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The best chocolate sheet cake. Ever. (AKA Church lady cake, Texas sheet cake).

This version is from pioneer woman Ree Drummond. She came to Cincinnati last autumn and was every bit as friendly in person as she is on her TV show and in her books. This is deep, dark, chocolate cake with a fudgy icing. You can make it ahead. My cake kept in the refrigerator, covered, for several days. Adapted only slightly.

Serves: 24


For the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa

2 sticks butter, unsalted or regular

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

For frosting:

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1-3/4 sticks butter, unsalted or regular

4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa

6 tablespoons milk

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) powdered sugar


Note: Ree used an 18×13 sheet cake pan. Mine was a bit smaller.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.

Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, and then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, and then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. (Note from Rita: you need to pour the icing on while the cake is still warm).


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