First of all, let me just apologize now for introducing you to this cake. I’m usually not a fan of sheet cakes – but this one is in a stratosphere all it’s own. It’s totally a cake that your Southern grandmother would have made, that is – if you had a Southern grandmother. But with this cake, you can totally pretend you did, and say it’s a recipe that was handed down from her!
Our friends Jamie & Alex came over for dinner a couple weeks ago, and Jamie brought this as dessert. I’d heard her rave about it before, so I was excited to try it. She said an old woman who used to come to her mom to get her hair cut would bring this cake, and she loved it as a little girl. Then, thanks to Pinterest – she found a recipe and gave it a whirl. I was enamored – rich, gooey, sweet deliciousness.
The traditional version is make with Coca-Cola, but when I made my version I used Cheerwine. It’s a cherry-ish flavored soda that hails from North Carolina (or “Cackalacky” as we like to call it). We rarely drink soda, but I’m always looking for an excuse to buy some Cheerwine! There’s also a bit of soda in the glaze/frosting (it’s kind of somewhere in the middle) and I added some maraschino cherry juice to bump up the flavor a little bit more. It always stays a little bit soft, but forms this awesome glaze-like slightly crunchy top layer.
This will be the moistest chocolate cake you’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. And, it’ll be the easiest chocolate cake you’ve ever had the pleasure of making. Do you see why I apologized in advance? Have a great weekend everyone!
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup Cheerwine or Coca-Cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup Cheerwine or Coca-Cola
1 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan well with butter or shortening.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
In a small saucepan combine the butter, cocoa powder, Cheerwine, and buttermilk. Stir over medium heat until butter has melted and mixture has combined.
Remove chocolate mixture from heat, and with the mixer running on low, slowly pour into the flour mixture. Add in eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Mix until combined, then pour into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While cake is baking, make the frosting/glaze. In a large saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, Cheerwine, and maraschino juice. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and carefully whisk in 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar until smooth.
Pour the frosting over the warm cake. Let sit for at least 2 hours before cutting, or even overnight. I’ve found it’s even better on the second day than it is on the first!