My mother made this chocolate frosting for every birthday cake. It simply was what I knew as chocolate frosting growing up. By comparison the stuff that comes out of a can or on a commercially-made birthday cake seems overly sweet and lacking in chocolate flavor.
Like most recipes that are "keepers," this one is easy to make and uses ingredients that you probably have on hand, if you do any baking. One recipe is just enough to frost a small two layer cake. Any extra frosting keeps well in the refrigerator. It can also be made vegan by substituting margarine for butter. Try it on cupcakes!
(makes about 1 1/2 cups)
6 Tblsp cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
3 Tblsp cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tblsp butter
In a saucepan combine the cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar and a dash of salt. Add the boiling water and vanilla extract. Cook over med-low heat, stirring with a wire whisk until thick and smooth.
Remove from heat, add the butter and stir until glossy and smooth.
When the cake and the frosting are completely cooled, frost as desired. (If you are frosting a two-layer cake, try some raspberry preserves between the layers and use the frosting for the top and sides to stretch it. Otherwise, this makes just enough to put a thin layer over everything.)