Actually, my chocolate cake recipe has never been a secret, since I got it out of the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. As a plug, this is probably my favorite cookbook of all time. I use it as a cooking guide, for recipes, and much much more!
As promised, here are the recipes for the cake that started it all with me:
Chocolate Cake with Almond Buttercream Frosting
Cake: (BHG Cookbook)
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I am VERY generous with this ingredient!)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temp for 30 minutes. Grease & flour pan(s): 2-9inch round or 1-9x13. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder & salt, set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, scrap bowl & continue beating until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla.
3. Alternately add flour & milk to butter mixture. Spread in pans.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes. (I usually set the timer for 15 minutes, turn the pans, and set for another 15 minutes. I test the cake at that point with a wooden toothpick, and if it's not done, I set the timer for 5 minutes longer, continue this process until finished)
Almond Buttercream Frosting:
(recipe courtesy of my cousin Maria, a true baker and cake/cupcake artist! See her work at: www.mmcupcakes.shutterfly.com)
Note: This is the batch amount I use for a medium sized cake (two layer 9inch round cake), and there is usually leftovers. You can make more or less for what your needs are
1/4 Can of Crisco (Big Can - the 48 oz one)
1/4 Cup Butter (NOT Margarine)
1 T. Almond Flavoring
1 Bag of Powdered Sugar (2 lbs)
1/2 Cup Whole Milk
1. Cream together crisco & butter
2. Add Almond Flavoring
3. Alternate adding powdered sugar & milk. Make sure to have extra of each to reach the desired consistency. You want a real thick frosting if you want it to crust correctly.