I had some milk that was about to go bad. It was beyond drinkable, but it wasn't lumpy and gross. In the old days, when refrigeration was unreliable, sour milk meant cake. So, I headed to some of my older cookbooks. I found this cake recipe in The American Woman's Cook Book by Ruth Berolzheimer. It was the perfect answer. I changed up the recipe a bit (of course). It called for boiling water, but I thought perhaps a coffee-like addition would help the flavor. I don't drink coffee, though, so I used Postum, a grain based beverage that I would never in a million years drink, but love in baked goods. (How's that for an off-handed recommendation!)
The cake was moist and delicious...with no hint of the milk that I used. One word of advice, though...definitely use cupcake liners when you make these. I learned that the hard way. I almost ended up making cake balls out of half of the cupcakes. Instead, we had some mighty misshapen little cakes.
I threw some store bought coconut pecan frosting on top. The cakes were not the mild Germans Chocolate cake that usually goes with that frosting, but they were good enough. My kids ate them with gusto.
Sour Milk Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from The American Woman's Cook Book)
1 cup lard (or butter or shortening)
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup boiling water (or Postum or coffee)
9 Tbsp cocoa
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour milk (can use buttermilk)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Cream lard and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to the egg mixture alternately with the sour milk. Slowly add the boiling water and mix until smooth. Scoop into cupcake liners (24) and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until done (20-30 minutes). Frost as desired.