Anna Maria Locke

chocolate ganache olive oil cake

November 2014Anna1 Comment

Yesterday we celebrated Ben's 29th birthday! We first started officially "hanging out" (college speak for dating) around the weekend of his 21st birthday, which seems crazy to me. We've come so far in the past eight years!

Birthday boy in his birthday scarf...awww ;)

It's become tradition for me to make some form of baked pork and apples with a chocolate cake for Ben's birthday dinner. Sometimes I try to "healthify" the cake, sometimes we go for the store bought ice cream cake, and sometimes I just have to go all in.

Enter this magical vintage cookbook I inherited from Ben's grandmother Mimi. Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers from 1963? GOLDMINE!

I chose a simple looking chocolate cake recipe from among the 57 options (no exaggeration, just counted them all) and tweaked it to bring it up to 2014 standards. 

A little "rustic," but this chocolate cake turned out SO moist and delicious! And of course the ganache is always a bonus. I replaced the shortening called for in the recipe with olive oil, hooray healthy fats! If you're intimidated by the idea of making a cake from scratch, you need to give this recipe a shot. It is just as easy as a boxed mix and SO much better for you ( least less unhealthy?) without the extra preservatives.

Chocolate Ganache Olive Oil Cake

adapted from

Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers, Desserts Edition


1 1/4 c sifted unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c cocoa powder

1/2 c olive oil

1 1/4 c sugar

1 c milk

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl. In a stand mixer or separate bowl, beat together olive oil, milk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Add dry ingredients and whisk until batter is smooth, 1-2 minutes.

Grease two round 8" cake pans and divide batter evenly between them.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges start to separate from the pans and a toothpick comes out clean! 

Allow cakes to cool in the pans before assembling and frosting.


8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used 2 blocks of Baker's)

3/4 c heavy whipping cream

Bring the cream to a simmer in a small sauce pan. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until chocolate is melted. Allow ganache to cool for 15-20 minutes, whisking every once in a while, until it is thick enough to be used as frosting.

Once cake is cool, place one layer upside down on a plate. Spread about 1/3 of the ganache over the first layer. Add the second layer right side up (so the flat bottoms are together...yeah I didn't do it this way haha) and spread the rest of the ganache over the top!