Have you ever tried our Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe? It appeared in our home starting in the fall and would continue until spring (we didn’t make it much during the summer as berries are far too abundant in Washington to not concentrate on those) and it became a tradition for us to share it with loved ones. My mom would whip up a huge sheet cake and our cousins or friends would come over after church on Sunday and we would all have a warm slice. Jeepers, why didn’t I realize how lucky I was to have someone cooking for me all the time? Now I’m the adult and I still love that sheet cakes make me want to share my love for friends and family. I decided that it was high time we really busted out fall though, so we made an apple butter spice sheet cake with brown butter apple frosting. I was excited to make something for Musselman’s because who doesn’t love apple butter, but even more excited once I got cooking.
I didn’t know that taking one of my Grandma’s recipes and creating something new with flavors that remind me of her would be such a tender experience but it was. Grandma had a beautiful apple tree and she would can apple sauce, make fruit leathers and of course little jars of apple butter and jam which she would send to us kids for Christmas. She’s 90 years old and we still get our little packages in the mail and there’s like a trillion of us now.
Apples and spice always remind me of her. She is a fantastic cook and the best story teller around. I can picture her beautiful yard full of fruit trees whose leaves are changing and I can’t help but reminisce on my life and how I’ve changed and grown. She has shaped me into who I am just as much as my own mother has. She’s patient and has a little twinkle in her eye. She can’t wait to give everyone a hug and sit down and listen to you tell her about your life. And I mean listen, she looks you in the eye and there’s not a thing more important in the world. Some, myself included at times try to do the same but you can feel that they are ready to bound on to something else or add their two cents, but not Mary Thueson. She loves her family and friends in a way that I hope to learn and convey to others as she has.
Fall is so much more than the hustle and bustle of school for me. It’s a time of energy. Everything is changing and I can’t help but think what she’s doing right now. Is she watching out her big kitchen window wondering where time has gone? Is she lonely for Grandpa who passed away 30 years ago? Most likely she’s listening to the birds, nibbling on chocolate and writing down another life story for us kids like the others we have about x-lax and bullies, outhouses and shy newlyweds or life on a farm. If we lived closer I know we would be baking this sheet cake together and stealing spoonfuls of our favorite apple butter. And in case you want to try out a few of her recipes too, I’ve listed a bunch of them below the recipe or you can head to our HEIRLOOM RECIPES section. She’s always so tickled when we send her copies of my post (no, she does not use the internet or even a computer!) and I know she would love to read your comments, so tell me what about fall do you love?
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 cups of sugar
- ½ cup of butter, unsalted and softened
- ½ cup of Musselman's Apple Butter
- 4 tablespoons of white hot cocoa
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of buttermilk (or ½ cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of vinegar)
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pinch of salt
- ½ cup of butter
- 2 tablespoons Musselman's apple butter
- 6 tablespoons of milk
- 1-1lb bag of powdered sugar
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 12x18" jelly roll pan
- heat oven to 400 degrees.
- in the bowl of a kitchenaid, mix the flour and sugar.
- In a saucepan over medium heat add, butter, apple butter, white hot cocoa, and water and bring it to a light boil.
- in a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla and salt whisk until smooth.
- take the cocoa mixture and pour it over the flour mixture and mix until smooth. add the buttermilk mixture and mix again until smooth.
- lightly spray a 12x18" jelly roll pan with cooking oil (pam). pour the mixture in the pan and bake for 20 minutes.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and melt. Once melted continue to cook until foamy and just starting to turn golden. Remove from the heat and add appple butter, and milk and heat again until it reaches a soft boil. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and whisk until smooth. spread onto the cake while both the frosting and the cake are still warm. enjoy