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Finding Harmony with your inner chocolate – Bake something Saturday

March 2, 2013

Saturday was baking day in many households (along with cleaning day) when I was growing up.  The mood to bake something still often strikes me on Saturday.

I actually made this cake earlier this week to celebrate a couple of birthdays at work, and as usual, the cake, especially the frosting, won rave reviews. (Of course, you can take cookies given to you at a Christmas cookie exchange that no one at your house cared much for and shuffle them off at work and they still get eaten, right?)

This recipe is one of my favorite from what I now like to refer to as a cookbook, Whatever Happened to Dinner? Recipes and Reflections on Keeping Family Mealtime  (Herald Press, 2010). There are almost 100 recipes in that book and I’m still grateful to the women who helped organize and test the recipes for that project. If you are in the mood for something sweet—this is like eating dark chocolate with candy on top. If you’ve given up all sweets for Lent, bookmark this for later!

It contains simple ingredients–I’m guessing you already have all these ingredients in your pantry, and the cake doesn’t even take eggs!


Sheri’s Chocolate Cake

This recipe came from a friend originally and quickly became the family favorite whenever we wanted chocolate cake. Quick and easy to make. Putting it in a large sheet pan instead of a regular-size cake pan makes it a great dessert for a church potluck. – Sheri Hartzler

Sift together:
3 cups / 750 ml flour
2 cups / 500 ml sugar
1/3 cup / 75 ml cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Add to dry ingredients (don’t overmix):
2 cups / 500 ml water
2/3 cup / 150 ml melted shortening or butter
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bake at 350° F/ 180° C in two 9-inch round pans or one 12-inch by 17-inch sheet cake pan for 25–30 minutes.

Easy Penuche Icing

My aunt brought a chocolate cake with this icing to a family reunion. My husband Wayne was thrilled, made a huge fuss over it, and asked for the recipe. We received it in the mail a short time later. The whole family now knows that if there is chocolate cake, Wayne is going to ask for penuche icing. It really is good—and it is just fun to say penuche! – Carmen Wyse

½ cup / 125 ml butter
1 cup / 250 ml brown sugar
¼ cup / 50 ml milk
1¾ cup / 425 ml powdered sugar

Melt butter, add brown sugar, and boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, beating until it is nice and creamy. Spread on cake. Add chopped pecans or slivered almonds for a final touch if you want.

Making the frosting


Melting butter in sauce pan on stove, add brown sugar.


Boiling 2 minutes, stirring constantly.


After the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, then you add your powdered sugar.




The cake is rich, moist and good all by itself, or with chocolate frosting or a white frosting–for which there are also recipes in the book. This time I added slivered almonds which makes the whole thing like a candy bar. I know, sinful, especially during Lent. But tomorrow is feast day!


From → Family Life, Food, Recipes

  1. Looks delish! I kind of like the idea of bake something Saturday!!

    • Thanks — glad you like the idea too. Thinking about making this a regular feature (at least once a month?) for this blog. We’ll see.

  2. Linda Stoops permalink

    Made this cake for Sunday dinner, can’t wait to taste it

    • Linda Stoops permalink

      Yummmmm it’s so good

      • I’m excited that you tried it and liked it! Hope it turned out well. Heard Jessie and Amber were home. Nice. Hope you all had a nice time.

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