"My mother told me that her mother made this cake often during the Great Depression. Because of the few ingredients it was very quickly made for a treat or birthday. During WWII due to rationing of eggs and oil, this cake became extremely popular again for the ease of making and the simple ingredients. It has always been a family favorite and is still requested of and made often by my mom."
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients together very well at least 3 – 4 times:
2 c. cake flour
1 c. sugar
6 tbsp. cocoa
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
(Cake flour substitute: ¼ cup cornstarch + 1 ¾ cup flour = 2 cups cake flour)
To the dry ingredients add the wet that have been whisked together.
1 c. cold coffee (left over is fine or make a cup using instant coffee)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix by hand with a whisk or fold together till completely blended. Pour into greased and lightly floured 9x13 cake pan and bake approximately 30 minutes until done. (Test with cake tester or tooth pick.) When cake is cool, top with Continental Frosting.
In small sauce pan stir together 6 Tbsp. flour and 1 cup of milk. Heat until thickened, stirring with a whisk constantly ( to avoid lumps), when thickened remove from heat and cool.
Meanwhile have 2 sticks of butter (1 cup) softening to room temperature. When flour / milk mixture is cool add to the butter and whip. Slowly add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar. Continue to whip on high till frosting is light and fluffy.
Frost cake and top with a dusting of cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts or just enjoy as is.