Next week is my sister’s 71st birthday and she has requested my famous chocolate cake. I have been baking this cake since I was twelve years old.

One day I came home from school and wanted to bake something. I rummaged around in the cupboards and there on a Crisco can was a recipe for a cake. We had all the ingredients and it didn’t look too hard.

Well, it is the BEST cake ever, and is a family favorite. Here is the recipe:

First you preheat the oven to 350 and grease two round 8 or 9 inch cake pans with Crisco and line with waxed paper. You could use a large rectangular pan or even two square pans around 8 inches.

Sift 2 cups of cake flour, two cups of sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. salt. Add 3 squares unsweetened melted chocolate, 1/2 cup of Crisco (or you could use a stick of soft unsalted butter) 3/4 cup of milk. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, mix for two minutes. Add 3/4 tsp. baking powder and stir in. Then add three eggs, 1/2 cup milk and one tsp. vanilla. Mix for another two minutes.

Pour batter into the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on racks and invert pans. Peel off waxed paper. This is where you can scrape off some of the cake and taste it.

You can use any frosting, but my favorite is the fudge recipe on the Nestle’s choc. chips bag. The yellow one. This is the recipe with canned milk, sugar and marshmallows. And of course choc. chips.  After the cake has cooled, put one layer on a plate. Tuck pieces of waxed paper around the cake to catch the frosting drippings.

Spread the warm fudge on layer one, then top with layer two and continue with top and sides. Any left over fudge can be put in a dish and made into fudge. Just chill.

This cake is also very good with seven minute icing which is cooked in a double boiler and beaten constantly with a hand mixer for seven minutes. I always add peppermint flavoring to this and also some green food coloring.

When I made it this way for my friends when I was twelve, they always called it ‘Sandy’s toothpaste cake’.