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The Deep Meaning in Cake Made With Love For the Ordinary People in our Lives

My post last week, I’ll admit, was quite heavy. My writing tends to be more introspective in general, and I don’t think that’s all bad. It particularly feels worthwhile to write about Light shining in the darkness, as I did last week.

But then, sometimes overthinking and analyzing take on an unhealthy life of their own. At least for me.

So today I’m going to share a recipe for a chocolate cake. My sister-in-law Reba said she makes this cake for her family every year for Valentine’s Day. Now, I think a family tradition has deep meaning, especially when it applies the best interpretations of an often foamy holiday.

Cafe Latte’s Turtle Cake-Very Moist Chocolate Cake

Grease a Bundt pan or three 9 in round cake pans if you wish to do a layer cake.

Stir together:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of buttermilk or sour milk (add a tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of regular milk as a substitute)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

Stir together:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 T. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

Gradually add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients.

  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Gradually add the coffee to the batter. Pour into pan/pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min.

(Note from Katrina: After removing from oven, avoid setting cake on a burner that is still on. Don’t ask me how I know this!)


Bring these ingredients to a boil in a saucepan, stirring constantly:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 6 T butter, cut up

Remove from heat and add:

  • 12 oz pkg chocolate chips

Whisk until smooth. If the ganache is too thick or grainy, add 1-2 tablespoons hot coffee.

If using layers, drizzle each cake layer with the chocolate ganache, caramel syrup and pecans. Chill 1-2 hours before serving.

My sister-in-law makes hers in a Bundt pan, pours the ganache on top and then adds strawberry slices instead of caramel and pecans.

Do you have family traditions you repeat every year? If not, here you go!



4 thoughts on “The Deep Meaning in Cake Made With Love For the Ordinary People in our Lives”

  1. That cake looks fantastic! I bet I could make a delicious sugar and wheat free version, and garnish with the raspberries and blueberries I planned to dip in chocolate but didn’t accomplish. Valentines celebrations are somewhat delayed this year, because dear hubby is sick with some virus. The one tradition I have is buying the small heart shaped boxes of assorted chocolates for each of my children. They’re all teenagers now, but they were still thrilled. They don’t get much “real” candy from Mom! 13 year old daughter with spins bogies had a day of appointments at the big university hospital today, so we filled an big old valentine candy box with wrapped chocolates and passed them out to each hospital staff member we encountered. They loved them it! It was a fun way to say thank you!

  2. What a sweet idea! I’d like to make this for my family. The cake recipe looks very similar to our favorite chocolate cake my mom in law has made for years. But the pretty pan and topping with strawberries would take it to another level! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Don’t ask you about setting a cake on a burner that’s on. Same reason to avoid doing the same with a Pyrex pan of chicken that you have just pulled out? What a mess. Shattered glass everywhere.

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