The Magic of Chocolate Sheet Cake

choc sheet cake piece

The first time I made chocolate sheet cake for TheRoomDad, I brought it with us to tailgate at a college football game. When TheRoomDad’s friend took his first bite, his knees got weak. Since that tasting, I have shared the cake at many group events. Last year, I brought the cake to the retirement party of the beloved receptionist at our school. I originally baked a glazed lemon cake for the event, but this happened.

lemon cake failSo, I baked the chocolate sheet cake as a back up. People again had to grab onto something for support after the first bite hit their lips. It’s that good. There are many recipes available for chocolate sheet cake. I checked. The Pioneer Woman has a no-fail version that uses butter. My recipe uses margarine. You may also see versions of something called Texas sheet cake that are basically the same thing. I have not compared the recipe I currently use to the one my mom always used, but I am sure they would be close– fudgy cake, frosting that absorbs into the top layer while the cake is hot, a little pecan crunch to balance the moistness of the cake. Heaven. We had friends join us for Easter dinner last weekend, and I dusted off the recipe and served a slice of sheet cake to everyone with a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice cream. It did not disappoint.

choc sheet cake finishedIngredients

  • 2 c. flour
  • 4 T. cocoa
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. margarine (2 sticks)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. granulated sugar

Cake Directions

  • Sift together flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.

choc sheet cake dry ingredients

  • Boil water, margarine, and cocoa until melted stirring to combine. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix well.

choc sheet cake margarine

  • Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well.

choc sheet cake batter

  • Place in a greased 10 x 15 in. sheet cake pan and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  • Prepare frosting while the cake is baking and pour the frosting over the cake while it is hot (important!).

choc sheet cake frosting pouredFrosting

  • 1/2 c. margarine (1 stick)
  • 6 T. buttermilk
  • 4 T. cocoa
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 (1-lb) box powdered sugar

Frosting Directions

  • Bring margarine, buttermilk, and cocoa to a boil in a medium pan.
  • Add vanilla, nuts, and sifted powdered sugar. Mix well. It will seem to dry at first but keep mixing.

choc sheet cake frosting

  • Pour over the hot cake. Gently spread close to the edges with a spatula. The heat of the cake will help the frosting spread to the edges.

choc sheet cake piece close

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip

roasted red pepper dip

Our infamous event planner neighbor, Ms. Jackie, went above and beyond for her latest party. She hosted an 80s prom night last night in her backyard oasis, Possum Grove. She even rented a dance floor and had a balloon arch photo area. In honor of this big event, I cooked up a new party dip to share with guests rather than making one of my old reliables. This hot and cheesy roasted red pepper dip was better than I expected. I think throwing the bacon bits on the top before baking really elevated the flavor satisfaction levels.

The cream cheese base in this dish reminds me of the Hot Artichoke Dip and the Charleston Cheese Dip, which have always been favorites of mine. If you need appetizer ideas for football watching this fall or are cooking for a cocktail party with friends, I recommend this roasted red pepper dip recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped (~4 oz)
  • 1/3 c. chopped roasted sweet red peppers
  • 1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 c. shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
  • Ritz and/or Club crackers for serving

Directions

  • In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion, and garlic until blended.

roasted red pepper dip base

  • Stir in tomatoes, red peppers, mozzarella cheese, Italian cheese blend, and 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese.

roasted red pepper ingredients

  • Spread mixture in a greased baking dish. I used an oval baking dish, but a 9-inch pie pan would work too. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and bacon bits.

roasted red pepper pre baked

  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until edges are bubbly and lightly browned.
  • Serve warm with crackers.

Notes

  • Can be doubled.

roasted red pepper dip bite