Mother’s Chocolate Cake

best homemade chocolate cake recipe in the world dessert

Raleigh reader Susan Katz sent us a wonderful essay about the search for her mother’s chocolate cake recipe. To read that story, go to

1/2 cup skim, lowfat or whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans, if using

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup cocoa mixed with 1 cup warm water

Chocolate fudge frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with baking spray or butter. Set aside.

Combine milk and lemon juice and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes; this creates sour milk.

Cream together butter and sugar. When combined, add eggs and vanilla. Meanwhile, sift flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Add dry ingredients to batter, alternating with sour milk. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add cocoa mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. When cool, remove from pans. Frost top of bottom cake. Top with second cake and then frost entire outside of layer cake with the remaining frosting.

Yield: 10-12 slices.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2/3 cup skim, lowfat or whole milk

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place chocolate, sugar, butter, milk and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and bring to a full rolling boil; boil for one minute. Take off the heat and add vanilla. Transfer to a bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer and and beat on medium speed. This can take 15 minutes on a cool day or up to 45 minutes on a hot summer day. The frosting is done when it mounds up on a butter knife without running off.

Yield: about 2 cups.

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best homemade chocolate cake recipe in the world dessert