Sunday, April 4, 2010


This is a great cake.  It is hard to mess up, bakes in only 25 minutes when you bake it in a cookie sheet and ALWAYS goes like hot cakes at a gathering.

Texas Sheet Cake
Mix in a bowl & set aside:
  • 2     C. sugar
  • 2     C. flour
  • 1/4   t. salt
  • 1      t. soda
Mix in a pan and bring to a gentle boil.  Then remove from burner:
  • 1     C. margarine ( I use butter since to be soy free)
  • 1/4  C. cocoa powder
  • 1     C. water
Add buttermilk to pan & mix.  Pour a little hot mixture into beaten eggs to temper while stirring and then add all to pan while mixing.  Add vanilla & mix.
  • 1/2   C. buttermilk
  • 2           eggs
  • 1      t.  vanilla
Add the liquids to the dry ingredients all at once. Mix and pour into a well sprayed cookie sheet or 13" X 9".  If you will want to turn the cake out of pan, be sure to also flour the pan.

13" X 9" pan  ----- bake 45 minutes   at     325 degrees
Cookie sheet  -----bake 25 minutes    at     325 degrees

Five minutes before the cake is done, start your topping.  I call this Candy Frosting.  It keeps well in your fridge if you want to make a big ole' batch for leftovers for later  ;-}

Topping   (This is SO good on brownies, that pantry recipe is HERE)

1/2     C.  margarine (or butter)
6        T.  milk
1/4     C.  cocoa powder
1        lb.  powdered sugar
1        C.  chopped nuts

Mix the margarine, milk, cocoa powder in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Remove from the burner and quickly stir in the powdered sugar and nuts.   If you have a kid in braces or one that is just weird and doesn't like nuts, you can stir in sugar, frost half the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Quickly stir nuts in last half of the topping and spread it on the second half!

I grew up on  farm with a pecan orchard and LOVE, LOVE nuts, so we go the rounds around here.  But since nuts are iffy for food allergies, tastes and just plain old expensive, I usually fore go the nuts when making this for a group I'm not sure about other's needs.

I realized that the cherry pie filling was a little lumpy, I scraped it back off and blended it up with some neat little stuff I have called "Instant Clear Gel".  It comes from Walton Feed (  Great stuff, you beat it into the mixture and it thickens after a few minutes without cooking.

Here is the first layer with the filling, looks kind of gory, doesn't it?  I decided it wasn't blood, it was lava, you know like in the dinosaur days, got it?  By this time, I knew I had to pull my oldest daughter's chain a bit, her life just wasn't complicated enough  ;-] 

So we scattered the little dinos all over the cake to surprise everyone when it was cut . . . Big Ole' Hit with all those kids!

I forgot to flour the pan of the second layer, so we had a little problem turning it out . .  OK, it wasn't so little, but could've been worse.  I figured it was a good place to put the little dinosaur that the "digger" (back hoe) is digging up.  Roll with the punches I always say, way too often.

So here is the hill.  It is sugar cookie dough with
some mini chocolate chips in it.  I thought it might make good rocks . . . didn't.  It did make good dirt later however, so I'll take that.
I made the hill by pressing the dough into a corelle cereal bowl (grease it!), baking it in the oven between the two bowls.  I finally had to take the top bowl off and mash the center down to make it hold a good shape.  I trimmed it on one edge with a small sharp knife to make it tip down.

Sarah, my youngest daughter, and I were still puzzling on how to make good rocks when I remembered that I had a bunch of this stuff still.  They worked so well . . .  we were so excited on how cute they turned out!

We melted them in a double boiler to give us more time to work the candy while adding the flavor and color.  By scooping the candy off the top of the blog, it wasn't too hot to handle and for the rocks.  We sprinkled them with cocoa powder to make them look more craggy.

Here is a fuzzy, but closer look at the
"rocks" and "dirt".  This was a really fun
project for Nanny & Aunt Sassy!  We're glad that we got to do it.


Not all cocoa is created equally.

There is just the regular powder that Hershey makes.  Most recipes are made out of this type of cocoa, unless it states otherwise.

I love to use Dutch Cocoa when I can find it.  The last place I found it was at a Sprouts near where I live.  It has a little richer, nicer flavor without being over powering.

Last Christmas I found a Hershey product called, "Special Dark" . . .  they were not kidding!  This cake was made out of it and it was so stinking rich, I could only eat a couple of bites . .  and it had nothing to do with the cherry filling . .  trust me.

WARNING:  This will sound redundant to some of you, but  . . . .  this is not the stuff like "Nestle's Quick" that you make chocolate milk out of!  I have known of that being done more than once!  Makes pretty wimpy chocolate baked goods.


I hope all of us can enjoy this day with friends and family as we remember the "reason for this season":  The resurrection of our Savior and for his atoning sacrifice, enabling us to return to our Heavenly Father .