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three squares of chocolate frosted cake
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The Farmer's Daughter Cake

An easy vanilla cake topped with a unique old-fashioned chocolate icing that pours on top and firms up to form a delicious chocolate coating.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
cooling3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: farmers daughter cake, old fashioned cake recipe
Servings: 9 slices
Author: Katie Shaw



  • 2 eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cuo whole milk
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • tablespoons butter unsalted


Make the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center. Prepare an 8x8 or 9x9 square pan by spraying with non-sticking baking spray or coating in shortening this dusting with flour.
  • Beat the eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer until slightly lightened in color. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add half to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Then add the heavy cream and finally the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the top.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Flip out onto a cooling rack, turn the cake right side up, and cover with a clean tea towel. The cake will flatten as it cools. Cool completely before icing.

Make the Icing

  • Melt the chocolate, sugar, and milk in a small saucepan over medium low heat, until the sugar dissolves (rub the mixture between your fingers to make sure the sugar is no longer grainy). Remove from the heat before it boils, and set aside.
  • Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add a small amount of the chocolate mixture and stir into the yolks to temper them. Slowly add more chocolate, stirring continuously, until half of it is mixed into the eggs. Add the egg/ chocolate mixture back into the chocolate and mix until everything is combined.
  • Pour into a mixing bowl (if you have a stand mixer, use that bowl), and stir in the butter by hand. Allow to cool at room temperature, undisturbed, until completely cool.
  • Beat the icing with an electric mixer until it is smooth and shiny. It will become slightly lighter is color and stream down off the beater in ribbons. This will take about five minutes on high using a stand mixer, and ten with a hand mixer.

Ice the Cake

  • Place cake on a wire rack or cake stand on top of parchment paper to catch any icing drips.
  • Pour half of the icing in the center and along the edges of the cake. Wait one minute to let it run down the sides. Pour the remaining icing in the center and on any corners that were missed. It will smooth out on its own, but you can smooth it with a butter knife if you'd like.
  • Let the cake stand at room temperature for two hours until the icing is dry to the touch. Carefully transfer the cake to a cake stand or platter to cut and serve.


Substitute 1/4 teaspoon of the vanilla with almond or coconut extract for a different flavor.
Keep any leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic wrap on the counter; it will not disturb the icing.