Everyone has a favorite dish from his or her grandmother. From time to time I’m going to feature selected recipes from the four grandmothers I know best: my wife’s and mine.
I was introduced to this cake when my wife and I stayed with her Southern California grandparents for a few days after graduating from high school.
The cake is a revelation – light and airy, with a topping that brings a surprising flavor to familiar yellow cake.
This cake is easy to make, too – its foundation is a box of yellow cake mix. Trust me when I say the cake is many times better than Sandra Lee’s best dish. My wife’s grandmother Iris got this recipe from a cookbook she received in the 60s or 70s. She has misplaced the cookbook, so this recipe is all that remains.
I would have a hard time picking a favorite cake recipe, but this one would undoubtedly go in my top three.
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- About 1 cup chocolate chips
- About 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix (Iris has tried this recipe with a variety of cake mixes and says Duncan Hines is the best.)
- 1 small package instant vanilla pudding
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a tube pan and set aside.
Step 5. Spread half of the batter into the greased pan. Top with about 2/3 of the sugar topping, plus half the chocolate chips and walnuts. One cup of chocolate chips is an estimate - use as many as you wish (but not so many the cake gets weighed down). Pour the remaining batter in the pan and top with the remaining sugar mixture, walnuts and chocolate chips.