Fran’s Favorites: Chocolate Cake & Black Raspberry Pie

By Fran DeWine

With Father’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad and the food he loved. He really was a meat and potatoes man. Pot roast, meatloaf, and fried chicken. And lots of mashed potatoes! Those are the foods I grew up cooking.

But for dessert I think his favorite thing was his mother’s chocolate cake. It was a simple cake with ingredients we always had. And the crazy thing about it was we never put icing on it. It was served hot, fresh from the oven. We would sometimes have ice cream with it, but mostly we just poured fresh cold milk over it. And since there were six hungry kids in my family, it never got a chance to get cold. We ate it in one sitting!

Grandma Struewing’s Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup crisco

2 eggs

Beat until creamy. Then add:

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups sour milk or buttermilk

Beat together. Pour into greased and floured 9” x 13” pan. Bake 350° for about 40 minutes.

Good with ice cream or milk.


When it comes to the other father in my life, the father of my eight children, he loves pie more than any other dessert. So when we have our cookout for Father’s Day this Sunday, I’m going to make him his very favorite pie — a black raspberry pie! In getting ready for the Ice Cream Social I made over 180 pies in the last week (with the help of a lot of my friends!). But I only found 1 box of black raspberries in my freezer and they are hard to buy, so that pie is for Mike.

Mike’s Favorite Black Raspberry Pie

pastry for 2-crust pie

4 cups black raspberries

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons butter

Line 9” pie plate with pastry. Fill with raspberries. Mix sugar and flour and sprinkle over berries. Dot with butter. Adjust top crust. Make slit in top. Bake 375° 45-50 minutes.

By Fran DeWine