mama’s own chocolate 7-layer cake

1/2 cup shortening (crisco)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3 cups sugar
1 cup sweet milk (I use 3/4 carnation, 1/4 water)
3 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
6 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
(alt flavorings: rum, coconut, lemon – I use this for my layer cakes but only put one tsp. vanilla instead of the other 2.)
Cream the first three ingredients well. Alternate flour and milk, mixing between additions. Last add the flavoring. Preheat over to 325. For pound cakes, bake at 325 for 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs. For layers, bake approx 25 – 30 minutes.
(Mother taught me to add flour first and last)

3 cups sugar
1/6 cup cocoa (I fill 1/4 measuring cup and 1/2 again)
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup canned milk
3/4 tsp vanilla flavoring
Combine sugar and cocoa and mix it together real well then add the milk and stir all this in your pot. Cut up the butter or let it soften; stir well before you start cooking it so it does not stick to the pan. Cook on medium heat stirring constantly until it boils (I wait until it is bullying before setting timer then lower temperature just a notch before timing). Boil for exactly 2 minutes. After icing comes off eye of stove, add the vanilla and beat it as it cools. If in a hurry, sit the pan in cold water until desired consistency. When I make a six layer, it takes two of these recipes. WATCH CLOSELY … IT STICKS!!!!!!!

(notes from Laurie: again, cranked the oven up to 350 and 30 minutes was good. For cocoa, I just did a quarter plus half a quarter. I tried to only make 1 1/2 of the icing recipe and Grandma was right – double it!!)

Grandma’s original recipe:

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