Texas Sheet Cake

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Texas Sheet Cake

The bases were loaded and Katie was up to bat.  She stood there at home plate, gripping the wooden bat fiercely in her sweaty hands.  The pitcher released the ball and with one mighty heave she smacked that ball into the outfield, sending eighth grade boys scrambling to retrieve it before she scored another home run.  But there were a few fumbles and by the time that ball was flying through the air towards the catcher, Katie had already slid, yes slid, across home plate, cap all askew and her plain dress covered with a layer of dust while a smile as big as Texas stretched across her sun-burnt face.

It was fall and the Amish children were enjoying a longer recess to play their favorite game of softball at the one-room school where I taught for three years. Today was a special day because the parents were bringing lunch to school for everyone, and after weeks of bologna sandwiches, apples and chips everyone was excited for the appetizing spread of food these monthly carry-in meals provided.

Soon the clip-clop of buggies coming from different directions signaled the arrival of food was imminent and the game wound down as players headed for the wash bucket inside the door where everyone took turns splashing water on their hands to (somewhat) get rid of the grime. Boys smoothed down their hair and hung their straw hats on hooks while the girls tucked fly-away strands back under their coverings.  Then everyone lined up in neat rows to have a moment of grace while everyone quietly bowed their heads. A clearing of the throat, usually by one of the men, signaled the end of grace and soon lively chatter ensued as plates were filled and food was consumed.  After the meal was over, the girls helped to clean up while the boys loaded the buggies, reaching for the last squares of cake left in the pan.

So here's the recipe for that cake, handed to me by one of the moms after just such a day, as she got in her buggy to head back down the road to her farm. It's perfect for Fall and family gatherings and church carry-ins and backyard campfire picnics. Or for no reason at all except to enjoy a rich slice of chocolatey goodness.

Texas Sheet Cake

2 sticks butter
1 cup water
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups white sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add water and cocoa, whisking to blend. Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add sour cream, whisking to bring down temperature slightly, then add the eggs (beaten slightly), vanilla, salt and baking soda.  Whisk together and pour over the bowl of sugar and flour.  Stir gently until blended. Pour into a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

While cake is baking, prepare the frosting.

1 stick butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 pound confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Add cocoa and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Pour into a mixer bowl and whip with 1 pound confectioner's sugar and nuts.

When cake comes out of oven, cool for about five minutes, then pour frosting over still warmish/hot cake.

If you can, wait until it cools before you cut a slice.  Note:  I have never been able to wait.

1 comment:

  1. When I was in studing in taxas and I remember that 'mba essay writing service' was my last paper. After completed paper I bought TEXAS CAKE. The cake taste was so amazing.