this cake is not sour at all!


we are off to toronto for our family celebration, today!

because i have birthday on the brain this weekend, here is a recipe for birthday cake. now, this is not just any generic betty-crocker style baked dessert – no, this is a super-duper cake that i am unearthing from the depths of the family recipe vault.

mom used to make this cake for our birthday parties, when we were little. what makes this cake unique is that it features a secret ingredient: sauerkraut!

my fourth bday - i bet this was a sauerkraut cake!

i know!! how bizarre – you are right! and the funny thing is that i have never, ever liked sauerkraut…but i have always adored this cake. [tangent: did anybody else think that sauerkraut was actually spelled sour-kraut, when they were little? i totally did! hey – it tastes sour, we have a food called sour cream…made sense to me!].

sauerkraut chocolate cake


  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c strong coffee (can use instant)
  • 2/3 c sauerkraut (rinsed, drained, chopped)

[ok, the joke is on me. i have never actually made this cake, and just now, typing the recipe, i am incredulous that there is coffee in this cake!! i never knew! and how funny that i am recommending this cake when coffee and i are currently on the outs!].


combine first five ingredients in a large bowl. cream butter with electric mixer [yes, this recipe comes from the collection mom hand-wrote for me with basic-level instructions – much needed] at medium speed. gradually add sugar and eggs, one at a time. add vanilla. add liquid and dry ingredients alternately, beginning and ending with flour. stir in sauerkraut.

bake in two greased and waxed-paper lined 8-9″ pans [mom always used round] at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

fill and frost with chocolate satin frosting…

my fifth bday - i bet this was a sauerkraut chocolate cake!

chocolate satin frosting

  • 3 1/2 1 oz squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c butter or margarine (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

melt chocolate in large mixing bowl over hot water. remove from heat. with electric mixer, blend in sugar and water. beat in egg, then butter and vanilla. frosting will be thin at this point so place bowl in ice water. beat til of spreading consistency. [ok, to be honest, that sounds like a lot of work. mom, you were a dear woman to go to all this fuss for our birthday cakes – thank you!].

the brother's second bday - i bet this was a sauerkraut cake!

if we were celebrating dad’s 70th at home this weekend, maybe we could have convinced mom to revive the sauerkraut tradition!

are there any recipes that you love that have a weird ‘n’ wonderful secret ingredient? i have another cake recipe where one of the ingredients is COKE! it’s a pretty darn tasty cake, too!


today is also grey cup sunday (the canadian football league equivalent of the super bowl – take my word for it that it’s much less impressive than the super bowl extravaganza). the b.c. lions are taking on the winnipeg blue bombers. plus, it’s the 99th grey cup – that’s pretty cool!  i’ll cheer for winnipeg just because that is where gina lives – hey, that’s a good reason, right?!

favourite football player ever? me -> joe montana followed by dan marino.


november thankfulness:

(for saturday november 26): yesterday i was thankful for…dad!

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  • Johanna B  On November 28, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Favorite football player ever – Roger Staubach in his Dallas Cowboys quarterbacking days. Them was the days my friend.

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 28, 2011 at 11:38 am

      i bet my dad is reading your comment, going YUP! “the good ol’ days,” eh! i have always liked the cowboys, too.

  • Zo  On November 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I have heard of sauerkraut cake, but I’ve never tried it. This sounds like one of those “no one will know it’s healthy” type recipes. I’ve seen recipes that call for beets or avocado…and I’ve tried 7-up cake though.
    Hope it was a fun day!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      we enjoyed a fabulous day, thanks zo! details tomorrow! you know, i was thinking of jessica seinfeld and her cookbook of how to get more veggies into kids – this could work…until you smother the whole thing in satin frosting. somehow, i don’t think it then gets the mom seal of approval! 7up cake sounds neat! wonder if it tastes different from coke cake??…

  • Lisa  On November 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    How interesting! I’m definitely going to need to try this….although I’ll have to modify it for my grain-free lifestyle, but I think almond or coconut flour will work! I’m going to make a new batch of sour kraut (hehe) soon…so I’ll try it then!

    Have so much fun at your family celebration! There’s really nothing better in life than celebrating with family 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks, lisa!
      Yes – do let me know if you try a modification of the cake. Homemade ‘kraut??! I am impressed!!

  • Dorry  On November 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Definitely intrigued by the sauerkraut in the chocolate cake! My mother-in-law makes sugar cookies that have crushed up potato chips in them. They are crunchy and just the right amount of sweet/salty! Hope you are having a fabulous day!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

      oh, that mix of sweet and salty would be fabulous!! thanks for sharing that idea, dorry! it’s pouring rain here but i am thankful it is not snow or there is no way we’d be getting to toronto! happy sunday!

  • Gina Unger  On November 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

    GO BOMBERS, GO! Thanks for cheering for our team today, Cath!
    Have a happy birthday celebration with the family. I know it’ll be a special time together. Enjoy!
    The cake that I make all the time for b’days has BEETS and applesauce in it. I guess any vegetable or fruit type ingredient that makes the cake more moist works, eh?!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 27, 2011 at 9:07 am

      oh, that is neat about the beets cake, gina! yes – good point: it must be the veg that is key. and we can’t forget carrot cake! i saw that the bombers have not won since 1990??! time to fix that!

  • Stephanie  On November 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

    What a strange-sounding cake! I don’t I’d be brave enough to make it myself without tasting it first…but if I’m ever in your part of the world, feel free to make it for me and win me over!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 27, 2011 at 9:09 am

      i think the cake works because the sauerkraut pieces are so very tiny – you don’t get a big gob of it in one bite. um…if you ever visit, the chances of me baking for you are very very slim….just warning you now. however, i have about 10 lovely local coffee shops that we could go to and i will gladly BUY us our treats! 😀

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