Papa John’s Favorite Chocolate Cake

Today’s installment of Gayle’s Recipe Corner includes TWO recipes that made up my grandfather’s favorite chocolate cake!  My grandmother (Mama Jewell) made this for Papa John on most of his birthdays. It’s definitely old school baking and I know that a boxed cake mix is super convenient these days, but if you like to bake and want to try this, you won’t be disappointed! And maybe it would be a fabulous treat for Valentine’s Day! ❤️

Papa John’s Favorite Chocolate Cake (serves 10-12)
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup hot water
1 & 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over boiling water. Add hot water and stir until thickened. Add 1/2 cup sugar and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile cream shortening well, add 1 & 1/4 cup sugar gradually beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating until smooth. Add chocolate mixture. Pour batter into two 8-inch square pans 2 inches deep. Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Spread with Mama Jewell’s Fluffy Frosting (recipe below) after cooled. When frosting is set, melt 2 squares of chocolate and butter, drizzle over top. 
Mama Jewell’s Fluff Frosting
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream tartar
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, water, salt, and cream tartar in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add 6 Tablespoons of this cooked syrup, one tablespoon at a time to beaten egg white, beating constantly. Boil remaining syrup to 240 degrees using candy thermometer or until mixture spins a long thread in cool water. Pour slowly on egg white mixture. Beat until frosting stands in peaks. Add vanilla and frost cake.
Jewell Cameron
Gulf Shores, AL


(As a reminder, if you’re new here . . . my mother (Gayle) wrote/compiled a recipe book when I was young and gave me my very own copy of it for my 19th birthday when I moved out of the house and into my own apartment. She had gone page by page and written notes to me like “Very good”, “Easy”, “Your Dad’s favorite”, etc. Now that she’s been gone 24 years, those notes are priceless to me. It’s so nice to open a book and hear her voice through her writing. I’m thankful.)

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