This recipe is from a cookbook that MawMaw gave me when I got married, the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 1976 edition.


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 t soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/3 cups cold water

For this cake, I used vegetable oil instead of the shortening, and all-purpose flour instead of cake flour. Better Homes and Garden Cook Book says that to substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour, use 1 cup minus 2 T of all-purpose flour for each cup of cake flour. The difference will be in the density of the cake. All-purpose flour will produce a denser, chewier cake. (Norm likes this kind of cake!)

Cream shortening and 1 cup sugar till light. 
Add vanilla and egg yolks – one at a time – beating after each.

Sift together dry ingredients.

Add to creamed mixture alternately with cold water,
beating after each addition.

Beat egg whites till soft peaks form;
gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating till stiff peaks form.

Fold into batter; blend well.

Pour into 2 greased and lightly floured 9 1/2-inch baking pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Cool and ice with chocolate buttercream icing.

Chocolate cake with chocolate icing – Norm’s favorite! (Not mine – my favorite is a plain white cake. What’s yours?)