Joe’s Cake

Joe's CakeThis is a classic family recipe that has been around since about the 40’s my grandma recalls.  It is a favorite and one I just made recently for a crowd.  This chocolate cake is very easy to make, very moist and just the right sweetness.  It is traditionally baked in a “jelly roll” pan, but a 9×13 works as well. It is a thinner cake with a sauce frosting that is poured over while it is warm. The frosting partially soaks in the cake before it sets up and adds even more moistness, flavor and just an overall yummy-ness. I love this cake, whereas plain chocolate cakes do not usually excite me.  Forget the introduction, here is the recipe! Oh, and I am not sure who Joe is.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter (1/2 lb)
  • 1 C water
  • 4 T cocoa * (see note)
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 2 C sifted flour
  • 1 t baking soda

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C butter
  • 3 T milk
  • 2 T cocoa * (see note)
  • 1/2 lb powdered sugar


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a sauce pan, heat and stir the butter, water and cocoa until melted and bubbly
  3.  Stir in sugar and remove from heat
  4.  Beat eggs and milk and stir into mixture
  5. Add sifted flour and baking soda and incorporate well
  6. Pour into a jelly roll pan (or 9”x13”) and bake for 20-25 minutes
  7. When cake is about done, begin making frosting

For the frosting:

  1. Add butter, milk and cocoa to the sauce pan and bring to a boil—until thickened and remove from heat
  2. Stir in powdered sugar and pour over cake while it is warm

 * = Dutch processed cocoa is the best to use when incorporating cocoa into recipes. If not dutch processed, go for an alkalized cocoa – non alkalized cocoa is not as pleasant in terms of flavor and it is often filled with extra sugar (an example is hot-chocolate cocoa). In addition, I have substituted an ounce of semi-sweet bakers chocolate for half the cocoa called for in the cake and it works wonderfully. I am sure that you could use all bakers chocolate if that is what  you have on hand.  I also learned that a pure cocoa is naturally low in caffeine. That could be good or bad depending on your preference.

I am asking my mother to chime in if there is anything to add or change, she is the Joe’s Cake expert!

3 thoughts on “Joe’s Cake

  1. This is THE cake, right? Oh man, thank you for posting this, YUM! I’m having another crowd over tonight, I should make it again, yummers!

  2. Laura! This is THE cake! You’re right! Did you make it for village!? Let me know how it goes! It is sounding really good after I posted it yesterday!

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