Aunt Mattie's Chocolate Kraut Cake

Joshua E. Hageman

My Aunt Mattie Barrett died several years ago, and unfortunately, I did not get to know her well.  However, I have gotten to know her Chocolate Kraut Cake very well. 

Aunt Mattie always lived a modest life as a God-fearing lady.  People from all over knew of her great cooking, but none more than those in Del Rio, Tennessee.  I have heard stories of people just showing up when they knew Aunt Mattie would be cooking.  Every time there was a church function, people requested her Chocolate Kraut Cake.  This recipe was passed down to Aunt Mattie from her mother, Jesse, who got it from her mother.  Yet no one in my family can tell me exactly why kraut seemed like a good ingredient for chocolate cake or where the influence came from.   

2/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup kraut
¼ cup cocoa

Cream butter and sugar well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and milk.  Mix well.  Rinse kraut in hot water and press.  Chop kraut finely.  Add to batter.  Grease two, 9-inch pans.  Put half the batter into each pan and bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes.