Since there is nothing wrong with tradition, below is my "Make it, make it, make it" version...still good if you don't want to rock the boat. Friends have asked for the recipe, so it's my pleasure to share:
Kelli's (Formerly Helen's) Chocolate Cake
(Our family friend Helen has passed, so I'm going to claim it now)
1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
2 c. flour (I use unbleached AP flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking soda
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla (I use a bit more...can't hurt)
1 c. boiling water
Mix all dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add oil, buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Mis until well combined (medium speed on mixer) Slowly add boiling water. Batter will be quite thin.
Pour into prepared 8 inch round pans or one 9x13. Bake at 350 degrees until center springs back or toothpick comes out clean.
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
2 (1 oz.) squares of unsweetened dchocolate
2 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (here again I dump in a few more) Love Guittard chocolate chips
1 c. butter softened
4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk or cream
2 tsp. vanilla
Place chocolate in top of double boiler, bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low cook until chocolate melts, stirring often. Remove from heat.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add chocolate, powdered sugar and remaining ingredients; beat until spreading consistency.
This makes a lot of frosting. Cut in half for one cake of make it all, it freezes well.
So my lesson is start...just start. Bake a cake from scratch. You won't be sorry and you'll start your own traditions, but never be afraid to think outside the box.