One of my favorite treats at “Grussmommy” (Grandmother) Dienner’s house was the chocolate cake she often made for dessert. This decadent cake my girl’s and I baked today is reminiscent of the rich, chocolaty goodness my grandma so often served her family.
The original chocolate cake recipe (from the Mennonite Community Cookbook) that I’m using today calls for strong coffee. I substitute espresso. The original frosting recipe is simply Caramel Frosting. I add a sprinkle of sea salt. Together, this updated cake and frosting make a perfect flavorful pair!
To get things started, sift together the dry ingredients.
Then add the shortening, mixing with whisk attachment until fine crumbs form.
Add coffee and buttermilk, mix on medium speed for about one minute. Then add the additional buttermilk and eggs, and mix until smooth.
Pour into greased cake pan(s), and bake.
While cake is baking, it’s the perfect time to make the frosting!
Combine all four ingredients in saucepan, and bring to boil. Heat until caramel sauce temperature rises to 238, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and cool for 15 -20 minutes.
Place caramel sauce in mixing bowl and beat until creamy frosting forms.
Spread over warm cake, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve! *Note, this is a thin layer of frosting, a little heavier than a glaze. If you want a thicker layer of icing, simply double the frosting recipe.
- Sift together: 1 3/4 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- Add: 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup cooled espresso
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- Add: Another 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs, unbeaten
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2, 8 inch round cake pans, or 1, 13x9 cake pan.
- Sift together dry ingredients.
- Add shortening and blend into dry mixture until fine crumbs form, using whisk attachment on mixer.
- Add espresso and 1/3 cup buttermilk.
- Beat until smooth.
- Add another 1/3 cup buttermilk, and eggs.
- Beat just enough to blend thoroughly.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
- To make Salted Caramel Frosting: Combine 3 cups brown sugar, 1 cup half and half, 2 Tablespoons butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Heat together in saucepan until boiling.
- Continue to stir, and bring to 238 degrees.
- Remove from heat, and cool in pan for 15-20 minutes.
- Beat on high setting with whisk attachment, until creamy.
- Spread on cake while cake is still warm, and sprinkle with sea salt.
Recipe source: Mrs. James Clymer; Mennonite Community Cookbook, Herald Press