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Classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting is what good memories are made of. Whether it’s your favorite birthday cake, grandma’s specialty, or just comfort food at it’s best, you’ll want this recipe.


Oh that layer cake, in all it’s glory, sitting on top of that cake pedestal like it owns the place! Well if you’re anything like me, you give it all the space it needs. It’s truly queen of cakes.

Grandma's Chocolate Layer Cake


This glorious recipe could have been your grandmother’s best kept secret recipe. No, really. It’s truly vintage. My friend and baker Susan LaRosa rescues vintage cookbooks and cherished family recipes in search of forgotten favorites. This recipe is just one of her finds on A Cake Bakes In Brooklyn blog. You won’t regret trying her collection out. The nostalgia will wash over you in the most delicious way.



To bake this classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting, you’ll want to have the proper pans. Make sure you have two 8-inch round pans. You can see in the pictures that this cake rises to the occasion, so you’ll want pans that are taller than 1-inch deep. I like a simple aluminum cake pan like these from Wilton. They’re affordable and efficient.

If you have these aluminum cake pans, word to the wise, don’t put them in the dishwasher! The hot water mixed with the strong detergents can discolor the pans, wash off the buffed finish and start to pit the aluminum. Yikes! Sounds so drastic. But just a little sudsy water and a sponge to wash these pans is the perfect solution.


Now you just need to find someone with a birthday so you can make Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting!


This delicate but rich cake uses cake flour and shortening instead of all-purpose flour and butter. The cake flour and shortening combo gives the cake a fine crumb. It’s texture is light and delicate. The yellow comes from the yolk of the eggs, which also give it the perfect balance of richness. Paired with the silky, melted chocolate, buttery frosting it’s the quintessential cake. The queen of cakes and I call it!


5 from 2 votes
Grandma’s Chocolate Layer Cake
Work Time
30 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins
This recipe is from Betty Crocker's Cook book for Boys and Girls, Susan's first childhood cookbook, which was published in 1957. She said it was such a thrill to "discover" actual recipes. A classic for sure.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 9441 kcal
  • cups cake flour sifted
  • cups sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk divided
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 lb milk chocolate melted
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate melted
  • 12 oz unsalted butter softened
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add shortening, ⅔ cup milk and vanilla and beat on medium speed until shortening is incorporated, about 2 min. Add remaining ⅓ cup milk and eggs and beat 2 min.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 min. Cool in pans 15 min, then turn out and cool completely.
  4. Make frosting: Combine melted chocolate and butter and stir on medium-low speed until creamy and glossy, about 2 min.
  5. Trim domed tops from cooled cakes. Place one layer on a cake plate and spread with 3/4 cup frosting, then top with second layer. Cover entire cake with remaining frosting.
Recipe Notes

Easy to assemble and oh, so delicious.


Nutrition Facts
Grandma’s Chocolate Layer Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 9441 Calories from Fat 5769
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 641g 986%
Saturated Fat 349g 1745%
Cholesterol 1096mg 365%
Sodium 2714mg 113%
Potassium 4922mg 141%
Total Carbohydrates 917g 306%
Dietary Fiber 50g 200%
Sugars 630g
Protein 86g 172%
Vitamin A 189.7%
Calcium 134.8%
Iron 178.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Keep baking! Add to your recipe collection with some of my other favorite cakes.

Lemon Lover’s Layer Cake is my mom’s favorite. Do you love lemon too?







Mile high crunchy pretzels, covered in sweet chocolate, make this gasp-worthy Pink Pretzel Party Cake the star of your festivities.

Pink Pretzel Party Cake makes quite an impression. Simple to make, it’s the center of your celebration.








This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure agreement.

Photograph Seth Smoot, Recipe courtesy of Susan LaRosa
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal 03/12

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