Ice Water Cake is definitely a family favorite! It was my Grandma Jack’s favorite cake and, while I found the recipe in my Grandma Jackie’s recipe tin, it was actually from my Grandpa Jack’s mother, my Great-Grandma Swan. I didn’t even realize how big of a staple cake this was in our family until I took a bite and immediately went back in my memory to many childhood birthday parties. This was THE cake that I remember growing up. There is something very unique about its flavor, but even more so, it’s texture. It must come from the ice water and the way it is mixed in.
One major note, the ingredient photo above shows a bar of Baker’s chocolate but it is German’s Sweet Chocolate. It is very important that you use UNSWEETENED chocolate. Not sweet chocolate. Not semi-sweet chocolate. Only UNSWEETENED chocolate. Luckily, I was FaceTiming with my mom while I was making this and she caught it. But I didn’t have any unsweetened chocolate (which can be tricky to find). No worries – if you have unsweetened Hershey’s chocolate cocoa on hand, you can easily make your own. To make 1 ounce, simply stir together 3 Tablespoons of cocoa with 1 Tablespoon of oil or shortening. If using shortening, you’ll want to microwave it first to melt it. To make three ounces for this recipe, of course, simply stir 9 Tablespoons cocoa with 3 Tablespoons of oil or shortening.
Grandma’s recipe calls for baking the cake in a 13″ x 9″ tray but you can also bake it in two cake rounds to make a layered cake which is what I did. I might affect your cooking time. It extended mine by about five minutes. As long as you checking your cake by inserting a toothpick or skewer you should be good.
Whether you’re baking the cake in a tray or in round cake tins, you’re gonna want some frosting. Actually, this cake is good enough, you might not need it! But if you DO want it, Grandma suggesting making a batch of Million Dollar Fudge (recipe coming) and adding powered sugar to it until you get the right consistency. Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand to make that, so I used this recipe for Cocoa Fudge Frosting.