Wednesday, March 21, 2018


I am finally back to volunteering at Hillcrest Thrift Shop after a two-month absence. Not sure if I have been missed, but I know my "treats" have been. Since I had Blankets of Hope quilting group at church this week on Tuesday morning, I went in to work on Monday this week. The good news is I had to work the middle shift from 12:30 to 3:30 so that gave me time to make this cake before I went in.

The recipe was in Kevin Williams' Amish Cooks Across America cookbook, Recipes and Traditions from Maine to Montana on a page for Navarre, Ohio, a little town on the banks of the Tuscarawas River and the northern edge of the largest concentration of "plain people". 

The recipe title indicates it is moist and that is so true. The volunteers (at least those who sought me out and thanked me) loved it. At the end of my shift there were only 4 pieces left for me to remove from my pan and leave on a plate.

The recipe didn't talk about frosting the cake. I considered dusting it with powdered sugar, but decided to make an icing for it. I was glad I had made this decision after it came out of the oven. (See picture below.) I don't know why it baked that way. The even crazier thing was how perfect the "lighter rectangle " was.

I found the Easy Chocolate Frosting recipe in another Amish cookbook I have called Big Valley Amish Cook-Book, a cookbook from Kishacoquillas Valley. The name, Mrs. J. H. P., was attributed to the recipe. (See it below the cake recipe.


3       cups flour
2       cups sugar
1/4    cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2       teaspoons baking soda
1       teaspoon salt
1       cup oil
2       tablespoons white vinegar
1       teaspoon vanilla extract
2       cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. (I did this twice.)

Add the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water to dry ingredients.
(I measured them in a large measuring cup starting with the water, then added the oil, vinegar, and vanilla.)
Stir to form a smooth batter.

Pour batter into pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. (I baked mine the full 40 minutes. Am not sure why it baked the way it did. Very interesting looking, don't you think?)

Cool in pan on wire rack. (The recipe didn't talk about frosting the cake, but I decided to make an icing for the cake and let it cool while I made the icing.)


1         cup white sugar
2         tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2   tablespoons cocoa
1         cup boiling water
1         teaspoon butter

Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in small saucepan.

Add the boiling water
and stir to blend.

Boil a few minutes until thick. (I stirred the mixture most of the time and cooked it over medium low heat and didn't allow the mixture to really boil, but it did get thick.)

Remove from heat and add the butter.

I let the mixture cool a bit and then poured it on the warm cake

and then spread it smooth with a spatula.

After it cooled (about an hour and a half), I cut it into 24 pieces.


  1. I would guess the different colored square shape is related to your pan. In your chicken recipe you show an 8x8 pan with a raised area on the bottom of the pan. Did you use a pan like that? The pan design must make the cake cook differently.

  2. Wow. You know it does have a slight rise about a half inch in from the sides. I will have to make sure I don't use that pan if I don't intend to frost the cake. Thanks so much. Exciting to know I'm not too old to learn something new.