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My eldest daughter is about to turn 12 years old. We hosted a birthday party for her friends and she requested a chocolate cake. Poor girl. She knows by now that nearly everything I cook is for the blog.

Turns out, mom sometimes finds a gem that can pass the approval test of a pack of skeptical 12-year-old girls who think they know everything about chocolate.

This cake comes from the book “Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners” published in 1913 by Elizabeth O. Hiller. I’ve read that the cookbook itself is a big advertisement for a product called Cottolene, which was a lard made of beef tallow and cottonseed oil. Indeed, that’s the first ingredient in the original version-but I substituted butter and it turned out splendidly.

The original title of the recipe was “Rich Chocolate Cake” but the one teaspoon of cinnamon adds a depth and uniqueness to the taste-and I decided to change the title a bit to reflect it because the flavor doesn’t hide behind the chocolate. I’m saying this because, if you don’t like cinnamon, this is not the cake for you. If you do, here’s how you make it!

• 8 tablespoons of butter
• 4 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
• 1 ½ cup sugar
• 1 cup chocolate chips
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/3 cup hot water
• ½ cup milk
• 2 cups flour
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cake pans (I used a 9×13 sheet pan).

Cream butter and sugar together, adding a little sugar at a time to the butter until well blended.

Melt the chocolate chips in your microwave. It took me about 5 minutes at 50% power. Stop every minute to stir the chips. Add the hot water to the chocolate chips and stir well, then pour that into the creamed butter and sugar.

Beat the eggs yolks until fluffy and add to creamed butter/chocolate mixture.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the milk until all are well-mixed. Add the vanilla.

Finally, beat the egg whites until stiff and foamy and fold into batter.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

I served it frosted with commercial vanilla frosting and shaved chocolate.

The girls at the party loved it! It’s really a unique take on chocolate cake and I hope you enjoy it too!