Chocolate Picnic Cake

This recipe is one that my sweet mother-in-law shared with me so many years ago that the paper is yellowing. (How am I old enough to have a recipe that old? Yikes!) In any case, this recipe is the easiest way ever to get a yummy-gooey-wonderful frosted chocolate cake to your table in 40 minutes flat.


Chocolate Picnic Cake

Chocolate Picnic Cake


    Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional


  1. Mix sugar and flour in a bowl and set aside.Put butter, cocoa and water in a glass bowl and heat in microwave until butter is melted. Stir to combine, then pour over flour/sugar mix. Add eggs, milk, baking soda, and vanilla. Beat well. Batter will be thin. Pour into greased 12x16 jelly roll pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  2. 5 minutes before cake is to come out of oven, combine butter cocoa and milk in a glass bowl and microwave until butter is melted through. Remove from microwave and add powdered sugar. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1 cup chopped nuts if using. Pour over hot cake. Serve!
  3. This cake stays fresh and wonderful for several days. In fact, I took the picture above of a piece of day-old cake. As you can see, it is still moist and yummy-looking.
  4. For more affordable recipes, check out Mary's cookbook Family Feasts for $75 a Week


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  1. Looks like a real winner to me. I am sure it tastes fantastic!

  2. My grandmother made this when I was a child too. It’s one of my go-to recipes when I need to feed a crowd. It brings back very fond memories and creates new ones each time I taste it.

  3. Everyone needs a good cocoa based chocolate cake recipe -and this recipe is a classic. Yum!

  4. Will pin this so I have it! I print out recipes or bookmark and never seem to get back to them. This looks delicious – thank you!

  5. Hooray! Thank you! My mother-in-law makes something similar, but she calls it Thomas Cake. What a wonderful recipe 🙂

  6. In NZ we don’t measure butter in sticks, how much is a stick in oz or grams? Thanks

  7. I pinned it to add to my All Things Chocolate board!


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