Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fudge Pudding "Lard" Cake w/Glossy Chocolate Icing

This is a real "from scratch" cake (a VERY "scratchy-scratch" kind of recipe!)  I say this recipe has more "strange" (to me) directions than I have ever seen or followed before today.  I know there are much easier ways to make a cake, but, just for today, I wanted to do this... just the way they said to! 

I got this recipe from an old "freezing and canning" book published in 1973-- it was among a compilation of recipes put together by those at the helm of the old Farm Journal-- a magazine that many of us farmers regularly subscribed to.  Even as a very young girl, I always looked for the "recipe section" in it.  Yes, ...this recipe calls for LARD!!!   

When the use of Crisco and Canola Oil, etc. was being "pushed" (pushed A LOT!), LARD was given a bad rap!  A really bad rap!  These days, that "bad rap" is unraveling (actually, it is reversing!). Today, when I googled "lard benefits", ONLY 1,620,000 sites popped up for one reason or another.  You can read and decide for yourself if you would ever care (dare?) to use lard.  Check it out at: 

BUT!,'s lard which is sold in the old-time and similar-looking green/white-colored Armour brand box is NOT what it used to be.   Read on that container and you're likely to see that the "hydrogenators"  have even "hydrogenated" today's lard-- and, the "hydrogenation" part is what I want to get AWAY from!  

A while ago, to get around that "hydrogenation" issue with most of "today's" store-bought lard, I picked up some pork fat from a local butcher and home-rendered my own.  I store it in glass jars and in the freezer-- just like my mother always did!  (Rendering it out wasn't anything hard to do, but it did take up a good bit of time.)

IF you REALLY like CHOCOLATE, you could pour "extra" of the glossy frosting on top of a piece and let it be all runny like this:

Read through the entire recipe (including the directions) before starting.

  • 1/3 cup lard, room temperature
  • 3 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Melt lard in a 3 qt. saucepan over low heat.  
  2. Add chocolate blocks to the melted lard over low heat and stir together until melted.  Remove from heat.
  3. Separately, mix 3/4 cup sugar and cornstarch thoroughly.  Stir this into chocolate mixture until well blended.
  4. Add the first 1 cup of milk; stir and cook over low heat until smooth and thick.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  (Set pan in cold water to speed cooling.)
  5. Sift all of the remaining dry ingredients together 3 times.
  6. Add 1/2 of this sifted mixture to the thickened chocolate mixture, blend and beat only 1/2 minute (75 strokes).  
  7. Add 3/4 cup milk and blend. 
  8. Add remaining sifted dry ingredients, blend; beat just 1 minute (150 strokes).
  9. Add eggs and vanilla, blend and beat just 1/2 minutes (75 stokes).
  10. Bake in a paper-lined 9x13x2" pan in moderate oven (350-degrees) for about 35 minutes, or according to how your oven bakes.  COOL.
  11. Frost with Glossy Fudge Frosting (it is more like a ganache).  The recipe is below, but first make this syrup:  

FIRST, while the cake is baking and cooling, mix up this BASIC SUGAR SYRUP which will be used in the frosting.  To make this, you'll need: 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water.  Boil sugar and water together for just one minute.  Pour into jar.  Cool, cover and refrigerate this.  This will make about 1 cup of "basic sugar syrup".


Actual Frosting Ingredients and Directions:

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over hot (not boiling) water.  Remove from heat before the water boils.
  2. Add chocolate chips to butter over hot water and stir until melted, and well blended.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  4. Add just 1/3 cup of the cooled "Basic Sugar Syrup" very gradually, stirring after each addition until blended.  Mixture will become glossy and smooth.
  5. Remove from hot water and cool until of spreading consistency. 
  6.  Spread thinly over cake.  Apply quickly by pouring a small amount at a time on top of cake, near the edges; as it runs down the sides, you can leave "as is" or spread it with a spatula.  (Might work better to frost the top of the cake last.)  This frosting recipe should be enough for two 8" layers, or one 9x13x2" pan cake.
P.S.  This recipe makes opening a box of cake mix and a can of ready-made chocolate frosting look super easy and very tempting, huh!!!!


  1. I buy lard that is NOT hydrogenated at our local locker plant.
    Thankfully, so I don't have to render it anymore.
    We use lard in cakes, pie crust, yeast bread and biscuits and pie crust ever.

    1. Thank you for the tip on where to buy lard when I run out. Growing up, I remember my mother's and older sister's homemade bread being among the best tasting foods ever! Oh, and their pie crusts, tender and good! My mom would bake up the crust trimmings for us kids...such treats--They used lard! Thank you for stopping by my blog. Many of your recipes, too, take me back to very special times when life felt so much simpler and safer...because it WAS! Again, thanks.