Chocolate Cake

With buttermilk and cocoa.

January 30, 2014 update: Hamilton, Ontario historical interpreter Julia Baird, who tweets @Cloud9Cookery, didn’t let temperatures that felt like -12C (that’s 10F for us in the States) stop her from trying this cake yesterday:

Thanks for the added information Julia! Stay warm!

From a notebook originally from somewhere in the general area of Sterling, Colorado from the 1930s.

This recipe is from the fourth page of the notebook; here’s the page in full (click to enlarge).

Click to expand a longer explanation...

In the words of the seller:
I acquired this book from the great granddaughter of the woman who wrote this book back in a small Nebraska town in the 30’s. She belonged to that generation of rural housewives who worked tirelessly to make ends meet and “keep body and soul together” for their families working the farms.

Later addendum:

[A]fter a conversation I had with a friend’s sister who used to live in North Eastern Colorado, given the type of recipes listed we decided it might be from a small town there, i.e., Sterling or Fort Morgan. Also North Platte or Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you Google a map of Sterling, Colorado and pull back, you will see all these little towns in that tri-state area.

8. Chocolate Cake from Sophia Hoffman

Cream together:

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup cocoa dissolved in hot coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. Calumet baking powder
2-1/2 cups flour (more if needed)

Beat well and bake in layers or loaf pan.

Very good

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