Easy Chocolate Cake

Last Sunday morning we were having coffee and plotting out our day.  We knew that it was going to be a day spent at home around the house, doing laundry, taking care of our new landscaping, and just catching up on household chores and such.  One of the first questions my husband asked was “What do you want to do for dinner?”.  Our day at home doing nothing big will generally revolve around what we can whip up in the kitchen, gathering a grocery list and making that daily stop to Wegmans. (Well, it seems like it is daily!) My usual response to that questions is “What are you thinking?”.  He loves to cook and try out new recipes but this time I got back “you know, I really want that Chocolate Cake that you made from Penzey’s Spice Catalog.”  “That would taste good to me because the cake is rich and the frosting is so sweet.”
So he goes looking for the Penzey’s catalog in the cupboard , but I remembered it was already cut out and placed in our big blue binder of recipes.  I found it with the notation – Father’s Day 2009.  What a memory he has.  I would take care of dessert that day and we both would fill in the rest of dinner together.
This cake is so moist and rich.  It really reminds me of a cake my mom would make for my dad called a “3 hole cake”.  There was something about that cake that you mixed in the pan and in the dry ingredients you would create 3 holes and then pour the liquid ingredients in the holes.  It was made in a 13 X 9 pan just like this cake.  She made that for his birthdays and family dinners, I think anytime she needed a dessert.  Then she let me borrow her pan one time and I left it at a friends camp.  Never heard the end to that one.  I have tried to find her recipe but have not succeeded, but I believe this is pretty close.  

Chocolate Cake


2 Cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 stick (1/2 Cup) butter
2 Cups sugar
2 Cups boiling water
2 eggs



Preheat the oven to 350°. Sift together the flour, COCOA, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together the VANILLA, butter and sugar. Add the boiling water, blend, then add the eggs and mix until well blended. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 9×13 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350°. Either sprinkle with cake decorating sprinkles for a lower sugar version before baking, or when cool frost with Buttercream Frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
1/3–1/2 Cup soft butter
1/8 tsp. salt (eliminate if using salted butter)
3–5 TB. milk
Beat together the sifted powdered sugar, butter, salt and VANILLA. Add enough milk to get the frosting to a good spreading consistency. For chocolate frosting, add 1/2 Cup COCOA POWDER.

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