Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Jenny’s Cake with Chocolate Frosting

on September 27, 2013

My hubby’s birthday was this week so I made his favorite birthday cake – Jenny’s Cake. It’s a very old and old fashioned chocolate cake recipe. This is a recipe that came from my other grandma and I’ve been making it since I was in Junior High so I know it’s VERY old. When I started to make this cake, grandma told me that she had been making it since the days when her kids were in 4-H. That was probably sometime in the late 1940s and early 1950s and I bet it was around even before that.

dad and cow

This is my dad with one of his prized 4-H cows. So cute – both of them!

I don’t have the original recipe card for it but I know that all it had on it were the ingredients, no instructions, and that the recipe was named for the woman she got the recipe from.

Jenny's Cake

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Jenny’s Cake

1 1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)

Dash of salt

2 eggs

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup of sour milk (to make sour milk, I used 1 cup of milk and added about 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar)

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 Tablespoons cocoa mixed with a little cold water

Mix all ingredients in bowl of a mixer. Beat 3 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13″ cake pan.

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I used a very simple and fudgey Chocolate Frosting recipe that we’ve always used for this cake.

Chocolate Frosting

6 Tablespoons butter

6 Tablespoons milk

1 1/2 cups white sugar

Bring to a boil and boil for 30 seconds.

Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Beat like crazy until chips are melted and incorporated. This does take awhile.

The frosting thickens as it cools. Sometimes I’ll put some cold water in the kitchen sink, set the saucepan with the frosting in it, and beat it until it thickens enough to spread.


The cake batter turns a lighter color once it’s beaten for 3 minutes.


Looks good right out of the oven.


Keep stirring the frosting – it WILL incorporate!


The frosting gets nice and smooth.

004 (2)

It is so fudgey!

013 (2)

Gotta have ice cream on birthday cake!

5 responses to “Jenny’s Cake with Chocolate Frosting

  1. Meg says:

    The frosting really is amazing!

  2. KarenDresser says:

    Mmm good!

  3. […] birthday. He LOVES and has to have the SAME birthday cake every year and usually opts for Jenny’s Cake with Chocolate Frosting, but this year I talked him into trying these two recipes from Grandma’s file. Chocolate Cake […]

  4. […] frosting is actually just like the frosting for Jenny’s Cake, but with brown sugar instead of white […]

  5. […] used a different chocolate frosting recipe this time, because it was a birthday cake for my chocolate loving […]

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