Grandma Maddy’s Chocolate Sheet Cake


Great Grandma Maddy was born in 1908 in Indiana.    The anniversary of her birth falls in November, one day after my own daughter was born nearly 100 years later.    By the time I entered the world in the late 1960s Grandma Maddy had raised ten children and numerous grandchildren.  I felt like the only little girl in the world when I visited her, because she had a gift that way.   Grandma Maddy was always baking something or gardening and I think of her often as I go about my domestic tasks.

margecoraGreat Grandma Maddy, right, and my own Grandmother – circa mid 1960s

Honestly, this is a weird cake.   This cake you frost hot and straight out of the oven.  I’ve seen variations of it referred to as a Texas sheet cake and my own Grandmother baked this frequently in August when I stayed with her and would often sprinkle it with coconut.

Another interesting tidbit about this cake is that I have the original card from my Grandmother’s recipe box.   And those of us who grew up in the late 20th century can relate to this:    The recipe is “typed” in my own mother’s handwriting.  Mom obviously typed her grandmother’s recipe, for her Mom, and now her daughter has it.   I recognize the typeface as coming from the small typewriter my Mother used in her work each day.

I have made some small changes to the recipe – exchanging margarine for butter.  Otherwise, here it is – as typed and I recommend reading through a couple times before starting.

Grandma Maddy’s Sheet Cake

Sift 2 C Flour and 2 C Sugar
(Put in bowl and set aside)

Put in saucepan and melt:
2 sticks butter
1 C Water
4 T Cocoa
Melt and pour over flour and sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Add 2 eggs, 1/4 C Buttermilk and 1 t baking soda. Beat until Smooth. Put into a 11.5 x 16″ sheet pan with edges. Bake 20 minutes at 400.

1 stick butter, soft
4 T cocoa
6 T water
1 box powder sugar
1 C nuts chopped
1 t vanilla
( I suggest using instant coffee in place of the water to develop chocolate flavor)

Beat ingredients until smooth. Put on cake while still hot. Cool first. Cut into Squares.

sheet cakeOriginal recipe, in Mom’s typed handwriting

maddycake1Hot ingredients on the stove…

maddycake2Hot ingredients poured over the dry and then mix thoroughly….

maddycake4Batter is poured into a well greased ‘restaurant’ sheet pan…

maddycake5You can see the hot cake, frosted, with the frosting melted.  It will cool into a lovely goodness! 


One thought on “Grandma Maddy’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

  1. This is pretty cool. I too grew up with this sheet cake as a family favorite. (You can keep your walnut and coconut toppings,plain ole chocolate on chocolate for me) But I guess grew up with this one because I too have a grandma Maddy and she taught it to my mom and aunts. We still enjoy it at almost every family gathering.

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