My mom can bake! When I mean bake, I mean the old fashioned way…..from scratch. Everything! Cakes, pies, cookies, breads, you name it she can make it. Growing up, I have such wonderful memories of the house smelling like a bakery. She would bake on Wednesday’s (her day off from work) and make enough sweets and breads to last us the whole week. My mom learned to cook and bake at an early age from my Ukrainian-born grandmother. Mom was the youngest of 11 children and was raised during the World War II era. With so many mouths to feed, she would help my grandmother cook and bake because it was not only the most economical for them, but just something my grandmother liked to do.
My love for cooking and baking was passed down from my mom as well. As a child, she would often let me help her by measuring, mixing or pouring the ingredients in the bowl. Oh, and I can’t forget licking the bowl. In the past, she has won numerous awards and blue ribbons at our local county fair baking contest. To this day, she can whip things up with little or no effort and everything she bakes always looks perfect. What an amazing talent!
This simple buttermilk chocolate cake recipe is a family favorite. In 1988, mom won a 1st place blue ribbon (one of many) at our local county fair for it. It’s our cherished recipe that often makes an appearance at our holiday dinners, special occasions or “just because we need a chocolate cake fix” for dessert. It’s versatile because it can be baked in a sheet cake pan, round pans or cupcake tins. The yummy bakery buttercream icing (recipe follows) seals the deal too! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do. Let me know how you like it.
- Preheat oven 350 degrees
- Grease one 13 x 9 pan or two 9" round cake pans.
- Sift dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda and salt).
- In mixer, combine oil, buttermilk, cocoa, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
- At low speed, add dry ingredients to cocoa mixture ALTERNATELY with boiling water. DO NOT OVERBEAT. Batter will be very thin.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until top of cake springs back.
*This batter can be used for cupcakes, round pans or sheet cake pans. Baking time will need to be adjusted accordingly.
- Bakery Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 lb. butter 2 sticks at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 3-4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- In mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy.
- Add shortening and beat well for 2 minutes.
- Gradually add condensed milk, confectioners' sugar and vanilla or almond extract.
- Beat well until light and fluffy. Makes 3 1/2 cups of frosting.