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Stir up some memories with Grandma Iris’ ‘Never Fail’ chocolate cake

By “Mommy’s a Good Cooker”

There are certain tastes and smells that remind us of home and talke us back to childhood. For me, that trip back is a pleasant one; one with family, food and a wonderful sort of indulgence reserved for special occasions with those we love.

For me, one of the warmest, sweetest memories is my paternal grandmother’s chocolate cake. Grandma Iris was born in Saschatchewan and emigrated to the United States at about the age of 5. She graduated from the fifth grade, and at that point, in the mid-1920s, she went to work as a domestic. That it was a different time is utterly and ridiculously obvious.

But Grandma Iris learned much, especially about cooking. In 1930, at age 16, Grandma Iris married. My daddy was born four years later.

Grandma Iris didn’t have sophisticated ways, but she knew how to show love to her family. One of the best ways - at least in my opinion - was with this chocolate cake. She named it Never Fail Chocolate Cake. Since working out the recipe - she measured nothing - I can stand by this recipe as “never fail.” Best of all, it stirs up in one bowl. Enjoy!

Never Fail Chocolate Cake

Grandma Iris’ Never Fail Chocolate Cake

You need:

2 cups of flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup baking cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 tsp. almond extract OR 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup canola oil

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup hot water

Frosting of choice

Mix dry ingredients together. Add eggs, oil and buttermilk and mix well. Finally, add hot water and combine. Pour into a greased 9x12 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely and frost if desired.

Grandma Iris liked to frost this with a fluffy white buttercream frosting, but I’ve been known to skip the frosting in favor of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Email and let me know how it turns out for you.

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