In my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, the one my mother sent me off to adulthood when I would have to cook for myself, there is the most glorious recipe: Busy Day Cake. I don’t know when this recipe was first included in the cookbook, which was first published in 1933. But it calls to mind a more simple time, say the 1950s, when people (and when I say people, I mean women because let’s face it, they were the ones who were doing most of the cooking) would make the effort to make cake all the time, even on busy days.
I thought of Busy Day Cake when I made this chocolate cake because on that day I myself was having a busy day, but this cake was so simple to make that I could fit it in around all the other things I had to do that day. Full disclosure: my busy day involved watching my beloved Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team. I made this cake during the half-time break. Priorities.
This is a good-quality chocolate cake. It’s not reinventing the wheel and it won’t win any beauty contests, mind you, but sometimes all you want is a nice cake you can keep on the counter through the week as you try to battle your way through January. This is that cake. Easy to make and good to eat. Most excellent.
If I’ve got another busy day and I want some cake, this will be the one that I make.