Advertisements
RSS Feed

Not Your Grandma’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

Posted on

A while back, my cousin, Pattie, shared a recipe for chocolate sheet cake with me that our Grandma Davis had written in her own hand, and allowed me to scan it so I could keep a copy for myself.  (Thank you, Pattie!)  This is precious to me, because my Grandma was and is precious to me, I love to bake, especially cake, recipes are precious to me, and this one is doubly so because it was written and used by her.

However, I don’t think I will ever make it as written.  I have had this old-fashioned chocolate sheet cake before (not baked by Grandma, but the same recipe), and I was not impressed with the lack of chocolate flavor, and thought it wasn’t quite moist enough.  I hate to say it, but it was, in fact, the worst homemade cake I’ve ever had.  Not that it was a terrible gag-worthy cake, it just wasn’t as good as all the others I’ve had.

Yes, my name is Veronica, and despite liking cake mixes, I am a cake snob.  I won’t even touch a store-bought cake (gag) unless I’m at a party where it’s being served, and I’ll take a slice so as not to offend.  But don’t you dare try to buy me one for my birthday.  I require that cakes have great flavor, great texture, delicious homemade frosting (preferably made with real butter), and be very moist.  This cake met none of those requirements, although the icing was almost good enough.

When I ran across Paula Deen’s recipe for Savannah Sheet Cake on From Apples to Zucchini recently, I could tell right away that it would be more moist, sweeter, and more chocolatey than Grandma’s recipe.  I combined that recipe with my Grandma’s directions for baking, and switched the regular cocoa powder with Dutch process to make it even more chocolatey.

I’m pleased to report that this cake is everything I hoped it would be: insanely moist and perfectly chocolatey.  It’s so good, I’m thinking of using the cake recipe to make a layer cake and seeing if it is as good as my favorite chocolate cake.  And I’m not sure how I know this, but when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it is sheet cake nirvana.

Super Chocolate Sheet Cake

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 cup water
1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup Dutch process or Hershey’s Dark cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Pecan Icing:
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup Dutch process or Hershey’s Dark cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
16-oz. box confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and flour an 18″ x 12″ jelly roll pan. In a small saucepan, combine water, butter, oil, and cocoa. Bring the mixture to a boil; remove from heat. Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and cocoa mixture. Add the vanilla. Mix until very smooth, about 2 minutes.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 15 minutes, until the center appears firm and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Five minutes before the cake is done, start the icing. Bring the butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in the sugar and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, about a minute. Stir in the vanilla and pecans. Pour warm icing over warm cake and spread quickly with a spatula. Let cool about 2 hours before cutting. Laugh after reading that and dig right in, topping the warm piece with ice cream and let your eyes roll back in your head as you take your first bite.

*To toast pecans, place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until nuts are toasted and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

Recipe source: Adapted from Paula Deen’s Savannah Sheet Cake

Advertisements

About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

30 responses »

  1. I love the oleo….totally reminds me of my grandma. She didn’t cook and bake, but I remember her distinctly calling any type of butter or spread, oleo margarine….

    The cake looks wonderful! Paula does know her desserts!

    Like

    Reply
  2. Looks delicious! Thanks for the shout out – I am really glad that you liked it! Love the old recipe too : )

    Like

    Reply
  3. What a triumph of a cake! I’m sure your grandma would be pleased that you took her cake to new levels.

    Like

    Reply
  4. I think your Grandma would be proud! That cake looks very moist and yummy. My Grandma says oleo too, funny how that word sticks with them through all the changing times.

    Like

    Reply
  5. I love how picky you are about your cakes! I have a friend who is just the opposite, she LOVES store bought cakes which is weird because I’m with you, I’d much rather have this cake! It looks awesome!

    Like

    Reply
  6. I love the look of this old fashioned cake..something I would bake and take to my co-workers or a friends birthday. I loved the hand written recipe by your lovely grandma….I wish I had my grandma..

    Thank you for sharing with us the recipe and cake….love u!

    Like

    Reply
  7. Moist chocolate cake is one of my favorite things on the planet. This looks so utterly perfect. I’m afraid to make it…..I know I’d eat it all.
    I actually like grocery store birthday cakes. :) They make me really happy.

    Like

    Reply
  8. Mmmmmm!!! CHOCOLICOUSSsssss!

    Like

    Reply
  9. Chocolate pecan icing? Ohmygoodness. That sounds amaaaaazing!

    Like

    Reply
  10. Sorry about Grandma’s cake but I’m in love with Paula Deen’s cake. Looks amazing!

    Like

    Reply
  11. Sounds like you came up with the perfect cake recipe! I love how fudgy and rich it looks…it’s time for breakfast but I’m totally craving chocolate cake, lol!

    Like

    Reply
  12. Your version looks amazing… definitely moist and flavorful! Dry cake is a crime.

    Like

    Reply
  13. Sometimes grandmas really mean well…but sometimes their food needs an update. And you updated to heaven-status.

    Like

    Reply
  14. Pecans and chocolate… who could go wrong? My sister just got ahold of our mon=ms recipe box and i am quite ticked off that she had complete control of it and wont give me any of the recipes, because she doesn’t want them blogged. Now why would she be so greedy so as to not want them shared? I think just the opposite of her and would love to have people see what i grew up with…..

    Like

    Reply
    • OK, here’s what you do: ask her to meet you somewhere for lunch. Instead, go to her house while she’s gone and photograph all the recipes in the box. She’ll never know you have them! It’s sneaky, but not mean like she’s being. You deserve to have those recipes just as much as she.

      Like

      Reply
  15. Thank you for stopping by my blog! You are the first person I have met online who mentioned they also bake for the state fair. I only live about 20 miles away from the entrance gate so I don’t freeze anything. Of course that means I go nuts for two days before the entries are due. This will be the first time I have entered chocolate chip cookies. I wish I would’ve looked at the winners last year! I usually end up making less than I register for because I just run out of energy. Thank you also for the information on the cookie scoop. I refrigerate my cookie dough, sometimes overnight, so I don’t know if the cookie scoop would work so well. The dough is stiff. However, I won’t spend too much on one to see how it works.

    Like

    Reply
    • It’s the refrigerated dough that kept breaking the cookie scoops I got from the cake supply store. The one I got from Walmart is really sturdy and I think it would hold up to refrigerated dough.

      Like

      Reply
  16. Oh , and one more thing. If you make the delicious-looking frosting above again, try using salted butter. I’ll bet it will be even better! If that’s possible of course!

    Like

    Reply
  17. I just looked at your favorite chocolate cake and my mouth is drooling!!! Your friends and family are lucky to have you to bake for them!!!

    Like

    Reply
  18. Hi Veronica,
    This chocolate cake looks very moist. I wished I had a slice right now :) Yummy!!!

    Like

    Reply
  19. This cake looks amazing and I need a piece now!

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

    Like

    Reply
  20. Pingback: Veronica’s Cornucopia Turns 2! « Veronica's Cornucopia

  21. That looks absolutely fabulous! You are such a great cake maker…baker….=)

    Like

    Reply
  22. This is a cake my grandmother used to make. It is by far the easiest and tastiest and even least expensive chocolate cake one can make. K

    Like

    Reply
  23. What is Oleo? is it butter?

    Like

    Reply
    • Michelle Taylor

      DiAnn, Oleomargarine was the name given to a substance, by the creater, who trying to make an alternative to butter. It’s a combo from the sounds of the fatty acids he used. Oleo stuck as a nickname. Margarine stuck as a “trade” name.

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: