Karen Steffens
Yield
Makes 12 servings

Carol Worthington-Levy's mother-in-law, Charlotte Levy, gave her this recipe, which has all the flavor of rich hot chocolate. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 hour.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

Step 2

In a large bowl, cream together granulated sugar and 3/4 cup butter. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until well blended.

Step 3

In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup cocoa in 1 cup boiling water. Add to sugar mixture and beat to blend. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to sugar-cocoa mixture and beat on low speed to combine thoroughly.

Step 4

Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 5

In a 2-quart pan over high heat, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup cocoa and the milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces, and stir until melted. Whisk in powdered sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until smooth. Stir in pecans (if using). Pour mixture over the still-warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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