My husbands Grandma Fuhriman and her sister Jeanie were amazing cooks. We loved to visit them both and I always enjoyed following them around their kitchens trying to help them cook and learn some of their delicious recipes. They were the cutest things and shared a special relationship with one another.
The two of them always made this chocolate cake that everyone loved. The rumor is that Grandma made up the frosting and Jeanie made up the cake. They were always tweaking the recipe of both the cake and frosting. We have found at least 7 different versions of this recipe!
Aunt Jeanie, as we called her, lived near our Washington home and we’d see her often. She never forgot anyones birthday and always showed up with at least one of her chocolate cakes no matter the occasion. She had this way of making everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world and she was always happy and upbeat even though she had experienced the loss of her husband and three of her four children. Anyone that knew her had been given a chocolate cake at some point. Making this cake for someone was her way of saying that she loved you.
Grandma, who lived in Idaho passed away in 2013 and we were so sad to lose her. Aunt Jeanie, lived ten minutes away from us in Washington. We had always been close to her but after losing Grandma, we loved spending time with her even more.
In the past year, Aunt Jeanies health had started declining. Her granddaughter, Tiffany, who is a photographer, reached out to me and we discussed getting together and making the cake with Jeanie. We knew her time was limited and we wanted to get some photos of her making the cake with me. I had been wanting to share the recipe on the blog as well as having those memories saved for her posterity. I also wanted her to share her tips on making this cake.
Tiffany and I arranged a day to make the cake with Jeanie but sadly, she was not up for it and passed away shortly thereafter. We were both so sad we had waited too long. The day before she passed away, I filmed my very first recipe video making her cake and wish I’d been able to show it to her before she passed. Over the Christmas holiday, Tiffany and her family came over to our home and we made the cake together and photographed it. It was nice to share this experience and reminisce about this sweet lady that we all loved so much.
Aunt Jeanies Chocolate Cake
The best chocolate cake with ganache frosting ever!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 5 tbsp butter
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup Marshmallows *optional
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts *optional
Cake Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, add sugar. Then sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl. Sifting the flour and cocoa is an important step so don't skip it!
Then add the butter on top of the sifted ingredients.
Put the water and the oil in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour all at once over the flour, sugar, and cocoa mixture.
Stir until well combined.
Add the eggs, buttermilk, soda, and vanilla and stir until smooth.
Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Pour into a 9x13 cake pan or large cookie sheet and bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until cake bounces back when touched lightly in the middle. Don't over bake.
Put the sugar, milk, and butter into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Do not boil for more than 20 seconds. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir until dissolved and then add the vanilla and stir again. If using the marshmallows and/or the chopped nuts, add those in and gently stir. Immediately pour onto the cake and spread. This sets ups fast so work quickly.
This is best if made the day ahead. Allow at least 6-8 hours to set up if possible.
I hope you’ll love this cake as much as our family does and I know Aunt Jeanie and Grandma Fuhriman are up in heaven smiling down knowing their special cake and frosting are still being made and enjoyed by so many. I hope to follow in her footsteps and continue Jeanies tradition of making this cake as a way of sharing my love for everyone in my life.
Photo Credit: Tiffany Fife Buckmiller, Aunt Jeanies granddaughter.