this recipe has been in my family for more years than I have. It has been prepared for family pot lucks and birthdays by Aunts, and Great Aunts for decades. I recently received some sheet pans for a gift and asked for the recipe. I hope my cake turned out even half as good as one of theirs. The great thing about this recipe is that you prepare it with out any modern day conveniences.
Along with measuring cups, spoons, and the like; you will need a wire whisk, a large mixing bowl, a medium sauce pan, along with a 1/2 sheet size pan for the cake. You will need a wire whisk, a medium size sauce pan, rubber spatula and a sifter for the frosting.
Gather equipment and ingredients together, trust me it makes it much easier to have everything right there instead of going back and forth across the kitchen twenty times when you've got pans of hot stuff bubbling away on the stove.
in large bowl mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Yes salt is necessary. It helps with the chemical reaction of the soda that you add later and the cake tastes really bad if you don't add it. Set aside.
In saucepan, put butter, water, and cocoa powder. Using stove, melt butter,while mixing in water and cocoa powder. You can mix everything together using your whisk. Bring the mixture just to a boil, but do not let boil or you will make candy instead of cake.
Carefully mix the liquids into the flour mixture from earlier. You may continue to use your whisk if you don't like a lot of dirty dishes.
Add in eggs one at a time, the original recipe says to beat the eggs before adding. Although I do not think this step is necessary it may have originally been there to help prevent the eggs from cooking as the mixture is a bit hot from cooking he butter and water. Just make sure to mix them in completely.
add in the milk, then the remaining three ingredients. Stopping to make sure it is mixed together completely between each addition.
Grease 1/2 sheet pan or use cooking spray. Making sure to get all corners and sides. This cake does not rise up high so you may use a cookie sheet with sides if you do not have a "sheet cake pan"
pour batter evenly over pan. Batter is pretty thick so make sure it gets spread into all the corners. You may see a bunch of bubbles in your batter, it is okay to try to get them out by either lightly tapping the sides of the pan or banging it on the counter if you are comfortable doing that.
cook in 350 oven for 20 minutes, yep only 20 this is a very thin cake and will burn if you cook it longer.
approximately 10 minutes after setting your oven timer for your cake you will want to start making your frosting as you cook the frosting and put it on the hot cake.
to make frosting, add the 1st three ingredients to your sauce pan, using wire whisk mix and cook just until butter is melted and everything is mixed together.
Sift entire pound of powdered sugar into the pan a little at a time using whisk to mix well. The sugar needs to be sifted because it will clump together if you just dump it in. This is time consuming but it is worth it.
After all sugar is mixed in you should have a really smooth frosting. This is when you pour it onto the hot cake. The heat of the cake will help to spread the frosting around, but you may need to help it out with a rubber spatula.