Hand Me Down Birthday Cake

The recipe for Hand Me Down cake came from the back of a Hershey’s cocoa box. It is a rich chololate cake that doesn’t require fancy ingredients. Baked as a layer cake or a sheet cake it is suitable for all occasions.

The first time I baked it was on my daughter’s fourth birthday. The cake was almost a disaster becaue I had frosted the two layers and sat it on top of the refrigerator so she wouldn’t see it. It was a very hot day and the top layer began to creep off of the bottom layer. I had to put it back together and let it cool off in the refrigerator to set the frosting.

The recipe will make two 8 inch layers or 1 sheet cake.

Hand Me Down Cake


  • ¾ cup of butter
  • 1 ¾ cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of Hershey’s cocoa
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/3 cup of water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease the pans or pan. You can use spray.

The recipe was written assuming you would use a mixer. You can mix it by hand if you prefer, I usually do.

Put the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cream them together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat 1 minute at medium speed.

In another bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add alternately with the water to the creamed mixture.

Pour the batter into the greased cake pans. Bake at 350 degree F for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting


  • 1 ½ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup of cocoa
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla


Melt the butter, the microwave works well for this. Stir in the cocoa. Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time, alternate with the milk. Beat well after each addition. Add more powdered sugar if too thin, more milk if too stiff. Makes enough to frost a two layer cake.


Thump the pans on the counter top after filling with batter to release any large bubbles.

Cool the cake in the pans about 5 minutes before removing. Cool the cake on a wire rack.

Always begin with the dry ingredients when alternating with the liquid. End with the dry.

The cake is done when you gentely touch a finger on the top of the cake and the cake springs back.

Chopped walnuts are good in the cake or frosting.


About dwittopinions

A great grandmother living in the middle of the United States. My interests include art, needlework, reading, history, politics, and cooking.
This entry was posted in Baking, Cakes, Desserts, Food, Frostings, Recipes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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