Slice of Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake on white heart-shaped plate on pink placemat.
Cakes,  Recipes

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake Recipe

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Sharing is caring!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Do you have a birthday or other special occasion coming up? If so, this Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake may be just what you’re looking for! It is dense and full of flavor, just like Grandma used to make. This cake took me back to my childhood and all the scratch-made cakes my mom made for my birthdays.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Shortening
  • Sugar
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Unsweetened Chocolate Squares
  • Cake Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Buttermilk
Ingredients for Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake Ingredients

Equipment You May Need

Helpful Tips for Making Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

  • To sift flour, a whisk can be used in place of a flour sifter.
  • For easier cake removal, line pans with waxed paper. Trace the outline of the pan on waxed paper and cut to fit perfectly inside the pan
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake fresh out of the oven

Variations and Substitutes

  • This batter can also be used to make approximately 24 cupcakes.
  • For a cake flour substitute, check out these directions from Sally’s Baking Addiction – Cake Flour Substitute
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure one cup. Stir, then let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.

Other Recipes You May Like

You might also enjoy this Apple Coffee Cake or these Old-Fashioned Pecan Cake Bars. The Best White Cake Recipe, this Chocolate Loaf Cake, or these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are also delicious options. If you’re looking for something colorful and fun, you might like these Mermaid Cupcakes. For a gluten-free option, try this Gluten Free Vanilla Cake.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with filling

Final Thoughts on Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

My whole family enjoyed this cake and asked that I make it again. I used homemade mocha frosting, which gave it a rich finish. For the filling, I used canned cream cheese frosting because I was in a bit of a hurry. If you prefer to make your own frosting, this Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting would be perfect. This cake was very dense, so a small piece was the perfect size. Next time, I will probably make my own filling. Have you ever had Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake?

Slice of Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake on white heart-shaped plate on pink placemat.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

If you're looking for that classic taste, this Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake may be just what you want! It's dense and full of flavor, perfect for a birthday or other special occasion!
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • ½ Cup Shortening
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Light Brown Sugar firmly packed
  • 2 Eggs well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3 Squares Unsweetened Chocolate 1 ounce each
  • 2 Cups Cake Flour sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Cup Buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
  • Cream shortening.
  • Add sugar and brown sugar gradually.
  • Cream shortening and sugars together thoroughly.
  • Beat eggs well.
  • Add vanilla to eggs and then add both to the first mixture; beat well.
  • Melt unsweetened chocolate squares in top pan of double boiler.
  • Cool chocolate slightly and then add to the creamed mixture; blend well.
  • Sift cake flour, salt, and baking soda.
  • Add alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture.
  • Mix until smooth.
  • Pour batter into 2 9-inch greased cake pans.
  • Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes in pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool thoroughly on cooling racks.
Keyword 1970’s Recipe, Chocolate, Chocolate Cake, Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, Vintage Recipe

*Adapted from The American-International Encyclopedic Cookbook by Anne London, copyright 1972

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.