Easy Million Dollar Chocolate Cake

Well, our Baby Grayson isn’t technically a baby anymore. He just turned one this weekend and we threw him a big party, which of course, called for a yummy cake! I shied away from cupcakes as we’ve done that for Gabriel two years in a row, and knew exactly which recipe I would use for the cake. I pulled it out of my grandmama’s “Mountain Heritage Recipes” cookbook that her little Methodist church in the Georgia mountains put together in 1998. It’s full of delicious, authentically Southern gems and includes some of my favorite recipes.

So, this one is by Carolyn Barrett and is called “Million Dollar Chocolate Cake.” I imagine it got it’s name because it is delicious, easy and is impossible to mess up, but I’d love to ask Mrs. Barrett what the real story behind the name is. For now, I’m happy to have a recipe for my kids’ birthday cakes!

Grayson loved the cake and ate a huge piece, but you couldn’t tell from his face! He was concentrating on enjoying it.

Million Dollar Chocolate Cake
2 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 stick butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. 
  • In a saucepan, mix water, vegetable oil, butter, and cocoa. 
  • Bring to a boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. 
  • Add this to the sugar and flour mixture and beat. 
  • Then add buttermilk, eggs, and soda. 
Put in a 13x9x2 greased and floured pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
4 tbs. milk
4 tbs. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter
1 lb. powdered sugar
Combine milk, cocoa, vanilla and butter and bring to a boil. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over top and side of cake.
My mom says that my grandmama said that the secret to perfectly frosted cakes is to ice them while they’re hot!

The party was a huge success and the weather held out for us – warm and no rain!

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. This is the third time I’ve been to your website. Thnx for posting more details.
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  3. Sbelieveit says:

    Did I miss something, apologies if so, but how can your baby just turn one but you’ve made him a cake two years in a row? Simply curious.

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