So, here’s the deal: you MUST, you simply MUST make this cake in a glass pan! If you make it in any kind of metal pan, you will be sorely disappointed!
This is my grandmother Dorothy’s, recipe. She passed away in 1987, but to this day, every time I make it I think of her. Many years ago, when Tiffany was in her twenties (crazy, but she’s in her 30’s and that’s really weird for me to say!), Tiffany made this cake and brought it to a family function. She made it in a metal pan and just didn’t understand why it didn’t taste very good.
That was my “aha” moment – I’d been teaching my nieces to make this cake for years and given them all copies of the recipe (because it’s a family favorite), but nowhere did I mention that it needs to be in a glass pan. When I would teach them face-to-face, I would use a glass pan. I just never explained the ramifications of using a metal pan. Well, if you use a metal pan, the vinegar and baking soda do something funny (a chemical reaction occurs that maybe, someone out there who has taken chemistry, can explain), making the cake, while not inedible, certainly tasteless. And, this cake made in a glass pan is a wonderful thing!
So, make this cake for Halloween, but use a glass pan!
P.S. As respects Halloween, sorry I didn’t “doll” this cake up more! I intended to; in fact, in my last foray into town about two weeks ago, I looked for Ghost Peeps in the store. Nada. I looked for those cute candy corn pumpkins in the store (I was going to make an easy pumpkin patch on the top of the cake with candy corn pumpkins and green icing vines and leaves and a ghost Peep or two). Nada. So, this year you get my grandmother’s chocolate cake unadorned. So much going on in my “toot sweet” life that I can’t even get to the grocery store more than twice a month!
- Gathering your ingredients.
- Spray 9″ x 13″ GLASS pan with non-stock cooking spray.
- I use my Misto.
- Flour pan.
- In large GLASS bowl, combine flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and cocoa.
- Mix well until cocoa is combined (I used a fork).
- Add vinegar and vanilla.
- Measure oil.
- Add oil and water and stir to combine until well mixed.
- Finished cake batter.
Pour batter into greased and floured GLASS baking dish.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Don’t over bake!
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely. Take a damp paper towel and clean flour from the edges of the pan.
- Make frosting: Measure 2 cups of powdered sugar into bowl.
- Add 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa and stir to combine.
- Powdered sugar and butter.
In a separate bowl, mix one cup of powdered sugar and 1 stick of softened butter. Oops! I accidentally got some chocolate in there! Beat powdered sugar and butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add chocolate powdered sugar.
Add chocolate powdered sugar from other bowl a cup at a time and beat until smooth. Add one tablespoon of milk at a time to get the right consistency. Add vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Plunk frosting on cooled chocolate cake.
- Swirl around with a knife or offset spatula until cake is covered.
Here’s the recipe:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¾ up vegetable oil
- 2 cups cold water
- 3 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
- 2-4 tablespoons milk (or more, if needed)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour a 9" x 13" GLASS baking pan.
- In a GLASS mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and cocoa.
- Add vinegar, vanilla, oil and water and stir by hand until blended.
- Pour batter into glass baking pan.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle of cake comes out clean.
- Cool completely and frost with chocolate frosting.
- In mixing bowl, stir together powdered sugar with cocoa.
- In separate larger mixing bowl, cream together (with an electric mixer) softened butter with one cup sugar and one tablespoon milk until smooth.
- Add another cup of sugar/cocoa mixture and another tablespoon of milk and mix well.
- Add vanilla and the remaining powdered sugar/cocoa mixture and mix well.
- If frosting needs to be thinned a little, add additional tablespoons of milk and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
- Spread frosting on top of cake.
Be sure to use fresh baking soda. If you don't know how old your baking soda is, buy a new box.