Kids in the Kitchen — Chocolate Cake

We had friends over for lunch on Saturday. We spent the morning in the ministry, so we wanted something hot and yummy to come home and eat.  I made beans and ham with a ham hock my mom gave me last week, and we stirred up some cornbread to go with our beans.  But Lucy made the dessert that saved the day.

Besides cornmeal muffins, Lucy likes to make chocolate cake.  I have been making this chocolate cake recipe since I was Lucy’s age.  We called it “Busy Living Chocolate Cake”, and it is wonderful for when you have unexpected guests or come home with guests because it bakes up very quickly and there is no fussing with the frosting.  Instead, the frosting practically melts into the top of the fudgy cake.  This cake is wonderful warm or cold, with vanilla ice cream or without.  I have since found this recipe on the Blue Bonnet margarine package, and in the Pioneer Woman cookbook.  A great recipe lives forever.

Busy Living Chocolate Cake

Makes a 9×13 sheet cake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

½ cup margarine or butter

¼ cup oil

¼ cup cocoa

1 cup water

½ cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour and sugar and set aside.  In a small saucepan, stir together butter, oil, cocoa and water.  Bring to a rapid boil over medium high heat.  Remove from heat and stir into the flour/sugar mixture.  Beat well.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well blended.  Pour into a greased 9×13 cake pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove to a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing.


½ cup margarine or butter

¼ cup milk

¼ cup cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 2/3 cups powdered sugar

In the same small saucepan, stir together all frosting ingredients except the powdered sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Add the powdered sugar, and using a spoon or a handheld mixer, beat the frosting until smooth.

When the cake is cooked, pour the frosting evenly over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak into the middle and down the sides of the cake.  It may need a tiny spread to cover the whole cake.  Don’t eat it all – just a taste for the cook.  Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

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