Sunday, February 12, 2017

"Best" Homemade Chocolate Cake

Last week we celebrated our older daughter's birthday. Today we celebrate...ME! Needless to say, this post will be rather short -- there's a cake to be baked! This recipe (from the back of a can of Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder) was my favorite when I was growing up, and is still in my Top 10 today. 


  • 1/2 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or one 13x9-inch cake pan and set aside.
  3. Combine unsweetened cocoa powder and boiling water in small mixing bowl. Set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, cream sugar and shortening in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda; add one half of these dry ingredients to the shortening/egg mixture. Beat until blended. 
  6. Add one half of the buttermilk and blend in. Add the remaining dry ingredients and remaining buttermilk. Beat 2 minutes.
  7. Blend in the chocolate mixture and stir until thoroughly combined and no streaks remain.
  8. Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cake is done when cake begins to pull from sides of pan and toothpick inserted in center of cake is not wet--just a few moist crumbs should adhere to the toothpick.
When the cake is completely cooled, ice with your favorite frosting or dust with powdered sugar.


  1. I've made these!!!!! What were the chances you would have a recipe I had actually made? Slim and none is the answer. :)

  2. Bill, I was certain that I replied to your comment, but it is NOT here. I don't know what is more amazing--that you and I have the same recipe or that you actually baked something! It's a great recipe. And if you've done it once, you can certainly do it again. Make a cake for your lovely wife. It will taste better than any store-bought box of chocolates.

  3. Yum. Don't you just love the old time-tested recipes that appear on the containers of select ingredients? I still, to this day, follow Libby's pumpkin pie recipe.

    I wonder, now that we've become more conscious of the fats we cook with, if either coconut oil (in the solid form) or butter can be substituted for the shortening in this recipe.

    1. Shauna - That's a really good question. I can't promise when I will (next) make this cake, but I think coconut could be used--and it would sure taste good. Butter (I think) is always a good option. Thanks for stopping by.