A friend sent me his Aunt Anna's chocolate cake recipe and would love for me to make it (I'm the baker in our circle of friends). The cake ingredients include Hershey's cocoa and half a cup of shortening (no butter). The icing is made with 1/4 lb. of margarine, 8 heaping tsp. of cocoa, and 22(!) heaping tsp. of powdered sugar. I'm not enthusiastic about the idea of making a cake with shortening and margarine. My friend is around seventy, so the recipe may date from a time when butter was a luxury for many people. Could one simply substitute butter for the shortening and margarine? Or would it be better to try to find an similar sort of recipe with better ingredients? And would these fats give the cake and icing a special texture that one could not achieve with butter? This cake was a huge family favorite.
Thanks for signing up!
Connect with us to get more Food52!
Sign up for our useful, inspired emails and we'll give you everything you need to eat and live better—including recipes, how-tos, and exclusives and great gift ideas from our kitchen and home shop.