Wider Horizons

Sue B. was a woman who posted on a cooking forum about a chocolate cake recipe she liked but was having coco powdertrouble with. She liked how quick and simple it was, but it had a tendency to fall in the middle. Since I love tinkering with recipes I took it and reworked it to fix the problem and thus the Sue B. cake was born. That was back in 1999.

The internet picked it up, and it went viral. Google Sue B.’s Chocolate Cake and you will see what I mean. You can find my original version at the finecooking.com website.

The beauty of this cake is its simplicity. It’s as quick and easy as a cake mix, but it tastes much better. Even if you’re not a baker, you can make this cake and it will be delicious.


¾ cups cocoa powder (the darker the better)

¾ cups boiling water


1 cup plain yogurt, or buttermilk, or sour cream

1 cup oil

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla


2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cake pans (two 9-inch round, or one 9x13, or cupcake pans).
2. Stir group 1 ingredients together. Set aside.
3. Stir group 2 ingredients together. Set aside.
4. Stir group 3 ingredients together.
5. Stir group 3 into group 2. Stir in group 1.
6. Bake at 350F until cake springs back when lightly pressed, about 30 minutes for 9-inch rounds and 35 minutes for a 9x13 pan. For cupcakes start checking after 15 minutes.

Wider Horizons
Jennifer Davis
Original Publication Date: