Crave: No frosting, no fuss with 2 simple chocolate cakes

photo by: iStockphoto

When you need a cake without much fuss, try these recipes. They don’t use any fancy or uncommon ingredients, and they can be baked quickly in a simple square or rectangular pan.

Mahogany Cake

This chocolate cake is so rich and moist that it doesn’t really need frosting. The secret ingredient: milk that’s been soured with the addition of vinegar or lemon juice!


1 cup boiling water

6 tablespoons cocoa

2 1⁄2 cups sifted flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1⁄2 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 egg yolks

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans; set aside.

Let milk come to room temperature and add vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.

In saucepan, pour boiling water over cocoa; cook until thick. Let cool.

Sift flour, then measure. Add baking soda to sifted flour and sift together. Cream butter and sugar, then beat in egg yolks.

To creamed mixture, alternate dry ingredients with sour milk and vanilla. Add cocoa paste.

Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake


1 1⁄4 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 teaspoons melted butter

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 4 teaspoons hot water

4 teaspoons cocoa

1 1⁄2 cups sour cream

1 1⁄4 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 9-by-12-inch baking pan; set aside.

In bowl, combine sugar, eggs, butter and salt; beat for 3 minutes. Add dissolved baking soda and cocoa, and beat for an additional 2 minutes, until well-blended.

Add sour cream, then flour and vanilla; beat until well-blended.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

— Excerpted from Mother Earth News. To find more recipes and food articles from Mother Earth News, visit or call 800-234-3368 to subscribe. Copyright 2020 by Ogden Publications Inc.


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