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Grandma's Chocolate Cake


Featured in: "Songbird Season"

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the egg and add the melted shortening, sour milk and vanilla. In a second bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and then add them to the large bowl. Blend well. Pour into a greased pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Who needs a boxed mix when you can stir this up almost as fast? This was a go-to recipe for my maternal grandmother, who was a busy farm wife. It's amazingly simple: mix the wet ingredients in a bowl, sift the dry ingredients in a second bowl, then add the dry to the wet. This will fill either a 7x11 pan or a 9x13, depending on the thickness you want (watch the cake to make sure it doesn't burn if you put it in the larger-size pan). It's a blank canvas for a wide range of toppings: frosting, chocolate chips or nuts, whipped cream, whatever!

1 egg

½ c. melted shortening

1 ½ c. sour milk*

1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. flour

1 ½ c. sugar

¼ c. cocoa powder

1 ¼ tsp. soda

¼ tsp. salt


*To make sour milk: Stir 4 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice into the 1 ½ c. of milk and let it stand for five minutes before using.

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