This is a very old family recipe that has all of the elements that make a homemade cake truly decadent: lots of chocolate. And this is no ordinary chocolate cake. This one is infused with cinnamon and cloves and gets a unique tang from the addition of buttermilk. Serve the cake with vanilla ice cream topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce for the ultimate sugary explosion. This recipe also involves baking the cake in a dish placed inside the slow cooker insert. I’ve found that a 1 1/2-quart rectangular baking dish set inside a 6-quart slow cooker works best (and a 6-by-8-inch dish fits perfectly). Pouring the batter directly into the slow cooker results in a dried-out, slightly burned cake.
- Line the bottom of the baking dish with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and white sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk, to the sugar mixture. Mix well until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and place it inside the slow cooker. Thickly layer several paper towels over the top of the slow cooker to absorb any evaporation.
- Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (Keep in mind that the cake will continue to cook once it’s removed from the slow cooker, so don’t overcook it.) Place the dish on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then carefully flip the cake onto the rack and remove the parchment paper. Let cool before icing.
- To make the icing, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the cocoa. Take it off the heat and alternately add confectioner’s sugar and milk, mixing it until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. If a thicker icing is desired, add additional confectioner’s sugar and let cool a bit before frosting the cake. Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake.
Exclusive from “The Southern Slow Cooker: Big-Flavor, Low-Fuss Recipes for Comfort Food Classics,” copyright © 2013 by Kendra Bailey Morris. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.