Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Texas Chocolate "Sheath" Cake

First Published Here in 2008

How Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Cocoa,
and Crisco Make my Cakes Perfect

There are a great number of chocoholics in this world! I guess I have loved chocolate ever since I tasted my first Kiss! Hershey's Kisses turned 100 years old in 2007, having first come on the market in 1907. Wow! They are a favorite of so many, too. But Hershey's chocolate can be found in Kit Kats, Ice Breakers, Almond Joy, Mounds, Twizzlers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, York Peppermint Patties and more. Whatever your preference, Hershey's chocolate is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

For Hershey's Kisses birthday, Hershey created "The World's Largest HERSHEY'S KISSES Chocolate" in Hershey, Pennsylvania, The Sweetest Place on Earth. It weighed 30,540 pounds and was wrapped in silver foil with a giant plume. Guinness World Records weighed the giant Kiss at a private birthday party on July 7, 2007 and it was on display at Hershey's Chocolate World through July 12th of last year.

Hershey's cocoa powder has been a staple in my grandmother's, mother's, and my kitchen since each of us set up housekeeping. Grandma began her marriage in 1919 with a box of the indispensable cocoa powder in her pantry. My stepmother began cooking for her family in 1942 and I began in 1964. I think it's amazing that that little brown box has been with us through all of these years!

According to their website "HERSHEY'S Cocoa debuted in 1894 when Milton Hershey founded Hershey Chocolate Company. The item was initially sold as a beverage mix. In fact, 'Great for Baking' was added to the can as a reminder that Cocoa could be included in baked goods as well. Today most HERSHEY'S Cocoa is used for baking... and it's still great!"

I want to share my recipe for one of the absolutely best chocolate cakes you have ever tasted. My stepmother used to make it for us often, and it is one that at least one of us kids asked for every time we had a special occasion. The cake found its way into the kitchen of my grandmother and aunt Irene often, as well. You can see Grandma Gailey working in her kitchen west of Mineral Wells in the late 1950s.

The cake is laced with the wonderful taste and aroma of cinnamon. Baked in a "sheath" pan - better known as a rectangular 9x13x2-inch baking dish or sheet pan - it is quick to make and very satisfying.

Directions and Ingredients

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups plain flour

Place the above ingredients into a large mixing bowl.½ cup Crisco solid vegetable shortening

4 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa powder

1 stick margarine or butter

1 cup water

Bring the above 4 ingredients to a rapid boil in a saucepan. After it comes to a rapid boil, pour it over the sugar and flour mixture. Mix together using an electric mixer.


1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup buttermilk

2 eggs

Pour into a prepared oblong baking pan that has been lightly greased with Crisco or butter and lightly floured to prevent sticking. Instead of using Crisco and flour, I sometimes use a no-stick spray such as Pam or Crisco no-stick spray with flour already in it, and then I sprinkle granulated sugar on top of that in the bottom of baking pan.

According to their website, "Crisco® Cooking Spray contains no alcohol and offers 575 servings per can. Also, it combines Crisco 100% Canola Oil with Pillsbury® flour for easier, tastier, and healthier baking."

Bake cake in a 350ยบ oven for 30 minutes, or until it is done. Cake is done when it pulls slightly away from edges of pan and a toothpick placed into center of cake is clean when removed. It can also be tested for doneness when the cake springs back when touched lightly in center.


4 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa powder

6 tablespoons milk

1 stick butter

1 box confectioner's powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

Chopped pecans or walnuts

Place first 3 ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add the confectioner's powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts.

Ice or frost the cake when both are cool.

I've found all kinds of helpful information at Hershey's. They have videos, baking tips, recipes, gifts, the history of Hershey's, a kids' section and more.

If you love chocolate and cinnamon, you'll love, love, love what we call in our kitchens, this Texas "Sheath" Cake!
Also published by Judy Shubert at Associated Content

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