Julia My-Best-Friend-Johnson:
You Can Smell the Sugar on my Skin Chocolate Cake &
My Husband Murdered my Lover Chocolate Icing

Our first Byrdcliffe Gourmet comes straight from the Byrdcliffe Journal, transcribed lovingly by Session I writer Julia Johnson of Los Angeles California.  Julia spent her time at Byrdcliffe working on a novel, filling the never-ending cookie jar, getting chased by bears and generally being best friend to one-and-all.

You Can Smell the Sugar on my Skin Chocolate Cake 

4 cups Flour
4 cups Granulated Sugar
1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Buttermilk
1 tbsp. Vanilla
1 cup Butter (2 sticks)
1 cup Oil
2 cups Water
4 Large Eggs

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
1. Prepare 3-4  9″ cake pans, line bottoms with parchment or wax paper and grease
2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, oil and water. Heat until butter is melted; set aside to cool.
3. In a large bow, combine sugar, cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Sift together, set aside.
4. In a smallish bowl, combine buttermilk and vanilla.
5. Pour butter mixture into sugar mixture, blend.
6. Crack eggs in a small bowl, whisk and add to butter/sugar mixture.
7. Pour batterinto pans, bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle come out clean.

My Husband Murdered My Lover Chocolate Icing

16 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Carnation Milk (evaporated, not sweetened condensed)
1 cup Butter
2 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar

Melt chips and butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add milk and sugar. Beat until thickened. Refrigerate. Apply to cake.

Recommend bringing a friend along for shielding if walking in the woods after making this recipe.

Julia Johnson is a novelist currently living in Los Angeles California.  For more information about the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, please visit

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