A Whole Lot of Chocolate Cake and Even More Love
Growing up we always had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting in our freezer which just became normal for me and is the reason why I always have a dessert in the freezer. It was a common memory helping and watching my mom whip up a chocolate cake and then make the chocolate frosting on the stove top after the cake had cooled. My dad has finished meals with a piece of chocolate cake from the freezer for as long as I can remember; it just became as routine as us sitting down as a family to pray before each meal. It wasn’t until recently that I learned more details about this chocolate cake routine from my mom. Please enjoy this tale of love and chocolate cake!
My mom and dad have been married for 52 years in June of 2023. This cake making routine started when my mom made my dad a devils food cake with chocolate frosting for fun for his birthday the first year they were married. Dad liked the cake so much; he asked my mom if she would make devils food cake with chocolate frosting for him so he could have a piece in each of his lunches. And from here a routine was born and since this time my mom has been making one chocolate cake each week for my dad. My mom even mastered the packaging of a piece of cake in a baggie; She would cut the piece of cake in half (the hamburger way) and put the bottom piece of the cake on top of the frosting so it resembled a sandwich so the frosting would not get on the plastic baggie. To ensure the cake stays fresh as long as possible, as soon as it has cooled after the frosting process, my mom would cut the cake into the same sized pieces each time (which is the perfect 2 bite size), the pieces would be placed into the square, red sided and clear topped Tupperware and put in the freezer where they were easily assessable for some late-night snacking.
The measuring cups that my mom uses in her kitchen today are the same ones that she had when she and my dad were just recently married- green, plastic Tupperware measuring cups. She just recently retired some of the original wooden spoons that have whipped up some tasty meals and desserts over the years.
Now over 50 + years, mom has tested several different devils food chocolate cake recipes. She has tested Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, Pilsbury and has dabbled in recipes from scratch. But the tried-and-true winner has been the Devils Food Duncan Hines box mix paired with cooked semi sweet frosting. The Pilsbury and Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake either did not hold up structurally or did not taste as good as the Duncan Hines recipe. Despite the homemade recipes tasting delicious, they did not hold up in a lunch box making it tough to eat. Mom started out frosting the cakes with a cooked frosting that used cocoa powder the first 25 years of making these cakes, but the last 26 years mom has been making a cooked semi sweet chocolate chip frosting. Several years ago, mom learned that you can replace oil in baking recipes with apple sauce and she has replaced the oil in these cakes with apple sauce ever since to make them as healthy as possible.
Mom has tried some different desserts over the years that would cure a sweet tooth such as yellow spice cake and Swiss chocolate cake. Dad would always eat the desserts, but would either ask when mom was making a devils food cake or just say “don’t ever make this again”. Dad is very specific in his sweet tooth cravings- he just really loves Devils Food Cake with homemade cooked semisweet frosting.
Dad has made several cakes over the years for mom’s birthdays, but he has never tackled a devils food cake with cooked frosting before. Growing up, mom would coach me through the process of baking a devils food cake and I would follow the steps exactly, but as I watched dad eat the first piece expectantly, he would always be able to tell that mom did not make the cake herself because mine just never tasted the same. Mom eats very little of these devils food cakes because she has made so many over the years, but will taste teste the batter and cake each time to perform a taste test. I along with the rest of my siblings can attest that these cakes are darn good!
Mom accidentally forgot a devils food cake once in the oven and the edge burned and turned into the consistency of a cookie rather than its normal soft, cloud consistency. Despite the crispy perimeter of the cake, mom still frosted the cake hoping that the cake was still edible and would go unnoticed by dad, the devils food cake connoisseur. The middle pieces of this cake were edible and delicious as always.
My mom has been making my dad one chocolate cake a week for the past 52 years, that is over 2,700 cakes that have been made and consumed. Over all of the years and all of the chocolate cakes made, mom has never forgotten to add an ingredient which is amazing! Dad also is a very healthy man, and his doctor has even approved his chocolate cake routine as long as it is done in moderation.
I had to ask my mom if her mom made her dad sweets on a regular schedule and she did, but it was a variety of sweets like raisin bars and sugar cookies. My grandpa was a fan of any sweet that he could get his hands on and was not quite as picky. Before my dad married my mom he also had a sweet tooth, but just like he fell in love with my mom, he fell in love with her devils food cakes because her special ingredient is not only apple sauce but also love. When I asked my mom why she continues to make chocolate cakes each week she said, “Because he loves them” and that in itself shows the love that my mom has for my dad.
Sneaking pieces of devils food cake from the freezer without my dad seeing since 1992- Krysta