Saturday, October 15, 2011

Martha Meadows Famous Stack Cake

I've been told I'm a little hard to follow sometimes. In fact my husband often says I need back up lights in the grocery store... think about it! So when I started off Thursday's blog with the picture below, you probably thought I was going to give you the recipe, didn't you?

Instead I wrote about the movie THE HELP. In one of the first scenes, I was suprised to see a Stack Cake setting on the kitchen table of Skeeter's Jackson, Mississippi home. When I blogged about Martha Meadows in 2009, I included her recipe for her famous cake that's been written up in the New York Times. Ask Martha, who learned to bake 15 layer cakes from her Mom, and she will tell you it takes just shy of 2 hours start to finish... unless you count the cleaning up! Every year she bakes about 10, selling them to neighbors or donating to her Baptist church. Stack cakes are great fundraisers for churches. Sardis United Methodist Church in southern Alabama sells various sizes around the holidays for $5 a pound. A few years ago, they made enough to buy a new grand piano for the church. Since then, the cakes have helped pay to remodel the church kitchen. Sounds like this recipe is $$MONEY$$

Chocolate Little Layer cake
One 12-layer cake
For the cake:
2 sticks butter, more to grease pans
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup shortening
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups milk
For the icing:
5 cups of sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1 15-ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease three 9-inch cake pans and line with rounds of parchment or waxed paper.
- In a mixer, cream together butter, sugar and shortening until fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time and continue to mix on medium until eggs are well incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
- Sift flour; then add salt, baking soda and baking powder. Sift a second time. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and milk in about four additions, then increase speed to medium. Beat until smooth, about four or five minutes, scraping down sides of bowl.
- Spread 3/4 cup batter in each pan. Bake six to eight minutes, or until cake springs lightly when pressed with a finger. Flip cake out of pan onto paper towels or cake rack while still very warm. Repeat with second set of layers.
- When first layers go into oven, start to make icing. Put sugar and cocoa in a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan and mix well. Turn heat to medium-high and add butter and milks, bringing to a boil. Boil for about four minutes, stirring continually, careful to watch that it does not boil over. Lower heat to simmer, add vanilla and stir occasionally for another 7 to 10 minutes. If using a candy thermometer, cook to the point just before soft ball stage, or about 230 degrees.
- Begin icing first layers, still warm, when second batch is in the oven. Flip layers over so that top side faces up. Use about four tablespoons of icing per layer. Icing will be thin but will firm up as it cools. Stack layers, then continue icing and stacking as layers are baked.
- When all layers are iced and stacked, glaze top and sides of cake. Contours of layers will be visible through icing. If icing hardens too much while frosting cake, set back on low heat and stir until it is spreadable.
- Adapted from Martha Meadows


  1. Oh wow, thanks so much for sharing this money making recipe, Joycee. ((hugs)) Yeah, I know it's been a while. Yeap I'm still reading alright! :o) Hope you're all well and going to have a fabulous Halloween soon.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  3. :-)

    Did think it a tad odd, but who am I to say anything?


  4. Haha....Hubby was right, at least about the recipe, not that I picture myself taking 2 hrs. on a cake, but like having the recipe just in case. Thanks! xo

  5. I can feel my butt getting wider, just reading the recipe!

  6. Now that will be a fun recipe to try out! Thanks for sharing it with us.


  7. Obviously, with that much frosting, it's gotta be what really makes the cake! I'm going to cut the frosting recipe in half and use it on my McCain clone cake instead of the one called for, which isn't very good.

    I love these old recipes where the most "advanced" ingredient is evaporated milk. Thanks for posting it, and, as always, great post! Hugs, Ilene

  8. Yum! I'm going to give it a try sometime.


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