Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + cooling Bake: 40 min. + cooling


12-16 servings

Updated: Feb. 23, 2023
My grandma made this delicious cake for me throughout the years on my birthday. It's wonderful for chocolate lovers!—Dorothy Eagen, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Grandma's Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream


  1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and hot water, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  3. For frosting, melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 240° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat. Cool completely, without stirring, about 1 hour. Add vanilla; beat until thickened. Add cream; beat until smooth. Frost cake.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 297 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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