This recipe was given to me by my mom's neighbor, Sharon Kelley. It is the very best chocolate cake recipe I have ever tasted.

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Ingredients

18
Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine flour and white sugar in a large bowl and set aside.

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  • Put 1/2 cup buttermilk into a large glass and add baking soda, stir until combined, set aside.

  • In medium sauce pan over medium heat combine water, shortening, 1/2 cup butter and 4 tablespoons cocoa. Stir until shortening and butter are melted. Allow to boil over medium heat for 5 minutes.

  • Add chocolate mixture to dry ingredients mix until well combined. Add buttermilk baking soda mixture, stir until blended. Add eggs and mix at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix well. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes.

  • To Make Frosting: Combine 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup buttermilk, and 3 tablespoons cocoa in medium sauce pan, allow to come to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add confectioners' sugar and mix well, add 1 teaspoon vanilla and chopped nuts. Pour over hot cake. Allow cake to cool. The longer this sets the better it gets!

Nutrition Facts

398.3 calories; 3 g protein; 60.9 g carbohydrates; 48.2 mg cholesterol; 339.4 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (11)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
04/12/2003
If you bake this cake for 25 minutes it will fall should be baked for around 40 minute. Read More
(42)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/15/2011
We really really didn't like this cake. It was not nearly chocolaty enough and the frosting was sickeningly sweet despite the fact that I reduced the amount of sugar in the frosting (the only change I made to the recipe). Secret Cake is a secret best kept -- I will not be making this again. Read More
(5)
14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
04/12/2003
If you bake this cake for 25 minutes it will fall should be baked for around 40 minute. Read More
(42)
Rating: 4 stars
09/21/2006
I did bake the cake longer too. It was interesting that the cake seemed to change by the hour. My family loved it! I also froze some and it thawed beautifully. Read More
(34)
Rating: 4 stars
01/24/2005
it really has to cook at least 10/15 min. more than stated; it sure tastes good and it's very easy. Too sweet for my taste and not chocholatey as I expected (that's why a basically quick and good enough cake gets 4 stars from me...) Read More
(20)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/19/2010
This is the easiest and the best chocolate cake ever!!!! I found this recipe I guess about a month ago and I have already made it 3 times. The only problem I have with it is it barely last one whole day. Thank you for a great recipe oh and yes it needs to bake 40 min at 350 nothing else needs to be done to it. its perfect. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2011
this cake was so good i made it for my dads birthday and everyone was asking the recipe for it and i told them that it was a secret cakes because that is what it was called so i just told the name and what website to find the cake on. i love all people who read my reviews Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
06/29/2011
I made this cake for my son-in-laws birthday and followed the tip to bake it for 40 minutes....thirty ninutes in it fell. I think it was because I baked it in a disposible pan so they could take the extra home. We still ate it and the flavor was awesome. So I tried it again tonight in a real pan. I added an extra egg and beat the eggs prior to adding them to the batter. It turned out great! I will try to post a picture in the next few days. Read More
(9)
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Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2012
This cake can be very yummy but IMHO I think it needs a teaspoon of cinnamon in it to give the chocolate the zip it needs. I have made this cake for years. The one time I forgot the cinnamon it just didn't taste right to me and was not popular with the people eating it. Afterward I sprinkled a little cinnamon on the top and yep it was fixed! Read More
(7)
Rating: 2 stars
03/14/2011
We really really didn't like this cake. It was not nearly chocolaty enough and the frosting was sickeningly sweet despite the fact that I reduced the amount of sugar in the frosting (the only change I made to the recipe). Secret Cake is a secret best kept -- I will not be making this again. Read More
(5)
Rating: 3 stars
03/23/2012
This is your basic "Texas" sheet cake and overall I think most people would really like. It is usually a hit at office parties or church potlucks. I think the sweetness of the cake is a nice balance to the icing since it is very sweet. For my family we didn't like the texture of the icing. Although the flavor was good it has a really gritty texture. Read More
(2)