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Omi's Cocoa Cake

“Let’s face it, a good, creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people.” -Audrey Hepburn

Earlier this week I was snowed in by a blizzard, and I thought to myself, Self, what better way to spend the day in which a state of emergency forbids you going anywhere than baking. I wanted to celebrate the snow because I was feeling inspired watching it come down outside the window. But I also wanted to bake something warm, comfort food of bakes, if you will. Well, my comfort has and always will be cake. I love baking it and I definitely love eating it. Plus anything can happen to decorate a cake, have you seen the magic that these bakers on Food Network show create all the while using cake and very handy wood carpentry?

I don’t have the skills in the wood carpentry department, so there is no rotating disk in which my cake is able to spin in the air, but I did put on some decorations, The recipe I choose for my vessel to put decorations on is quite special. It’s a chocolate cake, very classic, but it was made and came from the mouth of my Omi. My Omi is my great, great grandmother. She made her way to the US in 1918 from Berlin, Germany and made a living by becoming a seamstress in Brooklyn, NY. But she was also a baker and developed her own recipes.

One of her recipes that have been in the family for three generations now is her cocoa cake. It’s not too sweet but made with just the right amount of cocoa. I’ve made this cake three tiers high and added a sweet frosting as a filling and to cover the outside. The snowflakes on top are made with royal icing, and the shards around the outside are made with melted chocolate. All of the sweetness from the icing of the filling and decorations balances the chocolaty goodness.

This cake has been made for many holidays, birthdays, and family gatherings. I hope that you enjoy making this cake and enjoy it with people you love.

A family recipe that has been passed down for three generations.

Ingredients for Cake

6 Tablespoons of butter softened

1 and ½ cups cold water

3 teaspoons of vanilla

3 cups of flour

1 cup of sugar

6 tablespoons cocoa

6 eggs, well beaten

3 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until well blended.

  3. With a whisk, beat in the water, coca, vanilla, and eggs until mixture is well mixed.

  4. Stir flour and baking powder together in a small bowl and stir into cocoa mixture.

  5. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9 in round cake pans and bake for 20 minutes.

  6. Cool the cakes on wire racks in the bans for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan and continue cooling on wire racks.

Ingredients for Filling

½ cup of unsalted butter softened

½ unsweetened or semisweet morsels, melted

2 and ½ cups of powdered sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla

4 Tablespoons of milk


  1. Combine butter and chocolate morsels

  2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Add milk as needed to make filling spreadable

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