So, first – let me tell you about my weekend. Then we’ll get to this DELICIOUS Samoa Cake recipe.
I took a couple of extra days off before the long Memorial Day weekend, mostly to prepare for my daughter’s birthday party and get the girls to and from dance recital and rehearsal, which this year fell on Thursday and Friday evening. NBD. Right?
So Thursday brought some (SCARY) severe weather to my part of the world, and of course that only happens when my hubs is at work. We’re talking tornadoes, funnel clouds, hail, sideways rain, tons of wind. Scary.
We got a whole bunch of rain all at once on Thursday, which caused the big creek in my neighborhood to flood, everywhere. So much that we had lakefront property for a couple of days. 🙂 TONS of rain. When it floods like that, we can actually get trapped in our neighborhood, because the creek can flood over the only way in and only way out of my ‘hood. So on Friday we watched the creek rise over the one entrance, and watched the creek lap at the sides of the other entrance…completely worried about getting the girls to their dance recital, and then getting home AFTER the recital.
Fortunately, the creek didn’t quite make it high enough to close the 2nd entrance to our street, so we were fine, but it did manage to increase my stress level significantly during the day.
Then, my husband came down with a fever and aches and was not able to help me get ready for the party like he normally would. Not his fault, but still added stress. By Sunday morning the rain had stopped and he was feeling better – but we had about six hours of yard work to do before the party started at 4pm. More stress.
And then, about the time the party was to start, the hubs heard meowing coming from the woods – the FLOODED woods – and thought maybe our cat Max was stuck somewhere.
Yup. Max was stuck alright. 30 FEET UP IN A TREE. ABOVE FLOOD WATERS.
My daughters freaked. Party was starting in a couple of hours. Woods are flooded, cat 30 feet up – no way to get him down. So, he stayed there, all night long. Poor kitty was crying and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it.
So this morning, bright and early, I went out there and found that the flood waters were down and I called Max until he shimmied down the tree and came to me.
So yes, happy ending, but not the lovely, relaxed and totally planned out weekend I was hoping for when I had a full five days off in a row!
The party went off without a hitch, the girls made it to both rehearsal and recital and did great, the hubs feels better and the cat is safely on the ground. And I survived another near-miss tornado, so that’s always a good day. We should celebrate with some cake, no?
How ’bout Samoa Cake?
After that long-winded sob story about my weekend, I don’t have much left to say about the cake, ’cause it speaks for itself. This cake is delicious. It’s simple, pretty quick and always a crowd pleaser. The chocolate sheet cake recipe is a favorite of mine, and the ooey-gooey caramelly topping just takes it up another notch.
Get yourself a half-sheet pan and get to work!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup shortening
- 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup buttermilk (no buttermilk? Fill measuring cup almost to the ½ cup line, the fill the rest of the way with vinegar to make "sweet milk" - it works like a charm!)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup butter
- 6 Tablespoons milk
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅛ cup caramel sauce, I used caramel ice cream topping in the jar
- 3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut, toasted
- Hot fudge ice cream topping
- Caramel sauce ice cream topping
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
- Grease a half sheet pan (approx 18x13) and set aside.
- In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and shortening together.
- Once mostly melted, add water and cocoa powder. Use a wire whisk to stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar.
- Pour warm chocolate mixture over the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and baking soda, and beat until completely combined and smooth.
- Pour into greased sheet pan, and bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Immediately poke holes in the top of the cake and allow to cool slightly while you prepare frosting.
- Toast coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown, stirring constantly. Set aside.
- In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine butter and milk and bring to a boil.
- Add ⅛ cup caramel sauce and powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth.
- Pour frosting evenly over top of cake.
- Immediately sprinkle with top of warm frosting with toasted coconut.
- Drizzle generously with chocolate and caramel topping.