Saturday, July 13, 2013

Picnic Cakes

Need a cake for a crowd, picnic, reunion or other summer event? Sheet cakes are the answer. Here's one from my friend Nancy in Houston:

Mom's Chocolate Cake
from The Houston Chronicle

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. In a saucepan, combine butter, oil cocoa and water; bring to a boil, remove from heat. Pour the boiled mixture over the dry ingredients and mix. Add buttermilk and stir just until blended. Add eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat well and pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until at toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool.

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa or 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 tablespoons buttermilk
16 ounce box confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine butter, chocolate or cocoa and buttermilk in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Add the powered sugar a little at a time, beating well between additions; add salt and blend well. Add vanilla and mix. Frost cake after it has cooled completely.

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