Friday, February 11, 2011

Recipes Revisited:Sixteen Candles Or: Grandma Eda's Cocoa Cake on Grandma Esther's Platter

We're putting candles that spell SC's name out on this cake rather than the numbers and I'm glad of it. It's hard to deal with having a 16 year old!

This cake is what might be called a "dump" cake--you just dump all the ingredients into the bowl and then stir. The whole process of making it takes about 5 minutes. Five minutes more to get it in the pans, then 15 minutes in the oven and you're done.

This is so fast in fact that I got up this morning and baked it before I took JR out to wait for the school bus. And I still had time to make school lunches and give JR her breakfast.

I think my Grandma Eda got the recipe from the Settlement House Cook Book which was her standby, but I checked my copy (an heirloom from Nanay) and didn't see it, so either she got it elsewhere or tinkered with it. In any event, this is THE cake that my mother has served on birthdays for many years.

Don't tell my mother, but I frosted it with commercial frosting. And we are going to put sliced strawberries on it too--SC loves it that way.

The cake is from her Great Grandma Eda and the platter it's on is a heirloom from another Great-Grandma--my dad's mom Esther.

Grandma Eda's Cocoa Cake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease and flour 2 round cake pans  (I use cooking spray instead of butter or margarine.)
In a large mixing bowl combine the following, but do NOT stir until all ingredients are added!

8T cocoa powder 
2/3 cup + 4Tbsp oil (corn or canola)  
2/3 cup milk  (skim is fine)   
3 eggs   
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
4 tsp  baking powder
Beat well until all ingredients are completely combined.
Pour into cake pans.  Bake for 15 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool, frost and decorate.


  1. Great. My daughter is going to a cake decorating class on Sunday at the local craft store (assuming it doesn't get cancelled for low attendance like her sewing class did) and she has to bring a cake with her. I'll let you know if we try this one - sorry to say there is a box cake in the pantry that she may choose...although if she makes the box cake I won't be tempted to eat it.

  2. I probably should have noted that this is a LOW cake--the layers will only rise about halfway up the pan. Probably a mix cake would be better for a showy decorated cake.

    I started cooking with mix cakes. I'm trying to work on SC to do one on her own--she did brownies and it worked well. Learning to do a mix is a good start on home cooking--teaches you the basics of a method, I think.



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