I think I mentioned promised that I would share my towering chocolate cake-from scratch-recipe with you. It’s been days and finally I mustered up the ambition to type it out for you. I’ll also show you (after the cake recipe) the recipe for Susan Branch’s Pecan Spinach Orzo salad that I pictured on my last post.

My latest achievement

and. . .

My very first homemade cake, ever!

The background, always a component to a significant recipe is as follows: I admire all beautiful images. One of my favorite blogs, Posie Gets Cozy is ALWAYS filled with amazing images. Alicia Paulson is so much the artist. She knits, designs, cooks, and shares photographs that are decidedly inspirational to me, just b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l !!! You should really go take a look at her blog, she just adopted a baby daughter . . . Her blog will be one of your favorites, too!

She inspired me to bake her cake because it looked SO PRETTY in her photos. And it looked like she used smaller than normal size cake pans too. So I bought three 6-inch round cake pans (Wilton from Michaels or JoAnn’s I forget), and set out to bake this beautiful cake of hers earlier this summer. Now that I’ve made it twice and shared my pictures with you, it’s only right that I credit Ms. Paulson, and pass it on to you, it is so delicious (and pretty)! I’ve renamed the cake, and I use a different frosting.  My FAV is white buttercream, although my first cake had chocolate frosting from the back of the Hersey’s Cocoa box/tin.


  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 Cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (almond milk works too!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup boiling water
  • 1/2 Cup steaming hot coffee

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 six-inch round cake pans. (…or 2 nine-inch pans)

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Carefully stir in boiling water and coffee. (The batter will be crazy thin.) Pour batter into the prepared pans.

Bake 35-38 minutes for the 3 six-inch pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes for the 2 nine-inch pans.

In both cases, bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely. (both times it was difficult to get the cake out of the pans for me.) When cool, frost with Buttercream Frosting . . . or your choice!


  • 3 3/4  Cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of softened butter
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.  Beat at medium 1 to 2 minutes until frosting is spreading consistency, adding a little more milk if too stiff, or more powdered sugar if too thin.


Now comes the recipe for the salad I made at my last party. Susan Branch’s book, Autumn from the Heart of the Home, is unfortunately out of print, but it IS out there, probably on eBay!

. . . and here’s the Spiced Pecans recipe from page 27 that is in the recipe . . .

. . . even the interior cover is gorgeous . . .

So my friends, now you can do some baking and cooking. Me, I’m resting up, THANKSGIVING is next week. I think I’ll be looking at my cookbooks getting ready!