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.
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon each salt, baking soda, and cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch baking pan; set aside.
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.
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.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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.