbling. I once left it in the freezer overnight and, as a result, it was much harder to slice. I needed to wait for it to thaw first. You want it firm and semi frozen, so that it slices easily but without too much effort.
Use a large knife like this one here and make sure to cut all the way down. All. The. Way.
Also, cut it into smaller squares. It’s the perfect amount.
I generally will do rows of 12 x 6 squares. Cut out the outer edges into a neat square.
Now for the glaze (see recipe below)
I like this glaze because you mix it in a pot, and you can do that part in advance. Just heat it up a bit once you are ready to glaze the cake.
Pour the glaze over the cake all at once.
Use an offset spatula to spread the glaze evenly all over the cake.
Remove the outer layer, the “frame”. With the help of a fork, lift each piece of cake individually UP and then away and place it on a platter or a pan, for freezing.
The secret to achieving nice, perfect pieces of cake is to take your time when removing each piece, doing it slowly and carefully. The results are worth it!
This cake/brownie freezes really well and yields A LOT of pieces (about 72). So it’s perfect for sending to a simcha or, to stock up your freezer. It’s really nice to have 4-5 pans of cut cake to pull out one each Shabbos morning!
- 1½ cups confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup + 1 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- Mix all ingredients in a small pot, over medium heat. Use a whisk to mix until combined and smooth. (You can do this part in advance. Just heat it up a bit once you are ready to glaze the cake.)
- Pour over the cake while still warm but not hot. Use an offset spatula to spread over the cooled cake.