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Episode 5: Schwartzenstein Chocolate Cake

Happy halloween, fans! To celebrate this very sweet and stupid holiday, we're posting a dessert episode of Economy Bites this week. It's our SCHWARTZENSTEIN chocolate cake, mwahahahhahhahahahaaaaaaa.

Let me start by getting something out of the way. I've been eating this cake since I was 10 years old. It was introduced to my family and me by my cousin Judy Silverstein (the STEIN in SCHWARTZENSTEIN). Cousin Judy made this cake for every birthday and random Sunday family event we Schwartz's ever had...EVER, and it NEVER disappointed.

To me, this cake was a family secret, a recipe passed down from generations. When cousin Judy gave me the recipe for this cake, I felt like I'd been gifted with some kind of magical index card that symbolized my entrance into a special club of grown up Schwartz ladies. Fuck my bat mitzvah, I was FINALLY a woman!

SO, you can imagine my shock this Tuesday when, while perusing Serious Eats, I came upon a post highlighting this recipe from the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook. The title: The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever. The recipe: COUSIN'S JUDY'S!!!

I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised. The Pioneer woman is from Oklahoma, cousin Judy: Dallas, TX, which is only an hour from OK. Probably Cousin's Judy's mom and The Pioneer woman's mom both read the same issue of Better Home & Gardens and, after realizing they'd found the gold standard of chocolate cake recipes, wrote it down and claimed it as their own. The two recipes are a little different now (she uses pecans and bakes at 350, I use no pecans and bake at 400) but I'm basically positive they started the same.

I suppose we'll never know, and I suppose I don't really care. I love this cake. It will always be Schwartzenstein to me, no matter who publishes it. I guarantee that, once you make it, it'll be your new favorite dessert...and let me give you permission to call it your own. Good luck and Godspeed.



Tags: Halloween, dessert recipe, easy dessert recipe, chocolate cake, chocolate sheet cake, Pioneer Woman, Serious Eats, Episode 5, chocolate, Halloween treat, cheap dessert, cheap dessert recipe, daniel schloss, allie schwartz


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