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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

THE Birthday Cake

This recipe has been in my family longer than I can remember.  My Grandma Mason cut the recipe out of the Milwaukee Journal.  She no longer baked, so she gave the recipe to my Grandma Clara - who proceeded to make the cake for countless birthdays for years to come.  So there was disagreement as to whose recipe it really was!  The founder or the baker?  Either way, having this cake on your birthday was always a treat.

In the family photo album there's a picture of my (then) 1 year old baby sister held by Grandma Clara above the cake, posed as if to steal chocolate chips off the top.  In later years my older sister managed to glean ALL the chocolate chips off the top, while the rest of us were asleep.  This cake was always breakfast the next day, so we were sorely disappointed when we lifted the cake cover! 

Grandma Clara made it with dates.  Later, I decided to make it - thinking I had dates in the cupboard.  No dice - so I subbed raisins.  After baking this cake for several decades, Grandma decided she liked it better with raisins.  So rest assured, the substitution is Grandma-approved. :)

Chocolate Chip Cake

1 c. sliced dates (or raisins, for a sweeter flavor)
1 c. hot water
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. flour sifted with 3 TBSP cocoa
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine dates, water and baking soda in sauce pan.  Heat just to a simmer.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Cream shortening in a mixing bowl, then blend in sugar, followed by eggs.  Add flour/cocoa mixture.  Add the cooled dates and liquid at the last.  If batter is very thick, add 2 TBSP water.

Pour into a greased tube pan, and sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.  Bake at 325 degrees F. for one hour.  When cool, sift powdered sugar over the top.

This is how it looks after baking. The recipe doesn't tell you how the heck to get it out of the pan and onto a plate.  Wait until its fully cooled.  Here's what I use to do the job. 
Enjoy promptly (before someone steals the chocolate chips off the top)!  :)

1 comment:

Micki said...

Looks like a wonderful recipe!