I know, I know. I was planning on making bark, and lots of it, sistuh. I'm armed with multiple bags of chips-white, mint, milk chocolate, semi-sweet, peanut butter, and butterscotch. Oh, I've got the nuts, too. (Don't even go there.) I'm talking about peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans. I just don't happen to have any bark to show for all my bite. But I do have peppermint sheetcake. I called my niece to wish her a Happy 10th Birthday on Saturday. She's my little namesake, Prudy-leigh Jr. My sister had just put a Texas sheet-birthday cake in the oven. I can't hear the word Texas sheetcake without going into cold sweats and deep longing. I ditched the bark and started baking. Don't judge me too harshly; I actually needed a dessert to take to a church party that night. I made the Texas sheetcake and then I covered it with a CHOCOLATE frosting and crushed peppermints. It looked scrumptious. I sliced up about half of the cake and toted it off magnamimously to share with other church goin' folk. I planned to photograph the rest in the morning so I could share it with all of you, who are home in your pajamas presumably. I have this little trick with myself where I hide especially tempting food in the oven. It is such a clever, sly little trick. I forget that the sugar-devil is in there and I can stop munching. It works, it really does! I don't see it, so I go about my business, hmm, hmm, hmm, grading papers, hmm, hmm, hmm, folding laundry, hmm, hmm, hmmm, preheating the oven for dinner, hmm, hmm, HMMMM????? Sniff, sniff. Yep, I burnt my precious sheetcake. Out of sight, out of mind. I sent my sugar-devil straight to Hades, covered in warped Saran wrap. But don't worry. I'm making more tonight. I've got another party; who doesn't this time of year? I'm putting the cake in a baby front carrier and toting it around the kitchen this time. There's no way I'm going to let it out of my sight, even for a second. Of course it might be all gone by the time the party starts, but at least I know that someone will have enjoyed it. Namely me. Here comes the recipe. Turns out I had pictures of my last peppermint sheetcake with vanilla frosting. I'm not sure which one is better. I'll let you decide.
Candy Cane Chocolate Sheetcake
Estimated Cost: $5.00 for at least 16 servings
Money Saving Tips: Use already-broken candy canes or peppermints. By using some vegetable oil, the cake will stay moist the next day and cut the cost of using all butter. Make your own buttermilk substitute, by combining 1 teaspoon vinegar with 1/2 cup milk. Let stand for five minutes.
1/2 cup cocoa powder, such as Hershey's
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
For Vanilla Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
6 tablespoons cream or milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
about 3/4 cup smashed candy cane bits
Notes: For chocolate frosting, simply add 6 tablespoons cocoa powder and an extra tablespoon of cream when you melt the butter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour large cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cocoa powder, water, butter and oil to a boil, stirring just until well combined. Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar, soda and salt in large bowl. Pour boiling chocolate mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate small bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 18-20 minutes, or until center springs back at touch. While cake is baking, melt butter in medium saucepan. Add cream and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar, adding more cream if needed to make a thick glaze. Pour over warm cake and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with candy cane bits.
Up Next: Bark in a splendid variety