top of page
  • Kay

Grandma's Killer Chocolate Cake by James Patterson

As we were flipping through the thrilling recipes in The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For, we came across Grandma's Killer Chocolate Cake from mystery writer James Patterson and stopped dead in our tracks. This rich and incredibly chocolatey cake just looked too good to be true, and we knew we had to give it a try.

Patterson notes that this is a special recipe that has been passed down in his family since the 1940s. After trying this recipe for ourselves, it's easy to see why — Grandma Patterson really knew what she was talking about! Check out the recipe below and try this killer cake for yourself!


  • 1/2 cup shortening

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup hot water


  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream


  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and hot water, beating well after each addition.

  • Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

  • For frosting, melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 240° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat. Cool completely, without stirring, for about 1 hour. Add vanilla; beat until thickened. Add cream; beat until smooth. Frost cake.

24 views0 comments


bottom of page