"When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste."--Laiko Bahrs

Myrtle's Chocolate Fudge Sheet Cake Recipe

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This recipe for Myrtle's Chocolate Fudge Sheet Cake, by , is from A Taste of Heaven!, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Myrtle St. Julien, relative of Sr. Mary Wiltz, SSF (deceased)


1 12x17x1 inch baking pan

Cake Ingredients:
2 Cups enriched all-purpose flour
2 Cups granulated sugar
2 Sticks (1 cup) butter
3 1/2 Heaping tablespoons cocoa
1 Cup water
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon baking soda (mis buttermilk and baking soda just before adding)
1 Teaspoon vanilla

Fudge Icing Ingredients:
1 1/2 stick (3/4 cup) butter
3 1/2 heaping tablespoons cocoa
1 Can evaporated milk
1 Box (1 pound) powdered/confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (or to taste)
3 to 4 Cups small pecan pieces (your preference - if you want a crunchier icing)

Preheat oven to 400º

Pre-measure all ingredients, but don't mix the buttermilk and baking soda until just before adding to cake mixture.


In a large bowl, mix flour and sugar. Combine margarine, cocoa and water in a medium-sized saucepan. Mix well, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and comes to a boil. Remove from stove top. Gradually pour the hot mixture over the flour and sugar. Stir with a large spoon to blend, then use a hand mixer to beat for 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla.

In a small prep bowl, stir buttermilk and baking soda. Add to the cake mixture immediately and beat combined ingredients for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake in oven and bake for 20 minutes.


As soon as the cake is in the oven, begin cooking the chocolate icing. Using the same saucepan used in cake prep, combine butter, cocoa and milk and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is well blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla while stirring ingredients on medium heat until it reaches a low boil.

Continue cooking icing until the mixture thickens and is smooth. This is a good time to taste-test the icing to determine if you'd like to add more vanilla.

Add the pecans and continue stirring. It's also ok to taste the icing after the pecans have been added. Adjustments can be made if you feel the icing could be sweeter (add powdered sugar) or if the icing is too thick, just add a little more milk and butter.

While the cake is still in the pan and hot, pour the icing on the cake and spread. I have used a flat knife or a flexible spatula. I tend to prefer the spatula. Once the cake is completely iced, let it sit and cool for 15 to 20 minutes. You may then cut the cake. (However, I've been known to sneak a piece of cake within 3 minutes of icing.)

I use a kitchen table knife to cut the cake into 1", 1 1/2", or 2" pieces. The size of the pieces is totally personal. I normally cut it into 1 1/2" pieces.

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Janice Clay, a very dear friend, made this cake for me on my birthday. She knows I love chocolate and pecans. It was just divine!!! It was a very tasty meeting of chocolate fudge with pecans and chocolate cake. I did notice that I wanted more of the chocolate and pecan icing on the cake. I asked Janice for the recipe, and of course she complied. When I saw the recipe called for 1/2 cup of pecan pieces, I realized what must be done. It was obvious...more pecans and more chocolate icing. Growing up in our home afforded me opportunities to personally witness and pick up many unique culinary secrets and tips Many times I saw Mother whip up a batch of her famous pralines in what seemed like minutes. I also noticed that she rarely measured ingredients, even when making pralines. I can still see Mother stirring the pecan and sugar mixture until it became thicker and firm I remember Sisters Mary and Theresa visiting their sister, my mother. Sr Theresa was a praline aficionado in her own rite. I had the privilege and was blessed to not only see her make the pralines, but also to eat and enjoy them. These pralines were extra special because of the love both Mother and Sr. Theresa put into the making of these sweet treats.

The first time I baked this cake, especially the icing, I thought that maybe I could do a few things like Mother. So I adjusted the icing recipe making it my own. I added more butter, used Hershey's Natural Unsweetened Cocoa©, Carnation© evaporated milk, and powdered/confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract to my taste. Lastly, I added pecans, which I did not measure, to my heart's content. After icing the cake, I stood back with pride. The cake looked like an oversized fudge or browning with pecan topping. I have made this cake many times, and I love making this cake. When I bite into it, I am often taken back to my childhood home. This is my best dessert choice for gatherings with family, friends, and guests. It is a crowd favorite.

I made two chocolate fudge cakes and brought them to my cousin's home. By the time I was driving down the street, she tried to catch me to give me the empty pans. As I drove home, I thought of Mother. Hopefully she is smiling down on me with love and pride.

I am blessed and proud to share that I have three relatives who are members of the Sisters of the Holy Family. They are Sr. Innocente Mary Wiltz, Sr. Theresa Wiltz (deceased), and my cousin Sr. Geneva James.




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