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Updated: March 16, 2012 8:02AM


1/3 cup shortening (such as Crisco)

1¾ cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour

¼ cup baking cocoa powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon extract — vanilla, chocolate or coffee flavor

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans.

Place shortening into bowl of electric mixer and beat 1 minute until creamy.

Measure flour and sift. Add cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar and sift together three more times.

Combine milk and extract. With mixer running, add flour mixture slowly, then add milk mixture, mixing until all flour is dampened, then beat vigorously for 1 minute.

Spoon batter into the two pans and bake about 20 minutes, until cake tests done.

Let stand on a cooling rack 10 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely on rack. Frost using your favorite fluffy frosting to make a two layer cake, or simply glaze the two layers individually with Espresso Glaze.

Espresso Glaze: Whisk 3 Tablespoons very strong coffee or espresso into 1¼ cups confectioner’s sugar until completely smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake and let stand at least 20 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Midwest Sweet Baking History by Jenny Lewis

Nutrition facts per serving:

237 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 41 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 217 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

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