Read about Melodie’s recipe-testing experience in Part 1, Deciphering Amish Recipes!
Ruth’s Chocolate No-Egg Cake
(in Gather Round the Amish Table Treasured Recipes and Stories from Plain Communities, Herald Press, 2015)
Makes 2 – 9 x13 cakes or 1 – 11 x 15 cake
In a big bowl, mix:
4 cups sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup lard (or if using other shortening like Crisco, use approx. 2 tablespoons less; or use 1 cup vegetable oil instead of lard)
1 ½ cups hot water
2 cups sour milk (if you don’t have sour milk on hand, make it sour by first putting 2 teaspoons vinegar in a measuring cup, than adding enough milk to make the needed 2 cups of sour milk.)
6 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
Mix sugar, cocoa, and lard. Add hot water and milk. Add rest of ingredients, mixing well. Pour in two 9 x 13 pans or one 11 x 15 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes if using the 9 x 13 pans, (or until a toothpick comes out clean), or 45 minutes for an 11 x 15 inch pan. Frost with your favorite frosting.
Easy Penuche Icing
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup milk
1 ¾ cup powdered sugar
Melt butter, then add brown sugar and boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, beating, until it is creamy. It is stiff to spread on cake. You may want to freeze cake first before applying frosting. Add chopped pecans on top if desired or if the frosting turns out lumpy!
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Melodie M. Davis is the author of nine books, most recently, Whatever Happened to Dinner: Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtime (Herald Press, 2010). She writes the syndicated column, Another Way, serves as a managing editor for Herald Press, and is also editor of a local family publication, Valley Living. She keeps a blog where she features frequent recipes from her home, family and church life. She is married and the mother of three adult daughters and two grandsons.