Iowa Chocolate Cake

This seems to date back to at least the early 1960s. I’ll try to find out more information shortly. I’m always fascinated by the history of cake names. At times, they’re not what you think. (For example, the German Chocolate Cake, named after an American with the last name German who worked for the Baker Chocolate Company, which itself was named after a businessman with the last name Baker. But that’s another cake and another story.)

That said, I’d be delighted to discover Iowa could claim this as its own.

ksu_folder A family recipe provided by Jennifer Kiel of Washington, DC, from her mother-in-law’s collection, started in Kent, Ohio.

Iowa Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten, and
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put shortening and sugar in a mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. Sift dry ingredients twice and add to mix. Then add eggs and vanilla. Batter will be very thin.

Pour into greased 9×13″ pan or 2 layer pans. Bake at 350 deg. for 35 to 45 minutes or until cake pulls away from the side of the pan.

* * * EM 59405 * * *


  1. Karin Adams

    Hi, my name is Kari
    I was born in 1961 and this recipe was already in existence!
    Winfield Iowa was home to the Swedesburg Lutheran Church!
    There were countless recipes that came out of those wonderful gals!

  2. Jane Person

    Where did the “Iowa Chocolate Cake” get its name?
    (Ie.from Iowa, from a certain town in Iowa or from Ms /Mr Iowa).
    I’ve lived in Iowa 49+ years and had never heard of this cake until today.

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