This is an old recipe my Aunt Katherine has used for many years- it was part of an older Pennsylvania State Grange Cookbook, 1972. It is a thin, moist chocolate cake with a rich and creamy chocolate frosting. It has been a favorite of family picnics and get-togethers for many years. I added some cinnamon to the cake for a little different flavor- this is optional. I covered half of the cake with nuts, since I have some picky kids in my family who don't like them. Besides, almost everywhere you go, there always seems to be some that like nuts and some that don't. You also could jazz it up even more by adding some instant coffee granules into the liquids of the cake and/or the icing. In addition, it would be lovely with a little coconut sprinkled over top of the icing with or without the nuts, if so desired. Hershey now makes a dark cocoa powder, which would also be wonderful in this recipe. Have fun with it!
Ingredients for cake:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
2 sticks of margarine or butter
1 cup water
4 Tbsp cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sift the ingredients from Group 1 together into a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine ingredients from Group 3. In a large saucepan, bring to a boil the ingredients for Group 2. Add Group 1 ingredients into the saucepan, stirring well, followed by Group 3 ingredients and stirring well. Pour into a greased 15x12 inch pan (or a size similar to jelly roll or large cookie sheet pan). Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes- be careful not to overbake. After cake has baked 10-15 minutes, start preparing the icing.
Ingredients for icing:
1 stick butter or margarine
4 Tbsp cocoa
6 Tbsp milk
1 box (16 oz.) powdered confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4- 1/2 cup chopped nuts- walnuts or pecans (optional)- may use whole nuts, instead.
Bring 1st three ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan. (I found that using butter and working on a gas stove, the ingredients- oil from the milk/cocoa mixture- separated before I got to the active boiling point. I tried to remix them, to no avail. I continued anyways with the recipe- adding the sugar and vanilla and it turned out great.) Add the sugar and vanilla. Pour immediately on the cake when it is removed from the oven and placed on a cooling rack. Spread out to cover the cake- it thickens pretty quickly. Sprinkle the nuts over top of the cake, if desired.
It can be served right from the pan.