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Bonnie Aeschliman Bonnie Aeschliman: Cake made from scratch beats box mix every time

  • Published Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at 2:05 p.m.


Makes about 15 servings.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

1 cup water

1/3 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup buttermilk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon


½ cup butter

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

1/3 cup milk

1 pound (3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a jelly roll pan (10x15x1) or spray with a non-stick baking spray. (You can use a 9x13 pan but baking time will be 5 to 10 minutes longer.)

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine butter, water and cocoa in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over the flour and sugar mixture, stirring to mix. Stir baking soda into buttermilk; then add buttermilk to flour and sugar mixture. Stir in eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir until ingredients are well combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until cake is done. Let cake rest for 10 minutes while making the frosting.

To make frosting:

Combine butter, cocoa and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.

Place powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Pour hot cocoa mixture over powdered sugar. Beat well with electric mixer until mixture is creamy. Stir in vanilla.

Pour frosting over warm cake. Sprinkle pecans over top.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — May 30, 2012

Looking at the clock, I could see I was running behind. There would be no time to make a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients I needed to make the beautiful dessert I had planned to take to the cookout that evening.

So I quickly shifted gears and decided to take my favorite chocolate cake — one of the standby recipes that always brought big smiles on the faces of my children. I could have this cake mixed and baked in 30 minutes, less time than it would take to go to the store. It goes together very quickly, no mixer required. What is even better, I always have the ingredients in my pantry as it is a very basic recipe. Literally, I have made this cake dozens of times through the years.

Although I had planned to make something new and different to take to the event, I took my classic Texas Sheet Cake to the cookout. I knew the cake was moist with a deep chocolate flavor that literally melts in the mouth. However, I thought it might be passed over for more exotic fare. Wrong! It was a hit and paired beautifully with the homemade ice cream that my friend Jeanne made. One young woman who had just graduated from college sought me out and declared, “That is the best cake I have ever had!” Just goes to show that classic recipes are still in vogue and may be totally new to younger generations.

This cake is made from scratch and is better than anything you will find in a box. What’s more, it is just as easy to make. I hope you will try it.

Bonnie Aeschliman is a certified culinary professional who owns Cooking at Bonnie’s Place in Wichita. For more information, call 316-425-5224 or visit cookingatbonnies.com. To submit a question to Bonnie, e-mail her at bonnie@cookingatbonnies.com.

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