Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recipe for Chocolate Sheet Cake

I am still having trouble adjusting to the time change; now getting  up around 3 AM.  It does give me some nice, quiet reading time...

Today is much cooler and windy.  I  took a few pictures  and was pretty cold by the time I came back in.
I am getting color on my October Glory Maple at last.

and this is the west yard.....I do no ornamental gardening here and I love it.....

My trees are a swamp oak, a white oak, the pin oak and some silver maples....and the red maple.  Note:   I don't do leaves....might windrow some with the mower later....or not.

I was surprised to see this late lovely yesterday in all the rain.  This is the old standby 'Immortality' iris.

I have had some requests for both the oatmeal bread and the sheet cake recipes.  Here is the sheet cake, a very simple, no-fail recipe:

Secret Cake

I have been making this cake for so long, probably since 1971 when this local cookbook came out.
It was called Symphony of Cooking, fifth movement published by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra presented by The Women's Division of the Springfield Symphony Association.

When I make it for the whole family, I take out half the icing for plain and add the nuts and coconut to the rest....I then have a half plain iced and half other....we seem to be divided on who wants what!

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ Teaspoon salt

l stick butter
½ cup shortening
1 cup water
3-1/2 Tablespoons cocoa

½ cup buttermilk
2 unbeaten eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Teaspoon soda

Sift first 3 ingredients together. Bring next 4 ingredients to a boil; pour over sugar mixture and blend well. Add last 4 ingredients ; mix well. Batter will be thin. Pour into greased 11x16x1 inch pan. Bake at 400° for around 20 minutes.


1 stick butter
3-1/2 Tablespoons cocoa
½ cup buttermilk
1 box powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 cup black walnuts or nuts of your choice
1 cup flaked coconut

Boil first 3 ingredients until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; add rest of ingredients. Leave cake in pan; frost while still hot.

This freezes well.
Yield: 20 large servings or 5 dozen brownie size.

As for the Oatmeal bread, I had it in the freezer and I have about 3 recipes for oatmeal bread and don't know which one I did.  I also notoriously ad lib with various additives.  So this morning I am making two loaves of one of the recipes and actually following the recipe (maybe a couple tiny ad libs...) and will test and see if it is my best one.  Besides, it gave me a good reason to make bread!  More to follow...

Ilene mentioned salt for the mincemeat.  I don't think I added any....will add a bit to the package in the  fridge.  I use vinegar too.  I will post me DIY recipe soon.

I am making my Iowa sis a care package this afternoon.  She will be getting  package of mincemeat, a batch of Goat's Milk soap with lavender and rosemary fragrance, and a package of vanilla beans and my recipe for vanilla.  I have almost let it all slip a time or two.  I like to surprise her!  I want her take on the mincemeat.  It isn't for anything special just fun.  She does love the soap.


  1. Beautiful pictures. I think it's just amazing the color of the trees this fall..So bright and just brilliant.
    A chocolate cake sounds good for today.. I love to make goat's milk soap with lavender or rosemary..Makes a great Christmas present.
    Have a tiggeriffic day~ ta ta for now from Iowa:)

  2. If I weren't stuck in a hotel room right now I'd be making this cake!
    Thanks for sharing the trees pics, especially the maple...we miss the colors of the Ozarks.
    Can't wait to try the Oatmeal Bread recipe.
    Blessings, K

  3. Do you want to adopt me and send a surprise package? :>)

    Love the pretty fall colors. We don't do leaves either except to keep them blown off the porch. DH runs the lawn mower over them several times to chop them up well. Been doing it this way for several years.

    Take care...........

  4. Your little red maple is a pretty tree and that's a tough little iris to be still blooming! You have a lucky sister! Lots of good things going to her! The sheet cake sounds good, I haven't made one of those in a while.

  5. Do you use self rising or plain flour?