I love to bake from scratch, but I don't always have the time. Over the years, I've adjusted many of my recipes to allow for the time factor. While I always bake from scratch for the holidays, throughout the year I will fix some of my favorites with minor adjustments.

One of my favorite cakes in the whole world is a Texas Sheath Cake. I bake it in a jelly roll pan or as a 9 x 13 cake. The light touch of cinnamon in the chocolate cake makes the taste supreme. If you want that flavor but don't have the time to make it from scratch, here is a easy way to get the same flavor:

Buy Duncan Hines Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix (do not substitue the Swiss chocolate mix as it is the only one that has a similar taste to the Texas Sheath Cake) and mix per the directions on the box.

Add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the batter and mix well. Bake per the instructions on the cake mix box.

When cake is done, fix the icing immediately so you can pour it on while the cake is still warm.


In mixing bowl, pour in 1 box of confectioner sugar and 1 tsp vanilla and sit aside

In small sauce pan, mix:
1 stick of butter
4 tbls cocoa
6 tbls milk

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and bring to boil. Remove from heat and pour over
confectioner sugar mixture.
Beat until smooth and pour on warm cake.

Nut Option calls for 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts. I have made it with the walnuts and with pecans. Both ways are tasty. On the nuts, you can beat them in the icing or you can just sprinkle them on top after you pour the icing on the cake. If you are ever attending anything with a country/western theme, chop the nuts until they are a fine consistency and sprinkle across the top of the cake. This is the Sawdust Sheath Cake version.

Well, I'm going to go bake some chocolate chip, walnut cookies since I've made myself craving something warm from the oven.

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