Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Cake


A few months ago, I finally made a cake I had been wanting to make for forever. It was the Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Cake. I have to agree with her. It really was the best chocolate cake I have ever had.





My whole family helped me make the first one. It was a fun family creation. It had enough steps where every one had a task. But it was still very easy.


I actually bought a commercial sheet pan from Amazon just to make this cake. When you think about how much a sheet cake costs at the store, this $12 was actually an incredibly decent price. The cake fits perfectly in this pan.


My husband requested this chocolate cake for his birthday cake two weeks ago. I decided to add something to the recipe. Sigh. I had read the comment section on her website. It seemed like a lot of people had this cake recipe in their family, except their family added cinnamon. We love cinnamon in our household. I figured it was a safe bet to try.

So, I added 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cake batter. That is it! 1/4 of a teaspoon! And it ruined the cake. It overwhelmed the cake. It was not good. At all. So, please just follow her recipe. Do not add the cinnamon or you will be crying on the inside as you throw away an entire sheet cake five days after you made it when nobody in your family will eat it. The first cake? Completely gone in four days.


I cannot wait to make this cake again! Sans cinnamon. It is amazing.

Have you made this cake? Have you ever added a seemingly innocent ingredient to a recipe only to have it completely fail?

Gnoman…Gnoe-man…Gnoah, man!…



I have to thank Melinda for spotting this gnome sweater at Modcloth and alerting me to its existence. And on the last day of one of their sales, too. Thank you!

I kind of love this Gnome Is Where The Heart Is Sweater more than any item in my closet right now. Don’t tell Humboldt!

How could I be a gnome lover and not own this?

I couldn’t.

I do not want to be the crazy lady wearing this sweater every single day, but I would if I could. It is so comfy and I like the length and the fit.

The jeans are Mother Cruiser Denim that I got on sale at Anthropologie for $40. Regular retail price is $220. I am often confused when people state that Anthropologie is too expensive. They have fantastic sales. I snatched up two pairs. They are my favorite jeans I own. I had to get them shortened, but that was no problem. If you can find these, I cannot recommend them enough. They are magic. I sized down one size.



My husband (the pictures above are not him. They are the model at Modcloth). Oh, I desperately want to post photographs of him. He is the whole reason behind me even liking gnomes, being the Angry Gnome (this is his nickname, which is hilarious, because he is the least angry person I know). He, however, would rather stay a mystery. I keep telling him, “Honey. I need pictures of other people on my blog. People are going to get sick of pictures of just me. I’m getting sick of pictures of just me.”


So, for now, he wins.

I did want to show the two gnome sweaters I purchased for him (on a discount, of course) from Modcloth. The sweater sporting the gnome with the skis is called, “Assert Your Elf Sweater.” Yes, elf. But it is obviously a gnome. I cringed at the name and purchased it anyway. The UFO gnome invasion is called, “Gnome away from home.”

How cool are they?


And yes, we wear our gnome sweaters out together. And, yes, we are so cool dorks. And, no, we do not care.

We like to coordinate.

Oh my gosh, sidetracking into a funny story:

Years and years ago, my family found ourselves at the Fashion Island Mall in Newport after a trip to Disneyland. I wanted to go to the Anthropologie there and we were going to eat dinner at P.F. Chang’s.

So, there we are. In our matching Mickey Mouse t-shirts surrounded by chic women (this is often the mall shown in “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” I once smelled one of the cast members there. Yes, you read that right…I am a freak. She smelled divine).

Two women walked by us as we were waiting outside for a table.

One of them turned to the other one and said:


“They match.

They are all matching.”

The word “matching” was said loudly and as a derogatory word.

They turned around and stared at this new breed of species they had never encountered before.

I waved.

They snickered and left.

I would love to go shopping there with my husband in our matching sweaters sometime. I find instances like that encounter amusing. They are just lucky I didn’t try to smell them. ; )



Would you laugh at us? Or do you think it is okay to “match”? And do you ever match your partner (besides Halloween)?

P.S. Please do not forget to enter for a chance to win a $25 e-gift card to Anthropologie. It ends Tuesday night!