Total Time
2hrs 10mins
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!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly in bottom of prepared cake pans.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off.
  3. 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.
  4. Carefully spoon 1/4 of batter into each pecan lined pan.
  5. Sprinkle with grated chocolate.
  6. Spoon remaining batter over sprinkled chocolate, spreading carefully.
  7. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake is golden brown and top springs back when touched lightly in the center.
  8. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.
  9. Continue cooling for 1 hour.
  10. Frosting:.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. To remaining frosting, add cooled chocolate, remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar and enough water for desired spreading consistency.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.
  16. 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:
  17. showRecipe.aspx?rid=11012.


Most Helpful

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!

Jen In The Kitchen! April 06, 2010

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

Mainely Debbie November 21, 2008

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!

vrvrvr November 20, 2008

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