Many, many year’s ago, a friend’s daughter was coming home from college for the first time.
There was food to buy–all her favorites, including snacks and drinks–and to cook.
There was a bedroom to air out–sheets to wash, dry, and reapply to the bed in the upstairs bedroom that hadn’t seen it’s occupant for the last three months.
The house was a-flutter with so many things to do, and I had come to help.
My friend and I managed work simultaneously so that, by some point, she stood at the kitchen counter mixing a chocolate sheet cake while I ran upstairs to put clean sheets on the bed. Done, I came back downstairs, went to the laundry room, pulled fluffy white towels from the dryer and brought them to the kitchen table to fold.
I am nothing if not a good friend.
We chatted, my friend and I, until the last towel and been tri-folded and placed atop the others. Just as I gathered them into my arms to take them to College Girl’s bathroom, my friend poured icing over a warm cake. “Voila,” she said. “Done.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I said. “You just made an entire cake in the time it took me to make a bed and fold towels. How did you do that?”
“Run those towels upstairs,” she said, “and I’ll have the recipe for you when you get back down.”
I have to tell you, I forgot about that cake … although I used to make it for my family at least once a month. Then, recently, my daughter mentioned “that cake you used to make all the time.”
Ah, yes … I said. The one that’s so easy and soooooo delicious.
We had friends coming that weekend so I decided to make it. Within two days, I had to make another one. That’s right, in four days, 6 adults managed to kill off two sheet cakes.
Must be good, huh? (Well, you decide!)
2 cups sugar
2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
3-1/2 TB cocoa
1/2 butter (I prefer to margarine)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400. Sift sugar, flour, and cocoa into a large bowl (I lost my sifter some time ago. I use a fork and blend it all together). In a saucepan put butter, oil, and water. Bring to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients. Blend well (I use a wooden spoon). Add eggs, buttermilk, soda, and vanilla. Pour into an 11×16 greased pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
When cake has been in the oven 15 minutes, prepare frosting. In a saucepan combine:
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbs. cocoa
1/3 cup buttermilk
Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add:
1 pound confectioner’s sugar (I use the wooden spoon to mix all this)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla
Bring cake out of oven and pour icing over warm cake.