Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Midnight Snack

Whenever my mother took a dessert to a potluck
or a dessert for the "dead spread"
it was this easy chocolate cake.

Known as "Dump Cake", it's a quick and good 
chocolate cake.

She frosted it with a chocolate buttercream frosting
and usually sprinkled it with nuts.
Because of the black walnut tree in our back garden
the nuts were always black walnuts.

I'm not sure I ever had a nut on a chocolate cake that wasn't a black walnut
until I was grown!

Today, we had a funeral at church
I was asked to bring dessert
(And help in the kitchen)

I chose Mother's Chocolate Cake
For that's what it's titled in my recipe book.

It makes a 9 x 13 pan of chocolate goodness.
I used a fudge cream cheese frosting instead of Mother's buttercream one.
But in homage to her, I sprinkled the cake with black walnuts.
The taste I had at the luncheon today
transported me back to my childhood.

Chocolate and black walnuts.

There were three pieces left over.

Which made a great late evening snack
with a glass of cold milk.

For chocolate cake and milk
together is a perfect combination!

Mother's Cake:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 c. milk
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
3/4 c. butter
3 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 350.    Pam a 9 x 13 pan (or grease and flour).    Combine all the ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat until well mixed (about 3 min).     Pour the batter into the prepared pan (pans).    Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched.     Cool and then frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.     

I chose a fudge cream cheese frosting.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 T. butter, softened
3 T. milk
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 c. cocoa
1/8 t. salt
1 1/2 t. vanilla

In a medium bowl, using a mixer set at medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter and milk together until smooth.   Add powdered sugar, cocoa and salt and continue to beat unit blended.

Reduce mixer speed to low, add the vanilla and beat until smooth.     

Spread on cooled cake.    Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.    Black walnuts are especially good!

NOTE:   You could make these in layer pans -- 8 inch ones and make it into a layer cake.    But mother never did -- it was always baked in a 9 x 13 -- whether taking to church or making it for the family -- even for Sunday dessert.


On Crooked Creek said...

Isn't it comforting to be transported back to fond memories of our loved ones by the memory of something baked from the oven??? Enjoy your midnight snack, dear friend!!!

Alicia said...

Oh wow, I can't remember the last time that I had cake from scratch. It looks delicious. I'm saving this recipe to try sometime next week since I'll be off for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Oh, I wish I had a piece of that right this minute. I am still laughing over "Dead Spread"! Thank you for this recipe. I'm saving to try. laurie

Lou Archer said...

Yum yum yum...... BUT, what is a T and a t? I'm presumimg Tablespoon teaspoon? .... Hope so, I'm making this today.

Thank you.

eileeninmd said...

Looks yummy and I love chocolate cake. Thanks for sharing your Mom's recipe! Have a great weekend!

Marissa said...

Yummy~ I am going to try this recipe!! I love,love anything sweet!! and especially at midnight!! I wish I could reach in and take a bite...thanks for sharing!!!

Lottie said...

Oh Martha, this looks delicious! I can almost taste it! Thank you for posting your mother's recipe. Can't wait to make it for my family!

Dewena said...

I remember Dump Cakes. They were huge at one time, and pretty darn good. Have you ever read Pat Conroy's cookbook and his section on funeral foods? There is comfort in our comfort foods at times like that. Thanks for bring back those memories.

Bernideen said...

Several recipes here to quickly copy!

Bernideen said...

Several recipes here to quickly copy!