Originally known as a funeral cake, this dessert was an 18th-century favorite in West Texas. Back then, settlers rarely went into town or got to the grocery store, and this Frontier Cake was a simple recipe that could be made easily from ingredients stored on hand. It also traveled well, and was often taken to those in mourning to help ease the heartache.
Texas Frontier Cake
Makes one 9x13 inch loaf.
Stir together the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Melt the butter with the cocoa and water in a saucepan, bringing to a boil. Pour the hot liquid over the flour mixture and stir well.
Add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat well and pour into a buttered 9x13 inch pan.
Bake 30 minutes at 400°F, or until the cake springs back when touched. Meanwhile, prepare the Texas Chocolate Icing and spread on the cake while it is still hot. The cake will keep moist, covered with plastic wrap, for several days.