Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

History in itself is an incredibly broad topic and covers a variety of subjects such as a particular event in time, clothing people wore, recreational activities, words people spoke, families and their genealogy or, perhaps, the food that was consumed.

I am by no means a food blogger (I’ll leave that to my bestie, Mei at Libertine Eats) but I am a girl who’s fond of both baking and history and for this post I thought I’d do something a little different; find a recipe on Trove and then, make it.


The All-Purpose Chocolate Cake recipe was printed in The West Australian on Thursday, 4 September 1947 (page 16) []. The ingredients are simple and (like the households in the past) should generally be found in most cupboards. The only product that I had to purchase was desiccated coconut.

The description was also fairly straightforward with my main stumbling block being “a breakfast cupful of self-raising flour”. However, quickly googling these words led me to a lovely blog entitled ‘My Family Kitchen’ which provided some useful information about old units of measurements like the gill and the breakfast cup []. Once all was figured out (a breakfast cup is 284g)  I got down to business.


This recipe truly was one that in its time would’ve been tried and true and would be a quick fall-back recipe for housewives in the late 1940s. I was initially concerned by what seemed (to me) to be a HUGE lack of cocoa but after some consideration I figured that either the creator preferred it this way or perhaps peoples’ tastes were different than what they are now. Another more likely reason is the fact that it was described as being “easy on the budget” and using only three teaspoons of cocoa in total is very economical. Despite being very fond of chocolately cakes, my Mum, brother and I all found that this particular cake was refreshing because it didn’t punch you in the face with overwhelming chocolate richness. The coconut was also a welcome addition which should not be left off.


Overall, it’s very reminiscent of the types of cakes my Grandma used to make; uncomplicated but still very delicious. The best sort of home cooking that should be eaten in the company of family and friends.


Much thanks is due to my brother and Mum for acting as cake testers (though I doubt there’s any complaints in that respect) and for contributing to a discussion about the taste and recipe afterwards.

2 thoughts on “All-Purpose Chocolate Cake

  1. Sandra says:

    It was lovely Jessica reminds me Grandmas chocolate cake when she would bake for us for afternoon or morning tea.

    1. Jess says:

      Thanks Mum. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: