Peggi Anne Tebben


I was only about 13 at the time, when my Dad's Uncle Nothel gave me this recipe. That was about 40 years ago. It was called then, Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, so, no telling how old this recipe really is.
When he gave it to me, the original recipe called for a "scant snuff glass full" of this,& a "scant snuff glass full" of that, & a pinch of this. He even gave me the snuff glass to measure with. We used to measure with an old snuff glass, which, if memory serves me right, measured 1 cup. So a scant snuff glass full, would be a little less than 1 cup. I actually have measuring spoons for a smidgen, a pinch & a dash (see photo). The snuff glass burned in our house in 1999, but I would like to find another, as I love cooking the old ways.As you can tell from my Great Uncle's name, this is an old recipe. You don't hear that name now days! I like to keep the old recipes going because they were some of the best ones.

I have made so many of these. They are the moistest cake I have ever come across & it stays moist for days, if it lasts that long.

I never liked doing things just normal. I always wanted to go beyond the norm. So, while others were making 2 or 3 layer Birthday cakes, I had to make a 4 layer cake, (not thin layers). So, whenever a Birthday came around, everyone always wanted a 4 layer, Uncle Nothel, Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake.
This was in my handwritten recipes & I used it so often, I knew part of the instructions & never wrote down how many layers & what size cake this made. I know I had to make more than one batch for all those layers though. I also never wrote down how long to cook it.

Sadly, I have no pictures of Uncle Nothel, but do have a picture of my Grandpa, whom I never knew, his twin brother, Judge Nolus & have posted it here in uncle Nothel's honor.

So, you see, this truly is a: Just A Pinch recipe.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have all these years.

★★★★☆ 10 votes
20 Min
25 Min


3/4 c
cocoa powder
1 c
strong hot black coffee (originally a scant snuff glass full)
1/2 c
2 c
sugar (originally 2 snuff glasses full)
1/2 c
2 tsp
pure vanilla
2 c
all-purpose flour (originally 2 snuff glasses full)
1 tsp
baking soda
1 tsp
baking powder
1/4 tsp
salt (originally a pinch)


1/4 c
1/3 c
3 Tbsp
cocoa powder
1 - 16 oz
box powdered sugar
1 tsp
pure vanilla


2Bring cocoa, coffee, & butter to a bubbly boil.
3Remove from heat & add remaining ingredients & mix well. It will be runny.
4Bake @ 350° until done. Do not over cook. Cake is done when you touch the center of cake & it springs back.
5Cool & frost.
6NOTE: I made 3 batches of the cake & it made (2) 17"x13" sheet cakes.
8Bring butter, buttermilk & cocoa to a boil. Remove from heat & cool slightly.
9Add remaining ingredients & beat well.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Cakes, Chocolate
Other Tag: Quick & Easy