Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Perfect chocolate cake

There is nothing special about this sheet cake recipe except that it turns out perfect every time. I've been making it for 20 years and it is always awesome. You can even mess with the ingredients and substitute skim milk and vinegar for the buttermilk and it's still awesome. And the frosting? Oh, baby, the frosting. 

Here's the cake right out of the oven. Yep, that's a toothpick test hole right smack dab in the middle. The whole cake is actually a little uneven. I blame it on the oven, which is uneven. That's because our kitchen floor is uneven. Heck, our whole house is uneven. You couldn't find a 90 degree angle in this place to save your life. Don't worry. That's what frosting is for.

See? It's the miracle of frosting. Now everything is nice and even. You can frost this cake hot or cold, very handy if you're having a major "I need it now!" chocolate cake craving. Waiting is overrated. 

Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats a piece of this cake, still warm from the oven with the frosting all soft and melty with a big glass of cold milk. If you're not drooling by now, there is something seriously wrong with you. I only used a half-recipe of the frosting. If I used a full recipe, there would be an equal amount of cake and frosting. And my butt would be as big as Rhode Island.

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 sticks margarine
1 C. water
3 T. cocoa
1/2 C. buttermilk (can substitute 1/2 C. milk and 1 1/2 tsp. vinegar)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, sift flour, sugar and soda. In saucepan, combine margarine, water and cocoa over medium heat and bring just to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients while still hot. Mix. Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour into greased and floured sheet cake pan or 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes for sheet cake pan, 25 to 30 for 9 x 13, or until toothpick comes out clean for either.

6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 stick margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
16 oz. powdered sugar
5 to 8 T. milk
chopped pecans, optional

Melt chocolate chips with margarine. Add rest of ingredients and blend, adding milk until desired consistency is reached. Spread over cake, hot or cold.

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