Recipe Mailbox: This cake has a secret

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Chocolate sauerkraut cake

Prep time: 35 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Serves 12

Tom Kassis of Carmichael remembered a chocolate sauerkraut cake recipe that was in the Mailbox many years ago. He was hoping we could track down this unusual recipe.

This is my dad’s recipe and the one featured in the Mailbox years ago. At ninety-four he doesn’t bake anymore, but he still enjoys telling stories of serving this delicious dessert to unsuspecting guests and their surprise when he revealed the secret ingredient.


½ cup butter, softened

1½ cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup water

¾ cup sauerkraut, drained, rinsed twice, squeezed dry and finely chopped

Chocolate frosting:

1 1/3 cups butter, softened

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

5½ cups powdered sugar

¼ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, mix well.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternating with the water. Stir in sauerkraut, mix well. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting: Beat butter, melted chocolate and vanilla in a bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar while continuing to beat well. Add milk and beat until smooth and fluffy. Frost cooled cake and serve.