Black Midnight Cake: A creative chocolate classic recipe for a spooky Halloween party (1941)

Black Midnight Cake vintage recipe

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Have a spooky Halloween party… and serve this Black Midnight Cake!

From 1941: It’s bewitching … this black “Midnight Cake” … just the thing for your gay Halloween festivities.

Strikingly dark and chocolaty — deliciously moist, tender and light — the recipe will be welcomed by thousands of women who are eager to learn how to make a perfect black Devil’s Food. It’s inexpensive, too. And you can mix it up in a jiffy. Snowy white icing makes a dazzling contrast.

Black Midnight Cake recipe for a spooky Halloween party (1941)

Vintage recipe for a spooky vintage Black Midnight cake

The cake will be a dark, dark chocolate cake that really looks black against a snowy white icing. All in all the perfect finale for even the most special occasion.

Black Midnight Cake vintage recipe

Black Midnight cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1-1/2 cups sifted Gold Medal "Kitchen-tested" flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or other flavoring)


  1. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, and cream until fluffy.
  2. Blend in well-beaten eggs.
  3. Slowly add hot water to cocoa and mix until smooth. Stir to dissolve completely.
  4. Sift flour, salt, soda, and baking powder together, and add to creamed mixture alternately with hot water and cocoa mixture.
  5. Blend in vanilla.
  6. Pour into an 8-inch square pan (2-1/2 inches deep) which has been greased and lined with paper.
  7. Bake 50 to 55 minutes in a moderate oven (350 F).
  8. Now for the frosting: Combine in top of a double boiler the egg white, sugar, cream of tartar, and water, and beat together just enough to completely blend ingredients.
  9. Place over rapidly boiling water, and beat with rotary beater until mixture is white and very light. (Icing is done when it barely holds its shape and is not runny as the beater is pulled out.)
  10. This takes 5 to 7 minutes depending on the size of boiler and vigor of beating.
  11. Remove from over hot water, and do not beat any more.
  12. Fold in the flavoring.
  13. Spread on the cake.


This frosting recipe makes a generous amount of icing for an 8-inch square cake.

Note: If icing becomes "grainy," add a few drops of lemon juice to make it satiny smooth again.

Fluffy marshmallow variation

Add 3 marshmallows, cut in quarters, to the icing immediately after removing it from heat. Stir until marshmallows are melted and icing is fluffy.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 488Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 340mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 1gSugar: 79gProtein: 4g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

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