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Sheath Cakes

A Sheet Cake is sometimes called a "Sheath Cake."

The word "sheath" started appearing in print in the late 1950s. As of 2006, most food historians are convinced that "sheath" is just a variant pronunciation of "sheet." Some people even question pointedly whether it's just a matter of people's mothers having ill-fitting false teeth plates.

Sometimes when people say "Sheath Cake", they definitely have in mind "Texas Sheet Cake" -- a particular type of Sheet Cake, a chocolate cake with a creamy, runny frosting poured on it. Some recipes for Sheath Cake, such as the "Donn'a Sheath Cake" below, are definitely Texas Sheet Cake recipes.

Some people say that Sheath Cake is Sheet Cake with extra ingredients; that while Sheet Cake tends to be a plain-battered cake, "Sheath Cake" will have items such as crushed candy bars, etc, in it.

Even though they agree that while it all may have started with a few dentureless old souls, they say that "Sheath Cake" is indeed taking on a separate meaning now.

Literature & Lore

"Refreshments were served including a Sheath Cake shaped like a pillow on which sat a white kitty cat." -- Ganel Atwood Feted at Party. Reno, Nevada. Nevada State Journal. Tuesday, 20 June 1959. Page 5.

"Centering the dacron lace-covered buffet table was a Sheath Cake made by the hostess.Twin hearts topped it and the words 'Frances and Bill' were inscribed on them. A miniature bride and groom was suspended from the chandelier." -- 50 Guests Honor Mrs. Hart. Hubbard, Ohio: The Hubbard News. Wednesday, 22 November 1961. Page 3.

Here is a "Sheath Cake" recipe from 1966:
DONN'A Sheath Cake Recipe
From: Mrs. Donald Kesslnger
3069 Palo Verde Ave., Long Beach
Long Beach, California: Independent Press-Telegram. 4 September 1966. Page CB-50.

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 13 x 9 x 2 pan and bake 20 minutes in 400-degree oven.

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.

See also:


Aboukir; Alaska Florida; Angel Food Cake Day; Apple Potato Cake; Baked Alaska; Banbury Cakes; Boston Cream Pie; Boston Favorite Cake; Bundt Cakes; Cake Boards; Cake Flour; Cakes and Ale Day; Cakes; Carrot Cake; Cassatelle di Ricotta; Cheesecake Day; Cheesecake; Chocolate Cake Day; Chocolate Cake; Christmas Cakes; Clafoutis; Coconut Squares; Coffee Cake Day; Coffee Cake; Devil's Food Cake Day; Eccles Cakes; English Madelines; Flan; Galettes; Gâteau St-Honoré; Gâteaux; Genoa Bread; Genoa Cake; Icing & Frosting; Kugelhopf Cakes; Lamingtons; Marzipan Potatoes; Melton Hunt Cake; Muffins; Mustacae; Napolitain Cakes; Parkin Cake; Pasta Margherita; Pasta Paradiso; PET No-Bake Festive Fruitcake; Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day; Pineapple Upside-Down Cake; Pithiviers; Pound Cake Day; Pound Cake; Queen Elizabeth Cake; Royal Icing; Sheath Cakes; Sheet Cakes; Simnel Cake; Slab Cake; Sly Cakes; Sponge Cakes; Stir-up Sunday; Swiss Roll; Tipsy Parson; Tranche Napolitaine; Twelfth Night Cake; Twinkies; Unrefined Icing Sugar; Upside-Down Cakes; Whirlin Cakes; Wycoller Cake; Yule Log; Zuccotto

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Oulton, Randal. "Sheath Cakes." CooksInfo.com. Published 02 June 2007; revised 28 October 2012. Web. Accessed 03/20/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/sheath-cakes>.

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