I really didn’t intend to post another recipe quite so soon, but after my roaring success with Amy’s birthday cake yesterday, I just had to share this one.
It wasn’t that long ago that cake was synonymous with cake mix in my kitchen. I saw cake mixes as my ticket to an easy and fast dessert, while at the same time avoiding the dry and heavy as a load of bricks concoction that a scratch cake could be. What frustrated me though, about a cake made from a cake mix, was trying to frost the thing. One year, Amy’s overly light and moist birthday cake completely ripped apart, and I don’t know how many tubs of frosting I went through trying to “glue” the pieces together. In the end, it looked like I’d baked the cake alongside a stick of dynamite.
After that experience, I decided to start baking all of my cakes from scratch. I think I’ve practiced enough now to get consistently good results, and having an exceptional recipe helps too. Here, dear readers, is the “secret formula” for the perfect chocolate cake.
Cocoa Fudge Cake (From my 1981 Betty Crocker cookbook.)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and grease pan(s). When I make a layer cake, I line the bottoms of the pans with waxed paper first and the cake never sticks. Beat all ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds, and then beat on high speed for 3 minutes. This makes enough batter to fill a 13x9x2 oblong pan, or two 8” or 9” round pans, or a 12 cup bundt cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean: oblong, 35-40 minutes, round layers 30-35 minutes, bundt cake 40 to 45 minutes. Cool, and frost.
I also make my frosting from scratch too, but I don’t use a recipe. I simply mix butter, powdered sugar, a little bit of milk and a teaspoon of vanilla until it tastes good, and I still think premade frosting in a tub is very good too.
And lastly, I found this picture on the internet, and I think it’s a festive idea for a Christmas cake!
Now put the explosives away, and start baking!