A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“What’s the best place to buy Cheerios and donuts?"/"Hole Foods.” (4/26)
“Warning! The consumption of alcohol might cause you to think you can sing” (4/26)
“Life is basically all the stuff you have to do to get from coffee to wine time” (4/25)
“Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch” (4/25)
“I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education” (4/25)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from December 22, 2007
Texas Sheath Cake

"Texas sheath cake” is probably the same as “Texas sheet cake”—a brownie-like cake made on a large baking sheet. “Sheet cake” is cited from the early 1900s; “sheath cake” is cited from at least 1950.

Why the different names? Perhaps it is simply because “sheet” sounds like a word that cannot be printed here.


Cooks.com
TEXAS SHEATH CAKE
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 sticks butter
6 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1 c. water
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift sugar and flour. Set aside. In a saucepan melt butter, cocoa and water and bring to a boil. Pour this over dry mix and add buttermilk, eggs, soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix together, put into greased and floured 11 x 13 inch pan or cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until done.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
4 tbsp. cocoa
1 stick butter
6 tbsp. milk
1 c. chopped nuts
1 box confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring first three ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix and pour over hot cake.

25 June 1950, Ada (OK) Evening News, section 2, pg. 1, col. 1:
A sheath cake, topped by a miniature fan, was flanked by silver branch candelabra with white gardenias at the bases.

17 July 1957, Delta Democrat-Times (Greensville, MS), pg. 3, col. 2:
The dessert course was a sheath cake decorated in squares with a guest’s name on each.

20 June 1959, Nevada State Journal (Reno, NV), pg. 5:
Refreshments were served including a Sheath Cake shaped like a pillow on which sat a white kitty cat.

27 September 1960, Amarillo (TX) Globe-Times, pg. 11, col. 2:
Personal note to Gladys...what happened to that sheath cake recipe? 

10 October 1960, Amarillo (TX) Globe-Times, pg. 9, cols. 5-6:
Alrighty...another one of our tried and true Amarillo cooks has come forth with this recipe for what is called a Sheath Cake...I haven’t had a chance to try it, myself, but I’ll take her word for its being delicious...here ‘tis.

Sift together in a large bowl:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
Mix in a sauce pan:
1 stick oleo
1/2 cup shortening
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup water
Bring above to a rapid boil and pour over dry ingredients .Stir well.
Add:
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix well. Pour in greased pan 16 x 11 and bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Icing
Start five minutes before cake is done.
Melt and bring to a boil:
1 stick oleo
4 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
Add:
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans
Mix well. Spread on cake while it is still hot.

That’s it...let me know how you come out with it...sounds pretty yummy...and I understand it isn’t the least bit fattening unless taken internally.

18 November 1960, Paris (TX) News, pg. 14, col. 1:
SHEATH CAKE
2 (The numbers in this text are often illegible, as here—ed.) cups flour (sift before measuring)
2 cups sugar..sift together into large mixing bowl
Put into sauce pan:
1 stick oleo
1/2 cup Crisco
4 tbsp. cocoa
1 cup water..bring this mixture flour and sugar mixture. Add
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla..mix well and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees in 2 well greased pans, size 7 x 11

ICING:
Start making icing about 5 minutes before cake is done
1 stick oleo
4 tbsp cocoa
6 tbsp milk
Melt together, bring to a boil, remove from heat and add
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Beat well and spread on cake while cake is still hot..or bake in 16 x 11 pan and ice while hot an leave in pan to cool and cut in bars.

Mrs. J. L. Prator
1772 W. Austin
Paris

11 November 1962, Big Spring (TX) Daily Herald, cookbook, pg. 91?, col. 2:
SHEATH CAKE
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup shortening
4 tbsps. cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift sugar and flour in bowl. In saucepan mix margarine, shortening, cocoa and water. Bring this mixture to a rapid boil and pour over flour and sugar mixture and stir well.

Add buttermilk, eggs, soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well and pour into a greased 16x11 pan. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

ICING
1 stick margarine
4 tbsps. cocoa
6 tbsps. milk
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Start about five minutes before cake is done.

Mix margarine, cocoa and milk. Melt together and bring to a boil, remove from heat and add sugar, vanilla and pecans. beat well and spread on cake while cake is still hot. leave cake in pan to ice and serve.

MISS ALLIE RAE ADAMS
Box 186
Coahoma, Texas

4 September 1966. Long Beach (CA) Independent Press-Telegram, Page CB-50.
DONN’A Sheath Cake
2 cups sugar
2 cups regular flour
1 stick margarine
1 cup shortening
4 tblsp. cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift sugar and flour together into large bowl. In saucepan, mix margarine, shortening, cocoa and water together and let come to a boil. Pour over flour and sugar and mix well. Then add rest of ingredients and pour into a greased 13x9x2 pan and bake 20 minutes in 400-degree oven.

Frosting
1 stick margarine
4 tblsp. cocoa
6 tblsp. milk
1 box sifted powdered sugar
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring margarine, cocoa and milk to boil, then remove from heat and add sugar, nuts, and vanilla. Frost the cake while hot. Serves 20.

Mrs. Donald Kessinger
3069 Palo Verde Ave.
Long Beach

Huntsville Heritage Cookbook
Huntsville, AL: Junior League of Huntsville Inc.
1967
Pg. 260:
Mrs. Elkins’ Sheath Cake
2 cups sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup shortening
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift sugar and flour into large bowl. In saucepan, bring next 4 ingredients to rapid boil; stir into sugar and flour. Mix in other ingredients. Pour into greased 11X16 inch pan. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. 5 minutes before done, make icing.

Icing:
1 stick margarine
4 teablspoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 box confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Bring cocoa, margarine and milk to boil. Remove from heat, adding sugar and vanilla. Beat well. Add pecans and spread over hot cake while still in pan.
-- Mrs. William P. Dilworth, III”

15 August 1968, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section E, pg. 8:
Bake cake according to package directions for making a sheath cake in a 8x13-inch baking pan.

12 November 1970, Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, MS), pg. 13, cols. 1-2:
SHEATH CAKE
Place in mixing bowl:
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
Put in sauce pan:
4 T. cocoa
1 stick margarine
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. water

Bring to boil and pour over flour mixture and stir well. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs slightly beaten, 1 tsp. soda, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Mix well and pour into a greased pan. (Large cookie sheet with sides will do.) Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Make icing 5 minutes before cake is done. Put in saucepan—1 stick oleo, 4 tablespoons cocoa, 6 tablespoons milk. After mixed remove from heat add 1 box powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup chopped pecans. Beat and spread on cake while hot.

21 May 1997, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, “Sweets from the Heart of Texas” by Karen Haram, pg. 1F:
When it comes to desserts, Texans have plenty to brag about. From such delights as Texas Sheet Cake and Buttermilk Pie to sweet favorites like Peach Cobbler and German Chocolate Cake, the Lone Star State’s signature desserts are as remarkable as the state itself.

Everyone has a favorite, of course, but one of the most universally loved desserts is the Texas Sheet Cake or Texas Sheath Cake, depending on whose recipe box you’re looking in. Cooking instructor and cookbook author Lenny Angel says she got her recipe for Texas Sheath Cake in 1963 two years before she moved to Texas from Nebraska. “My mother, who lived in Illinois, mailed it to me. Texas Sheath Cake has become the birthday cake for my family. My son John adores it so much we had it at his wedding as the groom’s cake,” she says. “I have run into zillions of people in my classes that love that cake. I think it’s a family favorite of so many you hardly ever meet anyone who doesn’t know that cake.”

Angel theorizes that the real name of the cake is Texas Sheet Cake, noting that bakeries often sell “sheet” cakes of various flavors. “I think someone had bad ears and didn’t hear right, and that ‘sheath’ was an offspring of sheet,” she says. Angel, whose family now refers to the cake simply as Texas Cake, says she tried to broaden their culinary horizons by baking “the new white Texas cake not too long ago. My family nixed it. I loved it, but they didn’t,” she says.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, December 22, 2007 • Permalink