The birthday cake

Amy has had three birthdays, and for all three I’ve made a Texas sheet cake recipe I got from my mom. The first year was the best. Last year I forgot the buttermilk, and using vinegar to sour some regular milk just didn’t give comparable results. (Did I not wait long enough for it to really thicken… or what…)

This year? This year was going great. I remembered the buttermilk way ahead of time. I remembered to start making the icing when the cake came out of the oven, so the cake could cool just a bit before icing it. However, I forgot that on the black measuring spoons, the capital T does NOT mean Tablespoon, like it does on every other set of measuring spoons. It’s Teaspoon. The black tablespoon says Tbsp. Except it’s missing, so I didn’t remember that. The black teaspoon is also bent, which I remembered, and I thought that accounted for its bowl looking smaller than I would expect for a tablespoon.

It was the light color of the batter and cake that made me realize my mistake. Just in time to put enough cocoa in the icing. Speaking of icing, sift your powdered sugar if you want to avoid the little lumps you see in mine.

Next year, I also need to write down what amounts of sugar and powdered sugar I actually use — I usually like desserts less sweet than recipes suggest. I got it right the first two years, but this year I must have used more — almost as much as the recipe calls for. The cocoa mishap might have affected the sweetness, though, too.

Bring to boil:
1 stick butter
1/2 c oil
1 c water

Add this to:
2 c sugar
2 c flour
4 T cocoa (nicely rounded, not leveled)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt (leave out if you use salted butter)

2 eggs
1/2 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
(optional: 1 c nuts)

Bake in a sheet pan at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

When the cake is done, start the icing.

Bring to boil:
1 stick butter
4 T cocoa (nicely rounded, again)
4 T water

3 3/4 (1 box) powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
(optional: 1 c nuts)

Frost while cake is warm but not hot.


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