Well, this year was a different Rosh Hashanah for us.
We stayed home. We went to a friend’s back yard to hear the shofar blast on second day. We had one member of family in who hasn’t been here since the boys were babies.
Also, we (especially Shugie) made an amazing Texas sheet cake.
I lived during elementary school for a little while in Sunray, Texas and among my sweetest memories there are of cooking with 4-H where we made everything from bread-in-a-bag to tacos. Sunray was terrific. It felt like we knew everybody, Friday night football games were *everything* and if you wanted to eat out, you went to Dairy Queen. Seeing jackrabbits and prairie dogs and tumbleweeds was fun. Rodeos were huge entertainment. I spent my life daydreaming about horses, reading The Black Stallion over and over.
So making this dessert reminiscent of Texas with Shugie was fun. It’s just chocolate on chocolate on chocolate and the cake turns out more fudge-y than cake-y which is perfect and the icing is the kind that sets up quickly. You can make this in a sheet pan which is obviously the idea but I live with a certain amount of unnecessary baking paranoia that means that I like using a 9×13 dish instead. Either is fine. It’s just going to be a little bit thicker in the baking pan since baking sheets are 10×15.
I believe in Courtney Bond’s recipe from a 2016 issue of Texas Monthly with just a few tiny changes, but most recipes for this dish are incredibly, incredibly similar.
Preheat the oven to 400*. Prep the baking pan or sheet with Pam or similar.
It’s 2 cups sugar and 2 cups flour, then a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of salt, all mixed together in a large bowl.
Another bowl has 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed together.
In a pot on the stove goes 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup Crisco, 6 tablespoons cocoa, and 1 cup water but you know I’ve also seen someone suggest coffee instead and you know that would be just incredible too. Bring that to a boil, stirring constantly.
Carefully pour the hot mixture to the dry ingredients, then add to that the bowl with the buttermilk mixture. Stir until it’s all incorporated.
Bake at 400* and start checking on it around :20 though it will likely be done closer to :25 or so.
In the meantime — Courtney suggests :10 before but I needed less time and likely you will too — make the icing on the stovetop. You’ll want the icing to be hot because it will be more easily spreadable, and it’s poured over the cake while the cake is still hot from the oven.
In a saucepan, bring together 1 stick unsalted butter, 6 tablespoons buttermilk, and 6 tablespoons cocoa to a boil. Take it off the heat and add 2tsp vanilla and 1 pound powdered sugar. It’s easy to do this mixing by transferring it to the Kitchenaid but you can use an electric beater also, or by hand as long as you’re quick.
If you have people who love nuts, stir in a cup or so of pecans. I forgot to ask if our special guest was okay with nuts, so I made one half with and one half without. I like the look of the pecans uncovered because they’re so pretty, but if you add them to the icing, that’s perfect too.
Pour over the hot cake when it comes out of the oven. Gentle coercion with the back of a spoon might be needed to get the icing to the corners.
This is Sunday supper cake. Weeknight cake. Bake sale cake. Funeral cake. Covered dish cake. Dinner on the Grounds cake. Family reunion cake. More than a few somebodies somewhere have had it as their main wedding cake and you *know* it’s been on a million groom’s chocolate tables.
Even in the 9×13 it’s still that perfect short, short, short slice. Yessssss.
Just in the mood for something chocolate, but maybe not cake? Try considering hot fudge pie, chocolate bourbon pecan pie, boiled cookies, chocolate chess pie, peppermint bark, best-ever chocolate chip cookies, espresso sorbet, or buckeyes. Most all DFK recipes are indexed here.