Why is yellow cake with chocolate icing sometimes called "chocolate cake", especially in the South?

This comes from my husband who moved to Richmond, VA, when we married in 2011. We ate at a local restaurant with a menu that read "chocolate cake" for dessert. When the cake arrived, it had a yellow batter with chocolate icing. This is not the first time I've seen this happen here in Richmond.



HalfPint May 18, 2020
Was this a cake with thin layers of yellow cake like this one: https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/little-layer-chocolate-cake-recipe

It's a specialty originating in Georgia. Has at least 12 thin layers of cake held together with a boiled chocolate frosting.

Hope that helps :)
LindaBNF May 18, 2020
Thanks for your response. No, this was a 6-layer "chocolate" cake, and here is its history: Michael Hatcher’s bakery, Micheala’s, may be best known for baking a cake made famous decades ago at Thalhimer’s Bakery, home of the original Chocolate 6-layer cake. Rich chocolate fudge frosting between six layers of moist and buttery yellow cake, iced smooth and topped with a classic caramelized cherry and boxed up just for you. Even though Thalhimer’s is long gone, that famous cake goes on as the star of our line of cakes and baked goods here at Michaela's. Michael Hatcher, has been baking for over 40 years, since his start at Thalhimer’s as a teenager. Thalhimer’s was a local department store like the former Rich’s of Atlanta. (You can see that I'm still frustrated by the name of this cake!)
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