Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 45 mins
This cake won $25,000 as the grand prize winner in the 1953 Pillsbury Bake Off in NYC, entered by Lois Kanago of Denver, CO. So lovely, it looks like a French Chef was brought in to prepare. This has been my requested birthday cake ever since I was a small child. Incredibly Delicious!
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour or 2 1⁄4 cups unbleached flour, Pillsbury in their honor
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2⁄3 cup shortening
- 1 1⁄4 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 large egg whites
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄2 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1⁄4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon water or 2 tablespoons water
- Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly in bottom of prepared cake pans.
- Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off.
- In large bowl combine flour and all remaining cake ingredients except for egg whites and chocolate. Beat 1-1/2 minutes on medium speed. Add egg whites and beat 1-1/2 minutes.
- Carefully spoon 1/4 of batter into each pecan lined pan.
- Sprinkle with grated chocolate.
- Spoon remaining batter over sprinkled chocolate, spreading carefully.
- Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake is golden brown and top springs back when touched lightly in the center.
- Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.
- Continue cooling for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, unsweetened chocolate and 1/4 cup water, cook over low heat until melted, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat; cool.
- In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup shortening and 1 tsp vanilla. Gradually beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar until well blended. RESERVE 1/3 CUP WHITE FROSTING.
- To remaining frosting, add cooled chocolate, remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar and enough water for desired spreading consistency.
- To assemble cake, place 1 layer, PECAN SIDE UP, on serving plate. Spread with about 1/2 of the frosting. Top with the second layer, PECAN SIDE UP. Frost sides of cake and up 1/2 inch around top edge (you will have an exposed center circle of chopped pecans).
- Using remaining white frosting (add a little water to thin for perfect piping consistency), pipe around the edge of chocolate frosting and pecans. Take artist license with rosettes if you like.
- Go to this site to see a photo of the cake. The picture looks more like a yellow cake but it's white and my frosting looks more like milk chocolate I think there's a yellow tint to the photo: pillsbury.com/bakeoff/recipes/.
This is a wonderful cake that I have made several times since last summer, with many compliments each time someone has a piece. I can see why it won the contest! Yummy!
I have not made this cake myself yet but THANK YOU so much for posting it, my mother made this when I was growing up and I never got the recipe before my mother passed away (I was born in 1954) and it was sooooo good and brings back warm memories. I remember that my mother used to put a small plate or cup saucer on the top middle of the cake and frost around it. I can't wait to make it for my family now. Thanks so much Southern Lady! Debbie
A sure hit with everyone in our family. This is a beautiful, impressive cake with a moist texture, interesting with the pecans and grated chocolate in the batter. The frosting is heavenly. What a cake!