Ree Drummond's Sheet Cake Mistake Was A Happy Accident

Bob Ross famously said, "We don't make mistakes; we have happy little accidents," but when it comes to baking, accidents aren't quite as likely to give us joy. As you may know, baking is often likened to science in that everything needs to be measured as precisely as possible. Even an extra fraction of a teaspoon of an ingredient can completely change the final product for the worse. However, when Food Network star Ree Drummond unknowingly fumbled a recipe passed down from her husband's mother, a rare twist of fate occurred, and the baking mishap actually ended up working in her favor.

The error in question happened when The Pioneer Woman was making her mother-in-law's chocolate sheet cake. "My husband, early in our marriage, was like, 'I like your sheet cake so much better than my mom's,'" she explained to Taste of Home. "And I asked, 'What do you mean? She gave me the recipe. It is your mom's!' And he said 'No, it's different.' So finally we figured it out one day."

Her slip-up? Drummond had misunderstood the step calling for "1 c. butter," which she perceived as being an entire cup, or two sticks. In reality, the "c" in the directions stood for "cube," meaning she was only supposed to add a single stick of butter. However, since her cake turned out better than the original, she decided to keep the happy accident in her recipe, which she affectionally calls "the best chocolate sheet cake ever."

Here's why Drummond's butter mishap worked out in her Texas sheet cake recipe

Ree Drummond admitted to using a ridiculous amount of butter during "The Pioneer Woman's" first season, but she didn't intend on doubling the amount of the creamy spread the first time she made her mother-in-law's Texas sheet cake. Fortunately, the mishap yielded what the television host has deemed "sinful results," and now, Drummond's take on the family recipe is one of her most popular dishes that has earned an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars. "This was the most delicious, moist, and light chocolate cake I've ever made. So good," wrote one reviewer on Food Network. "I'm not even a big chocolate fan, but this is perfection," another declared.

So why did Drummond's sheet cake mistake turn out to be such a happy accident? Butter is used for flavor and moisture in cakes. Therefore, the Pioneer Woman's accidental additional stick of butter simply added more moisture to the baked good, which explains why so many people who have re-created her recipe have found the cake to be exceptionally soft and tender.

Unfortunately, doubling the butter in baking doesn't always work out for the best. In cookies, for example, extra butter can cause the treats to bake unevenly and come out oily and flat. Luckily, if you realize your misstep before putting the cookies in the oven, simply doubling the rest of the ingredients is a quick fix.