Indian Cake

One of my cousins put together a family cookbook.   It is full of people reminiscing about Grandmother’s cooking, and great recipes down through the generations.  My aunts were awesome cooks as well.  The funny thing about this cookbook is that there is not one but FOUR recipes for Indian Cake.  And I don’t even remember anybody ever serving it to me.

My father summarizes best what everybody else says about my grandmother and her baking:

“All of our family remembers how Mary could tell when the temperature was right in the oven to bake a cake, pie or bread.  This was long before gas or electric stoves were known on the farm and our kitchen stove was either wood or coal fired and the oven didn’t have a temperature gauge.

She would get the fire going and after a while she would open the oven door and put her hand in the oven.  After a few “hand” tests she would say it was ready, and put in her goods to be baked. They always came out perfectly.”

This is my grandmother’s version of the cake.

Indian Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cold coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup hot water

Blend sugar and shortening.  Add ingredients in order given, adding hot water last.   Pour into a greased 9”X 9” pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour.  Check it at 45 mins – these recipes always say “bake until done”.  So the first time, you need to keep an eye out.

Bon appetite!