Candace’s favorite cake!
Each year I try to make a dessert for each of my children for their birthday, preferably one of their favorites. Trey and Jason’s never changes, but this year Candace decided she wanted a Chocolate Cake with 7-Minute Frosting! I haven’t made this cake in at least 20 years, but I decided to give it my best shot.
The Chocolate Cake with 7-Minute Frosting that has been a family favorite for decades is my Aunt Jo Hall’s recipe. She would make it every Thanksgiving and Christmas for our Family Dinners at Grandmama Hall’s house. I can remember the heavenly white, soft and creamy frosting atop the delicious chocolate layer cake even today. But, if you have ever tried to make 7-Minute Frosting, you know it can be a challenge. You have to make it in a double boiler on the stove, mixing it with a hand mixer for 7 minutes. Tiring!!!
With that said, I found a recipe of Martha Stewart’s for a 7-Minute Frosting that is made in the heavy mixer, which does the work for you! No standing over the stove with a hand mixer, which is a chore! LOL! Of course, Candace would be worth it, but Martha’s recipe was much easier and delicious . . . just like Aunt Jo’s.
Making the Chocolate Cake . . .
To save time, because of all the cooking and baking I had to do, I had Victoria at Candace’s shop make the two chocolate layers for me the day before I was hosting the birthday dinner for my children. I made the 7-Minute Frosting the day of the dinner. One tip about cakes: you can bake them the day before, cool them completely, double wrap them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight. Take the layers out of the refrigerator an hour or so before you are going to frost them. Perfect! And it saves time on the day of your dinner.
Making the Seven-Minute Frosting, and 6 messed up eggs!!!
I broke my own rule in separating eggs . . . I didn’t break them into another small bowl before pouring the individual egg whites into the mixing bowl. Consequently . . . when I broke the 6th egg, the egg yolk busted and ran into the 5 egg whites that were ready to whip!!! Thankfully,I had bought a carton of eggs and had 6 more! So, it was “start from scratch”! But, the second time, I used a separate cup!!! Lesson learned!
I adapted Martha Stewart’s recipe, making it like my Italian Meringue that I make for my Coconut Pie. The instructions indicated that both recipes were made in the same manner. While her recipe didn’t call for using a lid, I placed a lid over the sugar mixture to allow the sugar crystals to dissolve, like my meringue recipe. I did use the pastry brush to be sure there were no remaining crystals once the lid came off. Notably, the mixture reached the 230 degree temperature pretty quickly, so keep that in mind. While you aren’t going to stand at the stove like with the old-time 7-minute frosting, you do need to watch the candy thermometer! Then, once you pour the syrup into the beaten egg whites, your mixture does the rest of the work for you! Easy!!! Much easier than with Aunt Jo’s traditional 7-Minute Frosting, and just as good!
Time to Frost the Cake!
When frosting a cake, I was taught to place the first layer top side down. The next step is to add 1 to 1 1/2 cups frosting. I think I added more than that:) The second layer is placed on top of the frosting with the flat side down. Add another 1 to 1 1/2 cups frosting to the top layer. The final step is to frost the sides with the remaining frosting.
The first time around with the frosting is a bit messy, so you have to smooth the frosting on the sides and top to make it pretty.
Much better, don’t you think? Place the cake on a cake plate that has a dome lid, and finish your dinner! Your guests will be thrilled to see and eat this delicious Chocolate Cake with 7-Minute Frosting! And, it was just as good the next day! Imagine that!!! Two layers of chocolatey deliciousness filled and frosted with the most creamy, mouth-watering frosting you can think of!
What is your favorite cake for a birthday?
Chocolate Cake with 7-Minute Frosting Recipe
Aunt Jo’s Chocolate Cake Recipe:
This cake was known as “Jo Hall’s Famous Devil’s Food Cake” by those in the family. It is the original Family Favorite Chocolate Cake. Aunt Jo would frost this cake with Seven Minute Frosting. Mama said it was Granddaddy Hall’s favorite cake.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 4 chocolate squares (Aunt Jo used ½ cup cocoa)
- 5 whole eggs
- 2 teaspoons soda
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 2 ½ cups sifted flour (Aunt Jo used all-purpose)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, cream together sugar and shortening.
- Add chocolate squares (or cocoa), and eggs. Beat well.
- Dissolve soda in the buttermilk.
- Sift together flour and salt.
- Add buttermilk mixture to chocolate mixture alternately with flour mixture—beginning and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla.
- Bake in 3 (9-inch) prepared pans at for 30-35 minutes. (Victoria made 2 layers for me because Candace wanted a two-layer cake.)
Seven Minute Frosting Recipe
(Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a heavy saucepan with tall sides, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to medium, cover with a lid, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove the lid. Clean any sugar particles on the sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in hot water.
- Continue to cook, without stirring, over medium heat until mixture registers 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.
- In the meantime, beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment to soft peaks.
- With the mixer on high speed, slowly pour the sugar mixture down the side of the mixer bowl.
- Continue beating mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous, about 5 minutes.
- Add vanilla and beat until combined well.
- Frost cake immediately.