This is another winner from Marcy Goldman's A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking.
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups flat cola soda or warm mild coffee
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3/4 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup water, cola, or half and half
20–30 gold chocolate coins
mini plastic dreidels
Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease two 9" layer pans and line them with parchment-paper circles.
In a large mixing bowl, blend the sugar and oil. Add the eggs and vanilla and combine until the mixture is well blended. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Fold them into the wet, and mix, drizzling in the cola as the mixture blends. If using an electric mixer, use the slow speed and mix for 3 minutes, scraping sides and bottom once to incorporate all the ingredients. This is a thin batter. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
To prepare icing, cream together the melted chocolate, shortening, butter and vanilla with the cocoa and 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar. Add the remaining confectioners' sugar and whip on high speed, adding a bit of water, cola or half and half to get a light, fluffy consistency.
To decorate, place a layer on a cardboard circle. Ice with about 1/2 inch of frosting. Cover with the second layer and ice the sides first, then the top. Coat sides with sprinkles, and garnish the bottom edge with gold-covered coins. Garnish the top with coins, and place some miniature dreidels in the center if you wish, or Chanukah candles.
Makes 12-16 servings.
This recipe appeared in “What’s Cooking with Sheilah Kaufman,” an online column on jwmag.org from 2002-2010. Kaufman, the author of 26 cookbooks, teaches “fearless and fussless” techniques for elegant cooking in classes throughout the country. Contact her at www.cookingwithsheilah.com.