The Perfect Chocolate Cake

Snippets from the Archives

Since it was my birthday this month, I thought that I would share one of my favorite recipes from my grandmother.  As I may have hinted at in earlier posts, I grew up in a family that is borderline obsessed with desserts.  My mom, my grandmother, my aunts, my sisters, and I all bake (with varying frequency), but any family occasion means at least one dessert–and usually more–has been thrown together by at least one of us.  Major holidays have always involved an explosion of desserts.  We don’t have one pie at Thanksgiving.  We have three–pumpkin, apple, and chocolate cream from scratch–as well as decorated, turkey-shaped sugar cookies.  And Christmas involves a two day baking marathon of cookies, pastries, and candies.  For birthdays, we frequently got together with the whole family to celebrate birthday months.  Lots of names on one cake meant we needed a big cake, and this classic chocolate cake recipe–along with its partner vanilla cake–often fit the bill.  Placing the two cakes side by side created a massive sheet cake with half vanilla and half chocolate frosting and every possible combo.  Definitely a crowd pleasing cake.  My favorite combo had always been chocolate/chocolate, so I’ve included my favorite chocolate frosting recipe as well.

Chocolate Party Cake

Measure into bowl:
2 cups sifted flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
¾ cup milk
¾ cup crisco
Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Then stir in:
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix thoroughly by hand or mixer (med. speed) for two minutes. Pour into two 9″ layer or 13″x9″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cocoa Fudge Frosting

½ cup butter
½ cup cocoa
3 2/3 cups confectioner sugar
7 tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter in a pan. Add cocoa – heat 1 minute or until smooth, stirring constantly. Pour into small mixer bowl. Add alternating cocoa and milk with sugar. Beat to spreading consistency. Add vanilla.

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