Happy Valentine’s Day to Chocolate Lovers Everywhere

Mamawa's Best Ever Chocolate Cake

Portland, Maine – The backdoor of Mamawa’s house led right to the heart of our family: the kitchen. There waiting for you on any given day was Mamawa’s Best Ever Chocolate Cake. You couldn’t help but gasp or smile or make a bee-line to the kitchen counter the moment you smelled the sugar.

All it takes for me to go back there… is to bake this cake myself. I know now why she smiled as we devoured it. Because I smile, too, when my children and husband lose their minds the minute that chocolatey smell wafts through the house.

When I was first a reporter in Utica, New York, I was invited to a cook out. I had no idea what to bring, but I knew I’d bring something because as my Memphis-born grandmother always said, “Anna, you don’t ever show up to someone’s house with your arms swinging!” I called Mamawa immediately for help. She dictated this recipe to me over the phone. I attentively and carefully wrote down every ingredient, every instruction.

It was one of the last conversations we had.

And so every time I grab that same sheet of paper to read the recipe, I find myself standing in one of my first apartments listening carefully to my grandmother. I hear her voice teaching me how to make a cake that will bring her great grandchildren so much joy many years later.

Enjoying Mamawa's Chocolate Cake Recipe

Mamawa was a chocolate lover. Valentine’s Day is Mamawa’s day.

Happy Valentine’s Day to Mamawa and may all of you bless your families with some of her cooking.



Mamawa’s Best Ever Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients:

  1. 2 Cups of Sugar
  2. 2 Cups of Flour
  3. 1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda
  4. 1 Stick of Butter
  5. 3 Tablespoons of powered cocoa
  6. 1/2 Cup of oil
  7. 1 Cup of water
  8. 2 eggs (or egg replacer)
  9. 1 Teaspoon of vanilla
  10. 1/2 Cup of Buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients:

  1. 1 Stick of Butter
  2. 3 Tablespoons of powdered cocoa
  3. 1/3 Cup of milk
  4. 1 box of powdered sugar (16 oz)
  5. 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  6. 1 Cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Cake Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix sugar, flour, and baking soda and set aside
  3. Put butter, cocoa, and water in sauce pan and bring to a boil
  4. Pour chocolate mixture over dry ingredients
  5. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla
  6. Pour into greased 9 x 13 cake pan or casserole dish
  7. Bake in oven at 375 for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

Instructions for Frosting

  1. Place butter, cocoa, and milk into a sauce pan and boil
  2. Turn down heat
  3. Add confectioner’s sugar and mix
  4. Add vanilla
  5. Stir in nuts
  6. Pour over hot cake

This recipe can be easily customized. Over the holidays, we added thin mints to the frosting for a peppermint flavor. It was delicious.

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