Grandma's Chocolate Cake
In the Kitchen

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

My grandma’s chocolate cake is one of our family’s staples. For years, my grandmother made it every single week for Sunday dinner. By the time I was born, however, it had become our special occasion cake made for birthdays and other celebratory family dinners.

grandma's chocolate cake
I love getting to dust off my mixer for a family favorite.

This weekend, my mom got out her old and faded recipe card so I could make this for her birthday. There’s really no hint like handing someone the recipe you want them to make for you! We had a busy weekend, but I was still able to whip this cake up in less than 20 minutes. Since everything is made in one bowl, it’s fast and easy to make but will taste like you slaved hours in the kitchen.

Box mix cakes really hold no candle to these old fashion recipes. This cake came out rich and unbelievably moist. With the sweet, 7 minute frosting, it honestly reminded me of a huge Oreo before I frosted the sides.

First half frosted with parchment paper under it to keep the cake plate frosting free.

I’m going to admit right off the bat that I did a terrible job frosting it. Because we’re watching our Weight Watcher’s points, I decided to half the recipe. It actually worked out surprisingly well. All the measurements were easy divide, and it made just enough for two nights of celebration. My idea was to cut it in half and frost the whole thing, but the cut end hemorrhaged crumbs and I was trying to cut back on frosting, so you’ll see that I quickly abandoned all hope. While the resulting cake looked a little “rough”, it taste delicious and I’m dreaming of when I can make it again!

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 – 3 8″ cake pans.

Cream together

1/2 c. shortening or butter

4 T cocoa

1 1/2 c. sugar

Stop the mixer and add:

1/2 c. buttermilk

2 t baking soda

2 whole unbeaten eggs

2 c. flour

1 tsp vanilla

Once thoroughly mixed, add:

3/4 cup boiling water and mix well.

Pour into prepared pans and bake 25 – 30 minutes.

Allow to cool in the pans, then turn out to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

I recommend my grandma’s 7 Minute frosting.

Making Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

Grandma's Chocolate Cake
The “creaming” of the first three ingredients actually makes a somewhat chalky mixture because of the cocoa.

Get a kettle on so that your boiling water is ready when you get to the end. Like any baking recipe, also make sure you preheat your oven. I like to bake everything on convection bake when possible, so I set my oven for 335 degrees. Some newer ovens will auto adjust…ours does not. The general rule of thumb is to subtract either 15 degrees of 10 percent of the time. I find lowering the temperature gives me the best results.

grandma's chocolate cake
My parchment paper liner for the cake pan.

Spray the sides of a pan (remember, I halved the recipe, you’d use “pans”). Parchment paper is great from keeping cakes or cookies from sticking, so I cut a circle out of parchment paper for the bottom. I also sprayed the parchment paper and hung on to the  scraps to use in frosting the cake.

Cream your first three ingredients. I found because of the cocoa powder, it didn’t cream like a tradition sugar/egg/butter mixture would. It was a little more grainy, but still silk to the touch.

grandma's chocolate cake
After you add the water, the mixture will be a little watery. Don’t fret!

I then added everything else. Yep. Just dumped it all into the KitchenAid bowl. No sifting or batches. I mixed until well incorporate, then added the water. Obviously, once I added the water the mixture became runny. I just mixed well at that point and poured into the pan. I like to tap my pan several times on the counter to allow any bubbles to rise to the surface. Then, in it went into the over.

See, easy! And the results were delicious. My daughter doesn’t normally eat cake, but she finished her tiny sliver before I even got sat down at the table after serving everyone their piece.

Grandma's Chocolate Cake