As I’ve mentioned before, I have been baking for a long time, about 2/3 of my life. The very first recipe I learned and successfully made on my own was the cookie recipe on the back of the Toll House chocolate chip bag. I was eleven and emboldened from this small victory I decided I wanted to make a Chocolate cake. I went through all of the cookbooks my mom had, studying every page for the one that I thought sounded the best. I found what I was looking for in “Lone Star Legacy” and thought to myself “if I could just make a cake like that…”. So, I gathered the ingredients, meticulously followed the instructions, poured the batter into an 11×14 sheet cake pan and hoped for the best. I anxiously stared through the small window in the oven watching it transform from liquid to solid and rising up to the edge of the pan. When the time was up, I pulled it out of the oven for inspection and it turned out exactly like the book said (it’s amazing what happens when you follow instructions). I slathered a chocolate glaze icing on top of the warm cake and served it up to my family that night for dessert.
The reaction from my family, my dad in particular, was over the top, which is typical as we’re a pretty expressive bunch. It was dubbed “Sheeth Cake” and no, sheeTH is not a typo, just part of the family legend surrounding this cake that nobody can remember the exact origin, but they know what it’s called. As you can probably tell from the condition of the cookbook, I practiced this recipe a lot. I made small tweaks and experimented with things like poking holes into the cake before icing it so that the icing seeps into the inside of the cake instead of just being a layer on top. Eventually, I had practiced it enough that I memorized the steps and now I can practically make it blind-folded. As you can see in the pictures, I have moved away from the 11×14 sheet pan and have picked up a few decorating tips along the way, but the recipe has been the same for over 20 years.
This is absolutely my go-to chocolate cake recipe and one that I’ve fiercely guarded as if it was made of gold, not flour and sugar. People have asked me to share it for years and I treated it as some sort of proprietary trade secret. In reality I found it in a cookbook when I was eleven and have perfected my version of it over time. Today, however, I am going to share that recipe and instructions. Hopefully it will inspire you to try it for yourself, or get your kids in the kitchen and make your own “Sheeth Cake” memories.
As always, I hope this post inspires you to Live Beautahfully wherever you call home.
All professional Photography by Cara from Catcher In The Rye Photography
2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
6 TBL cocoa
1 stick of butter
6 TBL milk
1 TBL vanilla
5-7 cups powdered sugar
Cake – Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 11×14-inch or 3 9 inch cake pans; set aside.
In an electric mixer slowly sift together flour, sugar, soda, salt and cocoa. Add oil and combine till its forms a mixture like wet sand. Then add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and combine thoroughly. then slowly add in the hot water and mix till combined.
Frosting – In a saucepan combine butter, cocoa and milk and bring to a boil string constantly. remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar. Add enough powdered sugar to be pouring consistency but not too liquefied. Pour frosting over hot cake. You could also poke holes in the cake and have the frosting seep into the crevices.
To make this cake in a layered form use a spreadable chocolate buttercream to stack and frost the cake.
Traditional chocolate buttercream recipe:
4 sticks of butter
1 cup cocoa powder
1 TBL vanilla
4-8 TBL milk
1 bag powdered sugar
Cream together butter, cocoa and vanilla, then slowly add powdered sugar in alternating with milk. beat until fluffy and a nice spreadable consistency