Grandmothers’ Chocolate Cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    10 to 12

Appears in

Stars Desserts

By Emily Luchetti

Published 1993

  • About

One-half of this cake comes from my grandmother, and the other half from my husband’s grandmother. I grew up eating the chocolate frosting and my husband grew up eating the cake. Put the components together and all that’s missing is a tall glass of milk.


Chocolate Cake

  • cups plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • cups boiling water
  • cups cake flour
  • cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 5 ounces ( sticks) soft sweet butter
  • cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • cups buttermilk
  • teaspoons vanilla extract

Three 9-inch round cake pans


To make the cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the cake pans.

Whisk together the cocoa and the boiling water in a small bowl, making a smooth paste. Set aside to cool.

Sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Put the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, cream them on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Decrease to low speed, and stir in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Add the reserved cocoa paste. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 pans.

Bake the layers for about 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

When the cakes are cool, unmold them by running a knife along the inside edge of each pan and inverting them.

Frost with bittersweet chocolate frosting, making a 3-layer cake.

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