Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rich Dark Cake with Super Easy Pudding Frosting

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34 years ago I met a woman who made 4 loaves of bread each week and never made cake from a box! All her food was made from scratch. We were both nursing moms with baby boys about the same age, served in the same church and we became friends!

A lot of time has passed . . . We moved from Michigan to Arizona 31 years ago. A couple of years ago we reconnected with Kathy and her husband Ken via Facebook, but Kathy was never forgotten. Each time I made her Rich Dark Cake or Refrigerator Bran Muffins it brought back memories of the positive impact she had on my life as a young wife and mother. It was because of her that I made my own baby foods instead of store bought. Because of her my pizza became homemade, with a real yeast crust instead of out of a Chef Boyardee Pizza box! Thank you Kathy for pointing me in the right direction. Thank you for making me rethink how I cooked for my family. I am forever in your debt!

The original recipe card Kathy wrote out for me 34 years ago!

As you can see, this recipe card is a little crumpled from lots of use but that doesn't change the quality of this great recipe written out for me by a great friend!

I've used this cake recipe for many specialty birthday cakes . . . It's been a cow head for our grandson's 1st birthday, a John Deere theme cake for his 2nd, a princess cake for our granddaughter's 3rd birthday, a monkey cake for our son's 3rd birthday and a birthday cake for Will's 61st birthday! At many, many wonderful celebrations this cake has made its appearance. This cake makes a great snacking cake too when you're craving a moist, rich chocolate cake!

If you have never made a "from scratch" cake, this is a good place to begin. You won't find an easier cake or frosting to make, or a tastier one!

Makes 1 - 9-inch x 13-inch cake or 2 - 9-inch layer cakes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare cake pans, butter and flour.
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil (I use light olive oil).
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa ( regular or Dutch ) mixed with 2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream, buttermilk, or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted (I use unbleached).
  • Assemble all ingredients for Rich Dark Cake.

  • To large mixing bowl add sugar, oil and eggs and whisk together.
  • Whisk together cocoa and baking soda, add to sugar mixture and mix well.
  • Add 1 cup of boiling water and whisk well.
  • Add 1 cup sour cream, buttermilk or plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla, mix well.
  • Sift flour. I use a metal sieve and the back of a large spoon to push the flour through.
  • Fill prepared baking pan/pans.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes depending on which pans you use.
  • My 9-inch cakes took 35 minutes.
  • While cake is baking prepare frosting.
  • Cool cake in pan/pans on wire rack 10 minutes.


1 cup sugar
3 level tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons butter
  • Assemble frosting ingredients.
  • In a medium sauce pan add 1 cup sugar, 3 level tablespoons of corn starch, 2 tablespoons cocoa.
  • Whisk together until thoroughly mixed and lumps are gone.
  • Add 1 cup boiling water, stir.
  • Cook on medium heat until thickened like pudding.
  • Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Remove cakes from pan. If you are making a 9 x13-inch, cake can remain in pan and frost while both are still hot.
  • Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes (they need to be very warm), run a knife around the pan to loosen cake.
  • Turn the pan upside down while holding the cake with outspread hand.
  • Give the pan a shake to dislodge the cake from the pan . . . And voila!
First layer ready for hot pudding!

  • Spread hot pudding on first layer while cake is very warm.
  • Add top layer and apply the rest of the hot pudding.
  • Push pudding to the edges of the cake so it runs down.
  • Smooth out sides.
  • Clean plate with a damp paper towel.
Rich, moist, dense, chocolatey, gooey, yumminess!

Happy Birthday, Baby!

One Happy Birthday, one happy, cake loving husband . . . Over at Julie's!!!

Thanks, Kathy!

P.S. This cake tastes best cold! Cold makes the the pudding taste incredible! Oh, and if you're a milk drinker, this is the cake to drink that cup of ice cold milk with!


  1. I am honored by your story. I am reminded of many great times together. I just now finished up a batch of pizza dough so that the kids could make breakfast pizza. Sausage, spinach, mushrooms, DUCK eggs and cheese. I still do all those other things too. I haven't made this cake in a long time. Time to break out this recipe and a cup or two of memories. Kathy

    1. We had so many good times together . . . Most around a table filled with great food!

      What happened to our babies? Those were precious times we shared sitting talking, nursing our sweet babes. I still remember the day I was in your beautiful little Avion trailer, and "Baby Kevvy" woke up raiding the frig. saying, " pickles, beans . . .in his deep baby voice!


Your comments and questions are welcomed . . .