My Mom’s Chocolate Cake (with Chocolate Espresso Frosting!)

Question: What’s on your to-do list?

Personally, I make tons of lists in my planner, mostly because a) it’s a nice break from actually doing things and b) it’s an excuse to write with my non work-appropriate hot pink gel pens (even though they bleed through to the opposite page.)

Trader-Joes-Cocoa-Powder

Naturally, making my mom’s chocolate sheet cake has been at the top of my to-do list ever since I started this blog, so I’m excited to finally make it happen!

My mom and I spent this past Sunday afternoon making this recipe, then rewarded ourselves with big slices served with vanilla ice cream. (Hey, baking is hard work! We were quite exhausted from all that taste testing.)

So, this post is really a joint effort: the recipe is one my mom has been making and adapting for 30+ years, but she has graciously shared it so commoners like you and I can recreate it on our own. According to her, it’s a fool-proof recipe – unless you overbake it. So grab a timer and let’s get to work, shall we?

First, preheat the oven to 350.

Next, sift together the dry ingredients – 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder – in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.

In a 4 cup glass bowl, allow 2 sticks butter to melt in 1 cup hot water. Add this to dry ingredients in mixing bowl, along with 1 teaspoon vanilla (as you can see we used Trader Joe’s Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract), 1/2 cup soured milk, and 2 eggs.

cake-batter

Mix together on medium speed 2-3 minutes.

Pour into greased and floured pan, stand back for a moment to admire your handiwork, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until center almost springs back.

Do not overbake! (A note from Momma Jan! I’m just the messenger here.)

While the cake is baking, let’s whip up the frosting (aka my favorite part.)

espresso-chocolate-icing

Beat 1 stick room temperature butter with an electric or stand mixer until smooth. Next, mix in 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (we used Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Powder), 12 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/2 pound powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. Frosting will be stiff. Thin it by adding 2 teaspoons vanilla extract plus 1 teaspoon almond extract (or 3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur.)

 

 

Let cake cool completely, then frost!

The Recipe

My Mom’s Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup soured milk
2 eggs.

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ glass baking pan.

Next, sift together the dry ingredients – the flour,  granulated sugar,  baking soda, and unsweetened cocoa powder – in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.

In a 4 cup glass bowl, allow butter to melt in hot water. Add this to dry ingredients in mixing bowl, along with the vanilla soured milk, and eggs. Mix together on medium speed 2-3 minutes, then pour into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until center almost springs back. Do not overbake.

Chocolate Espresso Frosting

Ingredients
1 stick soft, room temperature butter
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
12 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 pound powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract or 3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur

Preparation Instructions
Beat 1 stick room temperature butter with an electric or stand mixer until smooth. Next, mix in instant espresso powder, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. Frosting will be stiff. Thin it by adding vanilla extract plus 1 teaspoon almond extract (or 3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur.)

Let cake cool completely, then frost and enjoy!

6 thoughts on “My Mom’s Chocolate Cake (with Chocolate Espresso Frosting!)

  1. Grandma

    As Grandpa Jones used to day as he shinned the windows, YUM! YUM! Bring a big slice, or better a whole cake to Colorado…PLEASE!

    Reply
  2. Julia {The Roasted Root}

    I love making to-do lists with fun pens and in pretty notebooks, too! On my to-do list is to read the books on my to-read list…sounds simple but I haven’t spent time reading in quite some time and it’s definitely therapeutic and good for the ol brain. Cake looks awesome! Your mom has quite a tasty looking recipe!

    Reply
  3. brista

    This is probably a dumb question but…Soured milk?! Where do you get that? Do you use old milk? Or is that the same as buttermilk? Or do you add something to milk…vinegar maybe?

    Reply
    1. Midwestern Belle Post author

      Not a dumb question at all! It’s the same as buttermilk – or you can make yourself by combining milk and vinegar. For this recipe, just measure out 1/2 tablespoon vinegar in a 1/2 cup measuring cup – fill the measuring cup up the rest of the way with milk, stir, and you’re done!

      Reply

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