Maryann Mantegna’s chocolate/vanilla pound cake recipe

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Maryann Mantegna with actor-son Joe Mantegna. | Facebook

MOM’S CHOCOLATE/VANILLA POUND CAKE, courtesy of son Ron Mantegna.

(How she did it. You can modify.)

  • Mix 3½ cups of all-purpose flour with 2½ teaspoons of baking powder. (She would do this on a sheet of wax paper, making sure both are mixed.)
  • In a large bowl, cream 2 sticks of softened Imperial margarine with 2 cups of granulated sugar, using electric mixer. (I’ve used butter.)
  • Add 3 beaten eggs (large), using mixer.
  • Add 1½ cups of milk (I’ve done it with skim milk — I’m sure it’s better with whole milk).
  • Add 1½ teaspoons of vanilla.
  • Slowly add the flour to this mixture, beating continually until smooth. You want about the consistency of pancake batter.
  • Drop large spoonfuls of this “vanilla” mixture to your cake pan in one layer —about half of the mixture.
  • To the other half of the mixture, swirl in 5-7 tablespoons of Hershey’s Chocolate (what you use on ice cream). Make this as dark as you like.
  • Drop large spoonfuls of this “chocolate” mixture on top of the layer already in the pan. Your final cake is two-toned – half-vanilla, half-chocolate.
  • I generally cook this at 350-degrees for about 90 minutes — you can check to see when a toothpick put in the cake comes out mostly clean. Ovens vary — and different days cook differently (and I think it depends on how much chocolate you use). Check it out after one hour…but most likely it will take longer.

When cake is done, carefully flip it out of the pan, and make your frosting.

RELATED STORY: Maryann Mantegna, mom of Joe Mantegna of ‘Criminal Minds,’ dies, April 12, 2017


Put about 2 cups of powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.

Sprinkle in some cocoa — just guess at it because you can always add more.

Add one pat of butter (soften it, but don’t make it liquid).

  • Mix powdered sugar with butter, using a fork.
  • Add a LITTLE hot coffee at first, to get things going.
  • Add cocoa to taste (until the mixture looks as nice and dark as you like).
  • Add more coffee or cocoa as needed to get the right consistency and look. Should be a bit soft and easy to spread — it will get harder as it dries.
  • Wait for the cake to cool down, or the frosting will drip down the sides.

That’s it. Can’t say it’s exactly the same as Mom’s, but it’s close.

Good luck…and love to all!

Ron Mantegna

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