Monday, July 04, 2005

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake, A July 4th Tradition

St. Cassarole and Reverend Mommy shared chicken cassarole recipes on their blogs today. We must all be in "Martha" mode because of the the Fourth of July holiday. Yesterday we had our extended family celebration at my house--a cookout, swimming for the kids and lots of watermelon, both red and yellow.

I also made Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake, which is a must for all gatherings. My brother describes it as "a religious experience", so here it is for all of you. Bon appetit, y'all!

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

Bring to a boil in a pan:
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup solid shortening (I use butter flavor Crisco)
4 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa (NOT European style--only use the good old USA style)
Set aside to cool.

Sift together in a large bowl
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pour chocolate mixture over the flour/sugar mixture

2 well-beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk that has 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in it.

Mix well and pour into greased 9x 13 pan.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Do not overbake!
Ice the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Bring to a boil in a saucepan --
1 stick margarine
6 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa

Stir continuously until mixture thickens. Then remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla, the box of powdered sugar and 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans. You can omit the pecans, if you don't like nuts.

Pour hot icing over the cake and let it cool. This cake can be made ahead because it is actually better the next day!


St. Casserole said...

I'm going to try this.
Do you have to use buttermilk? I'm not against buttermilk for cooking but I don't know what to do with the rest of the carton. Thinking like as thrifty Presbyterian here...

Quotidian Grace said...

St. Cass, Buttermilk is the key to the recipe! If you use regular milk it won't react properly with the baking soda. I have found it in pint containers when I didn't want to buy a quart. I make this cake often enought that I keep buttermilk on hand, though.

Jody, too said...

This is one of my favorite cakes and we also had it at many family gatherings while growing up in PA. Called it Texas sheet cake.

You can always use 1/2 cup milk with a little vinager (2 TBS or so) added to "sour" it in place of the buttermilk. It always works for me in a pinch. You can buy powdered buttermilk too -- near baking supplies, I think.

Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks, Jody Too, that should help those who don't usually keep buttermilk around!

Songbird said...

On the other hand, you can use the buttermilk for pancakes the next day!
I can't wait to try this recipe; we have a big stewardship planning dinner on Sunday, and I am hoping to make it for that event.

Anonymous said...

I feel more like I've been on a sentimental journey. My mom made this sheet cake too AND used the ole vinegar trick for buttermilk. Thanks for the memories.

Thinking of all of us today in the PCUSA. Let's hang in there.