While we love a good hand-me-down recipe (like these favorites from Grandma), it can be tricky to decipher the directions. What exactly is a pinch of salt? How much is a scant cup of sugar? And uh, why doesn’t this recipe specify an oven temperature?
These uncertainties can lead to a recipe’s total failure. Or, in Ree Drummond’s case, extreme success.
We had the chance to chat with The Pioneer Woman about all sorts of things, from her favorite childhood meal to the time she accidentally doubled the butter in a chocolate cake recipe—and it turned out even better than the original.
The Best Chocolate Cake. Ever.
If you’re a Pioneer Woman fan, you’ve likely seen Ree’s recipe for The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.
“That actually was something my mother-in-law taught me how to make,” Ree told Taste of Home staff writer, Kiersten Hickman. “The secret is that you pull it out of the oven and you’ve got the warm frosting already ready. So the second it comes out, I pour the icing all over the hot cake. It kind of bubbles down on the sides—it’s truly magical!”
An Epic Mistake
What Ree didn’t know, however, was that she had accidentally doubled the amount of butter in her mother-in-law’s original cake!
“I misread her recipe,” Ree admitted. “My husband, early in our marriage, was like, ‘I like your sheet cake so much better than my mom’s.’ And I asked, ‘What do you mean? She gave me the recipe. It is your mom’s!’ And he said ‘No, it’s different.’ So finally we figured it out one day.”
Turns out, the ingredient in question was “1 c. butter.” Ree used one cup—or two sticks—of butter. But for Ree’s mom-in-law, “c” stood for cube, which equals a stick. “I kept it with my tweak!” she said.
More Butter Is Better
Ree’s misstep proved something we’ve known all along: More butter is better! While we can’t say that all of our baking mistakes have been as successful (like the time in college I added 2 tablespoons of baking powder to chocolate chip cookie bars instead of 2 teaspoons…) it seems that you can never go wrong with an extra butter pat (or stick!).
See what Ree’s been making lately in her newest cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier.
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