Carleen M. Loper: A New Tradition
My friend Joanna has the most beautiful, big brown eyes and when we were discussing cake baking those eyes got as large as chocolate saucers and she said “ohhhhhhh…you have to make my grandmother’s chocolate cake.”
To be honest, I didn’t really think anything could top Duncan Hines. (Yes. True.) I do lots of baking, but when it comes to chocolate layer cake I didn’t even bother looking for recipes. The birthday tradition in my house growing up was the box cake, and I think the memory was as important as the taste. This recipe from Joanna has shifted my priorities. Memories are fine, but life, after all, is really about new experiences, right?
Some people may cringe at the amount of coffee. (I did, and I love all things mocha). Joanna insisted you wouldn’t taste it. Like other chocolate recipes, it simply highlights and deepens the chocolate flavor. “Really? Even with THAT much coffee?” Yes, really. Trust Grammy.
When I told Joanna I was sharing the recipe on Janet’s blog, I asked her for a little background information about her grandmother to share. Jeanne Shields loved throwing cocktail parties, went to art school, and was an avid gardener and seamstress. She had four children, lived in the same home in Mt. Penn, PA for over 50 years, and she was one hell of a baker.
I used a standard chocolate buttercream for the frosting. Joanna prefers a cream cheese frosting for a bit of tang. I love strawberries and chocolate, so that addition to the top of the cake is how I made the recipe my own for my birthday celebration this year.
Grammy Shield’s Chocolate Cake
|Jeanne "Grammy" Shields|
3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup oil
2 1/4 cups hot coffee
Mix the eggs, sugar, and oil in a large bowl
In a separate bowl whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Take about a cup of the flour mixture and pour into a separate bowl with a cup of the coffee, mix
Add the flour/coffee mixture to the egg mixture and stir
Add the remaining flour mixture
Mix in the remaining coffee
(Batter will be very thin)
2 9" pans/buttered
Bake 30-35 minutes at 350
Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes, then remove from pans/completely cool before frosting
When Carleen and Joanna aren't discussing recipes or perusing cookbooks, they work together at the Bridgewater State University library.