My twin brother and I are celebrating a significant birthday this month and in the lead up to the big day I have been looking through old photo albums. In that beautiful way that an old photo leads you down a path of memories, I was reminded of how my twin and I once fit on the piano bench alongside dad and how I loved it best when he played and sang Puff the Magic Dragon.
Every year mom baked my brother and I each a cake so we had our own candles to blow out and there are many old photos of Timothy and I smiling behind our cakes, candles alight.
Because it’s a birthday month, I’m sharing my family’s chocolate layer cake recipe (a favourite of my brother’s). My mom clipped the recipe our of a Good Housekeeping magazine back in the 1960’s and it’s the cake she always used to make for my sister Martha’s birthday.
Chocolate layer cake is quick to mix up, is moist and the frosting is especially frothy and delicious. The cake cuts like a dream.
Martha’s Chocolate Layer Cake
- 3 cups flour, spooned in
- 2 cups sugar (can be reduced to 1 1/2 cups)
- 6 Tbsp. cocoa
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup melted butter or oil
- 2 tsp. vinegar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups water
Martha’s chocolate frosting
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup water or coconut milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups icing sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa
To make the cake:
- Grease and flour two 8” round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl whisk the butter, vinegar, vanilla and water.
- Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake starts to pull away from the edge of the pan or a tester comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes then remove from pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- Cream butter & vanilla. Add water and mix well. Add cocoa then the icing sugar one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.