Below is my very best go-to chocolate cake recipe. Chocolate Sheet Cake. It is the recipe that my childhood best friend’s mom made all the time. I loved that cake. First, let me tell you what got me thinking about posting this recipe.
Do you remember trick or treating? I do and it was long before people got upset about sugar intake or that somehow dressing up in costumes and getting free candy from the neighbors was fortifying some sort of devil worship? Remember going with your best friends? My childhood best friend’s name was Lisa. She lived kitty corner across the street from me from the time I was 5 years old. She was one year older than me and had an older brother and sister. Ray and Darla.
Lisa taught me a lot about many things including what it was like to have siblings. I am an only child and had no idea. It was always odd to me how they could yell and scream and wrestle and hit each other with great relish but boy you better not pick on one of them because the other two would come to their rescue and you would have a war on your hands!
Lisa was the coolest person I knew. She had a 10-speed bike. I did not. She could wear a 2 piece bathing suit to the pool and look like those girls in the magazines. I did not – I looked like the boys in the magazines. She could play softball — second only to her sister Darla who was the best batter and catcher-of-the-ball I ever saw. I wasn’t coordinated enough. Lisa got to wear her hair the way she wanted……..parted straight down the middle. I could not. She tanned as dark as a biscuit and while I tanned too, it just didn’t look as pretty under my dark brown hair – unlike her sparkly blonde tresses. Lisa still loves going on cruises and sitting by the pool – I haven’t been near water in ages.
Lisa’s mom made every meal from scratch. My mom worked – had a college degree and a career so I was more accustomed to TV Dinners and pre-packaged meals during the week although we had cattle either out back or we rented pasture land from family friends so we had grass fed beef and pork my entire life. Mom wasn’t much of a cook – not like my nana – so she cooked the meat until it was just this side of burned and called it good.
Lisa’s mom not only cooked everything well she was cool too. She always had soft curls, beautifully filed pointy nails and smoked long cigarettes that she would draw in deep and talk to mom as the smoke escaped her lips in one long exhale. She was trim and wore these flowered shorts and white tank top – the uniform of a gorgeous woman who nobody messed with………..you know that woman from the neighborhood. No one wanted you to tell Lisa’s mom because she would come take care of any misbehaving you were doing by herself, blindfolded and with one hand tied behind her back. I found out later from the few boys in the neighborhood they thought my mom was the beauty of the block but they felt safest around Lisa’s mom!
One of my favorite memories is the very last year Lisa and I went trick or treating. We both dressed up in our dad’s clothes like Hobos and then we ran all over the neighborhood adjacent to ours talking to friends, giggling and gathering up as much candy as we could. We got home way after dark but no one worried. There was no reason to. I’m sure Ray and Darla were out there in the shawdows somewhere – begrudglingly watching out for us. In our neighborhood was even a house where there was a bowlful of candy on the front porch and the family was gone. A note said to take just one or two and we did. There was no reason not to follow the rules because someone would tell and then we would be in trouble. Everyone knew everyone and even if they didn’t – parents looked out for each other as did the kids! My husband’s favorite place to trick or treat was an older couple’s house where she made really tasty caramel apples – doesn’t that sound delicious right now? What about a hayride and weenie roast? Fun times, weren’t they?
Lisa and I lost touch when I moved out of my hometown but with the birth of face book, rediscovered our friendship. Eventually, I asked her for her mom’s cake recipe. From the very first time I made it, this cake is a family favorite. We keep it in the fridge and eat it all the time. My daughter requests this cake more than anything else I make and I don’t mind. It takes me back in time to a place where all I had to do was get my homework done, chores accomplished and stay out from between Lisa and Darla when they got into it!
My daughter and her husband will take my grandson trick or treating this year – and these are the costumes. Extra points for knowing who/what they are! Leave your answers in the comments below.
**My daughter and grandson will be helping out more at KellisKitchen.org. Look for them more in posts to come.
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as my family does. As you can see by the photos, it’s still hot some days here so we had to take the photos fast as the icing/frosting was melting.
Chocolate Sheet Cake
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Boil and Cool:
2 sticks of butter
1 Cup water
4 Tablespoon Cocoa
Pour sifted ingredients into boiled ingredients
Add 2 eggs beaten
1/2 Cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla.
pour into greased and floured cookie sheet pan
bake at 350 for 20 min.
6 Tablespoons Milk
6 Tablespoons Butter
6 Tablespoons Sugar
6 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Melt in a pot then
Add 1 box of powdered sugar
1 Cup Pecans (optional)
After the cake cools, pour the icing over cake and spread it out.
I put it in the fridge for a while and take it out and cut into squares and put
in air tight containers back in fridge and then we eat it!