Kentucky Chocolate Cake

What’s is not to like about a chocolate cake? And this one is especially chocolate; it has a whole can of Hershey’s Syrup in the batter, then chocolate chips in the frosting!
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Catharine Fujii is my sister and at one time, her family lived in Kentucky. It was back then that she gave Marlys this recipe.

Kentucky Chocolate Cake

(Catharine Fujii, 1970s)


  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) at room temperature.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 16 oz. can Hershey chocolate syrup

Grease a 9 x 13″ pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add one at a time eggs, beating well after each. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla. Fold in Hershey syrup.

Bake for 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and then pour icing over the top while still in pan. Serve from the pan.


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2/3 cup carnation evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 oz. package chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Mix sugar, butter and milk in medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla and chocolate chips.

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A 9×13 pan of this rich cake is more than a single person should try to eat, and so in late 2012, I decided to try making a smaller version of the cake, and I had success. I had a 6×9 inch pan which is 54 sq. in. versus 117 sq. in. for the 9×13; that comes close to being 50%. So I cut the cake recipe in half- half a stick of butter, half a cup of sugar, 2 eggs, half a cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 8 oz. Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I got the chocolate syrup by measuring 8 oz. by weight from one of the 24 oz. plastic bottles of chocolate syrup. The only other change I made was to reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes to just 30 minutes and the cake came out perfectly.

In November of 2013, I made the half-recipe into 12 cupcakes; the measure is perfect for making 12 cupcakes. The only change I had to make was in the cooking time; I reduced the cooking time to 20 minutes. This was when I made the turtle pull-apart cake.

One thing I don’t like about this cake is the icing; I feel it has too much of a crystallized sugar taste. It may be something I am not doing well when making the icing. But I decided to try something different for the frosting. I made a chocolate glaze that I have from a different recipe:

Alternate Chocolate Glaze


  • 3 Tablespoons 1/2 & 1/2
  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (this can be chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar


Below, the directions say to microwave until the mixture just begins to steam; this is very important. Otherwise the mixture will burn; 20 seconds can make the difference. So keep checking the plastic wrap; as soon as it shows any moisture and isn’t perfectly clear- stop! You have heated it enough.

To make the glaze, place the 1/2 & 1/2 and semi-sweet chocolate in a medium, microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 20 seconds at a time, until the mixture just begins to steam. Whisk together thoroughly and add the sugar and whisk until completely smooth.

The glaze ingredients seem just enough for the half size cake. I have not tried to double the recipe to use on the full size cake, but it should work okay. I suspect the finer confectioners’ sugar makes a difference.

One thought on “Kentucky Chocolate Cake

  1. Jennifer Crary

    This used to be my favorite cake. The original frosting was like a layer of fudge on a wonderful moist chocolate cake…


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