Recipe Finder: Chocolate Cake

October 31, 2011|By Julie Rothman, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Barbara Lantz from Charleston, W.Va., was looking for a recipe for a chocolate cake that her husband has been raving about for years. She said his mother used to bake the cake for him and that she thinks the recipe likely dates back to the 1930s and originally came from at box of baking soda. Susan McRae from Chestertown sent in her recipe for chocolate cake that her mother baked back in the 1950s. She says her mother got the recipe from her own mother. McRae also included her recipe for a chocolate satin frosting.

This cake is so good you could make it in a sheet pan and skip the frosting if you were in a hurry. Loaded with sweet butter, eggs, rich chocolate and buttermilk, it's pure old-fashioned decadence. This moist and rich cake is perfect for any special occasion. Don't bother counting calories with this one, go ahead and do as I did and add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.


Julianne Dorr of Longview, Wash., is looking for a cake recipe from the 1970s. It was made with fruit cocktail, crushed pineapple and something else, then topped with a yellow cake mix. She says it's very simple, but she can't remember how it was made exactly or all the ingredients.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278 or email If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Makes: 10 servings

For cake:

2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 1/2 cups brown sugar

3 eggs

3 ounces unsweetened bakers chocolate, melted and cooled

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

For chocolate satin frosting:

2 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet bakers chocolate, melted and cooled

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons hot water

1 egg

1/3 cup softened butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

To make cake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift cake flour, baking soda and salt together. In a mixer, cream butter. Add sugar gradually, creaming until light. Add unbeaten eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add melted chocolate to batter. Beat in one-third of flour mixture, then one-third of buttermilk. Repeat twice. Blend in boiling water and vanilla. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

To make frosting, blend chocolate, sugar and water. Beat in egg, butter and vanilla. Place bowl into bowl of ice water and beat until spreading consistency.

Note: If you are concerned about using a raw egg, you can substitute pasteurized liquid egg or egg white.

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