Munchie Monday: Chocolate Cake

There are several recipes for chocolate cake in Louisa Macculloch’s handwritten family cookbook from the 1800s. The recipe included here may be one of the older recipes since the ingredients are not listed out separately from the instructions but written in sentence form. Also, while preparing the chocolate, the recipe states “not over the fire”, which may imply that the family was still using an open fireplace for baking and cooking rather than an early form of wood burning kitchen stoves.

Original Recipe—Chocolate Cake
Cream ¼ lb. butter. Add gradually 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, then the yolks of 4 eggs & 2 squares of chocolate (having been dissolved in 5 tablespoons of boiling water), not over the fire. Sift some flour. Then into the sieve put 1 cup flour & 1 rounded teaspoonful baking powder. Sift this into cake & add ¼ cup of milk. Mix, then add ¾ cup flour & another ¼ cup milk & a teaspoon vanilla. Beat whites of the eggs very stiff & fold in lightly. Bake in malerati oven about one hour. Mrs. S. D. Day

Adapted Recipe—Chocolate Cake
1 stick butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
4 eggs (separating egg yolks and whites)
1 package (4 oz) of semi-sweet baking chocolate, grated or chopped fine
1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and slowly add granulated sugar. Grate baking chocolate or chop fine with knife and mix in 5 tablespoons of boiling water to dissolve. (Chocolate can also be melted in the microwave). Add egg yolks one at a time to combine. Sift flour and resift with baking powder. Add half dry ingredients and ¼ cup milk and combine. Add remaining dry ingredients, ¼ cup milk and vanilla and mix until well-blended. Beat egg whites until they form peaks and fold into cake batter. Pour batter into either a 9 x12 rectangular greased baking pan or two 8-inch round greased cake pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Top with either homemade or store-bought icing and serve.

Timeline of Chocolate from American Heritage Chocolate

Educational Resources from American Heritage Chocolate

A slice of chocolate cake topped with chocolate icing and chocolate shavings sits on a clear glass plate.

Topic: Munchie Monday
Age / Level: Elementary, Middle, High School, College, Life Long Learner

Munchie Monday: Chocolate Cake Photo Gallery

A metal mixing bowl full of brown cake batter and whipped cream.