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“Prepared for a 1994 article by Glenn Esterly that featured Chef Willard Scott, and has been a family favourite ever since. The filling/frosting is not sweet, which is a nice change from the standard cream cheese frosting.”
1hr 50mins
1 2-layer cake

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Grease two 9" round pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar with shortening.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
  4. Make a paste of the food colouring, coffee and cocoa, add to above mixture.
  5. Mix in half the flour and salt, then stir in buttermilk.
  6. Beat in the remaining flour.
  7. Mix vinegar and baking soda to combine well (it will foam, if it doesn't, you need new baking soda!). Add to the batter and blend well.
  8. Bake 30 minutes. Cool completely and refrigerate 2 hours before filling and frosting.
  9. Beat cream cheese, shortening, vanilla and salt together until well blended.
  10. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar until it's all incorporated.
  11. Place one cake round on a serving plate and cover with a thick layer of freshly made (so it's soft) frosting.
  12. Place the second cake round on top and coat with a thin layer of frosting (i.e. the "crumb coat"). Chill until firm.
  13. Finish frosting the cake and decorate as desired.

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