Original post, March, 28, 2012. Updated with a couple changes and new cover photo, March 21,2021
This is it. This is the cake of my childhood. It was the star at countless birthdays, picnics and Sunday suppers. My mom usually made it in a 9×11 Pyrex pan and frosted it with her boiled chocolate frosting, which is all kinds of fudgy goodness. My brother, Michael, would always cut a huge piece right out of the center of the cake. It made me so mad!! He was the only one of us who was brave enough to do that and, of course, he got away with it in the way only oldest brothers can. She also used to make it in two layers filled with chocolate pudding and frosted with whipped cream – so good!
This version is closer to the one I made when I baked at the restaurant, with a classic chocolate and powdered sugar buttercream. We sold lots of birthday cakes to go! I even once entered a local contest and won tickets to a U of O Duck football game for the best tasting cake in Eugene. I know some of you will find that amusing and, yes, it was the only Duck game I’ve ever attended.
Speaking of the Ducks, one of their biggest fans, my brother Pat, was in town last weekend for his birthday. Since it is also the cake of his childhood, I decided to make it for him. I even got his favorite ice cream, mint chocolate chip, to go with it because I am a very nice sister. Here he is with the girls, not sure what the large sticker on Ella’s head is all about…
Mom’s Chocolate Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat two 8 inch round pans well with nonstick spray. I like to use one specifically for baking with a little flour in it…
With electric beaters or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, add vanilla extract.
Add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, mix well…
then add another 1/3 sifted mixture, remaining buttermilk and last 1/3 sifted mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add hot water (tap water hot) and mix well. Batter should be a little glossy.
For the frosting, combine butter, cocoa, salt, 2 TB milk, vanilla and powdered sugar.
A little at a time, add remaining powdered sugar alternately with remaining milk until fully incorporated. The frosting should be quite stiff at this point, continue to beat well until it becomes fluffier and spreadable. Add a little more milk if you need to.
Spread with your choice of tools. I use a 13 inch angled spatula but a large butter knife will do the job if it has to.
Place the second layer, bottom side up, evenly over the first and top with a super large glob of frosting.
Then you can sort of make little waves/swirls in the frosting with your spatula or knife, if you so choose. At this point, it’s really up to you.
Kind of pretty though, huh?
Finish it off with some sprinkles and whatever else you deem appropriate and have a celebration!
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen