Hey y’all– If you live in the southern U.S. you’ve almost surely eaten “Dixie Cake” (aka Texas Sheet Cake). It’s not fancy or new. It’s just plain old home cooking– comfy and satisfying as an old favorite sweater.
My mother-in-law’s family made their way from Arkansas to California during the dust bowl of the 1930’s and with them came the Dixie Cake recipe. So when I met up with Larry’s family, it became one of my “old” favorites too. Usually it’s chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, but this newer version includes peanut butter–a brilliant addition! I do think it could become an “old favorite” of yours as well.
PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE DIXIE CAKE
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, cut in chunks
1 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter*
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk**
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a saucepan, stir the water and butter over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Remove it from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and oil until it’s all blended. Add to the flour mixture. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. When it thoroughly mixed, stir it into the cake batter.
Spoon the batter in to a 15″x10″ sheet pan (cookie sheet) or 2 10″ tart pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Pop it into the oven at 350 degrees form 20 to 25 minutes until the cake starts to brown around the edges and is firm to the touch. While the cake is cooking, start making the frosting to pour over the cake when it comes out of the oven.
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa***
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar (a one pound box)
1 tsp. vanilla
In a pan, mix the butter, peanut butter, milk and cocoa over low heat until they are all melted together. Take off the neat and beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla with a whisk. When the cake comes out of the oven, pour the frosting over the top while it is still hot to make a lovely smooth glaze (with a some peanut bumps if you used chunky peanut butter!).
I’m made this for my Monday night ladies tonight– peanut-y slice of cake, coffee and lots of chatter. Sounds pretty perfect to me.
*I use super chunky peanut butter because I love the little peanut-y bit in the frosting.
**substitute milk thickened with a tablespoon of cider vinegar for buttermilk
***Hershey’s dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa– makes it extra rich and chocolatey.