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Great Grandma G's Chocolate Cake

Updated on February 1, 2019
Slice of life...
Slice of life...


My great grandmother G. was a woman of strength and fortitude. She was born in 1884 and began her own family in what some would call the middle of nowhere, otherwise known as Kansas farm country or the Vincent community.

Grandma G. gave birth to four children, three daughters and one son. Times were hard and daily life was far from easy. Most household tasks involved hard physical labor. What little I know about my great grandmother comes from the stories past down through my father and his mother's family although I do remember visits to her little house. I can say with certainty the most difficult time of my grandmother's life was the time her husband went out one Sunday morning to get the newspaper and was never seen again. Vanished. Never seen or found. At this point it seemed that my great grandmother became even more resolved to keep her family together. One of grandma G's son-in-laws had recently met a man on the train who described a place out west which provided abundant job opportunities. As I mentioned, times were tough. People were leaving their farms during this time of the great depression with it's seemingly endless dust storms. They were migrating west in great numbers. Word spread throughout this family of wheat farmers that there were opportunities out west for a new start with abundant land and resources. My great grandmother and her children, who were by now all married, gradually followed each other west. A new life began and another ended.

My great grandmother G. worked for years as a cook for the small elementary school in a rural western community. Her grandchildren remember her as being completely devoted to them. She always made them the center of her attention when they visited. Many times she greeted them with a piece of her wonderful chocolate cake, made from scratch of course. Here is her recipe, special, primarily because of the love she put into making it. I am copying it from her own hand written recipe. The shortening makes it wonderfully dense and moist.

Grandma G's Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cups shortening

1/2 cup cocoa

2 eggs

1/2 cup sweet milk with 2 level teaspoons soda in it

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt


1 cup boiling water

Cream sugar and shortening, add 2 eggs and vanilla and cocoa and beat. Add the 1/2 cup milk and soda, flour and salt, and the cup boiling water last.

(I added this next part because it was not indicated in the recipe).

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or when wooden pick comes out clean

I don't have my grandmother's chocolate frosting recipe but I know there are several good ones out there to choose from. I hope you enjoy this old family cake. Of course it tastes best when shared with your loved ones. Great grandma G. wouldn't have it any other way...


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