Tuesday, February 28, 2012


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cold black coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pounds; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  With an electric mixer on low speed beat in the shortening and applesauce.  Beat in the milk, coffee, and vanilla extract until combined.  Increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat for another 2 minutes.  Add the eggs and beat an additional 2 minutes.

Pour the batter evenly divided into the prepared pans.  Smooth tops with a rubber spatula and tap gently on counter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely on wire racks.  Fill and frost with the frosting recipe below.

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup warm water
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts, divided

In a large bowl combine the cocoa, butter, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the warm water and mix well.  Beat in the powdered sugar in two batches and beat until smooth.

Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate.  Spread with 1 cup of the frosting and sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the walnuts.  Top with the remaining cake layer, top side up.  Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.  Use a small spatula to make decorative swirls in the frosting.  Garnish with the remaining walnuts.

Yield: 12 servings

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