If you need a Valentine’s Day cake, be sure to make it chocolate!  It’s not only traditional, it’s good for you.  Theobromine is a naturally occurring compound similar to caffeine.  The very best source of this compound is dark chocolate.  Theobromine is reputed to do everything from lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol, to improving cognitive function and tooth health, to suppressing coughs.  Aside from all that, this old-fashion, homey chocolate cake will make a bright shining delight on a cold February afternoon.  This recipe makes a nice big party cake, but it’s easily halved for a smaller, 9” X 9” cake.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 1 cup hot water


  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • About 3 cups sifted confectioners sugar

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk in the oil. Melted butter, eggs and buttermilk to combine well.  Whisk in hot water until batter is smooth.  Pour into well-greased 9” X 13” pan lined with parchment paper, and bake in pre-heated 350’ oven for 30-35 minutes.  Toothpick will come out clean when done.  Cool very well before frosting.

For frosting:

Melt butter in large sauce pan, then add cocoa powder and stir over low heat for a minute or so to combine.  Whisk in buttermilk, vanilla, then powdered sugar, in 1 cup increments.  Whisk until smooth and glossy.  Spread over cooled cake and allow to set before cutting cake.

The Kitchen Hive

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