Old fashioned chocolate cake

This recipe is such a wonderfully easy made-from-scratch cake. I tend to be reluctant to make cakes in 9×13 pans, just for aesthetic reasons, but this sounded so good I had to try it. The title doesn’t really give away much about this cake. It is a wonderfully rich, moist chocolate cake with an even richer chocolate-pecan icing.

Don’t get out your stand mixer for this one. Mixing by hand is easy and probably the best. The addition of cinnamon to the cake batter added a little extra flavor that really differentiates this cake from most chocolate cakes. The buttermilk also adds a tanginess to both the cake and the icing.

Everyone loved this cake. It’s gotten nothing but rave reviews. I’ll definitely be making this one again.

Yield: 12-16 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • pinch of salt


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9″x 13″ baking pan.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Mix in water and cocoa powder. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, dissolve baking soda in buttermilk. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add cooled cocoa mixture and combine.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center and add cocoa mixture, stirring until combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

To make the frosting:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with cocoa powder. Stir in buttermilk, and continue cooking until almost boiling. Stir in sugar, vanilla, pecans, and salt, mixing thoroughly.
  2. Remove from heat. Pour immediately over warm cake. Allow frosting to set before serving.

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

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    One Comment on “Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake”

  1. So simple and so absolutely wonderful. It is nostalgic! Definitely a new comfort food for me.

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