Grandma's Chocolate Cake

Grandma's Chocolate Cake

18 reviews, 4.5 star(s). 82% would make again

Ready in 45 minutes

If I had to pick one food that represented my childhood to me, it would be this Chocolate Cake made by my paternal Grandma. This is a very special recipe. It is the cake she made for every single birthday in my family. And even today, long after her passing, it is still a must-have at birthday time! It is a superbly delicious family favorite, and has been a family tradition for well over 50 years.


1 4-oz package Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup Hot water
1/2 cup unsalted butter; (1-stick) softened
1 cup Brown sugar
1 cup pure cane sugar
2 large Eggs; - at room temperature
2 1/2 cups cake flour; - sifted
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup buttermilk; - at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
Dutch-processed cocoa powder; - for dusting pans
Chocolate Frosting
1 1/4 cups pure cane sugar
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream; (I prefer heavy cream)
5 squares (1 oz) Baker's Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter; (1-stick) softened
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla extract

Original recipe makes 10



Place oven rack in center position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter or grease two 9-inch round cake pans, or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; dust pans with cocoa powder, knocking out excess; set aside.

Blend chocolate into hot water until melted; set aside to cool. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown and white sugars with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Carefully beat in melted chocolate, scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula as needed. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk to the chocolate mixture and beat on low to medium, scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula as needed, until evenly combined and batter is smooth and glossy. Beat in vanilla. Pour batter into prepared pans and spread evenly.

Bake 9-inch rounds for 30 to 35 minutes, or 9-by-13-inch pan for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean and sides are slightly pulling away from edge of pans. When done, remove from oven and let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans onto a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

Combine sugar, salt and milk in large heavy saucepan. Heat on low, stirring until sugar melts. Raise heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 6 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in butter and vanilla, until melted and well combined. Chill until mixture begins to thicken (or if you're short on time, place the bowl over an ice bath). Beat until thick and creamy enough to spread. Makes enough to fill and frost one 2-layer 8- or 9-inch cake. (If making a 9-by-13-inch cake, cut the frosting recipe in half.)

Frost Cake

Before frosting cake, place 4 strips of waxed paper around edge of a cake plate (waxed paper will protect plate as you frost), and brush loose crumbs from sides and edges of cooled layers. Place one layer, rounded side down, on prepared cake plate, spread about 1/2 cup of frosting to within 1/4- inch of edge. Place second layer, rounded side up, on frosted layer. Coat side with very thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs. Swirl more frosting on side, forming a 1/4-inch ridge above top of cake. Spread remaining frosting over top of cake, just meeting the built-up ridge around side. Make attractive swirls or leave the top smooth for decorations. Remove waxed paper pieces by easing them gently to the left and then the right. Slide each one out the side; don't pull them out. Remove each piece by sliding in the same direction.

To slice cake, do so with a thin, sharp blade. Cut straight down to the bottom. When slice is free, slide it out; do not lift it through the cut otherwise it will take cake and frosting with it.


This cake is also good baked in a 9x13x2-inch baking dish and it is a lot easier!

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Calories Per Serving: 1130 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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Only good while warm then gets too hard
LarisaS 2y ago

Used a random chocolate bar.. still very good.
LarisaS 2y ago

am87 2y ago

Followed the instructions to the letter and it was so worth it! This cake was absolutely delicious and reminded me of my grandma.. :-) A new family favorite!
foolishbaker 2y ago

All of your recipes are wonderful and never fail me. I want to make this because chocolate cake is my husbands favorite, but I live at a very high altitude and am afraid of it falling... Any suggestions?
candacecollett 3y ago

Our family really loves this cake. I've made it many times now and it always turns out rich and delicious.
shilohann 3y ago

My family and I enjoyed this cake. I also added 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts to the cake batter. After the frosting cooled I added 1/2 a container cool whip to it. This cake was delicious! Not too sweet.
maegankrogh 4y ago

This cake is so good. It's not too sweet but rich and moist. The chocolate flavor is wonderful. This will be a family favorite from now on!
Hm2hrt 4y ago

We love this old-fashioned chocolate cake, it's sooo delicious! . I've made it several times and it has never failed me. It’s rich, light and very delectable.
shilohann 4y ago

I made this cake for my husbands birthday, and brought it to a friends house to celebrate---everybody RAVED about it. I had a hard time with the frosting, and ended up using a different recipe, but it tasted amazing! Not to sweet but divinely chocolate just the same! A must try!
tracydemaggio 4y ago

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