I did some searching and found stories about how this cake was passed down through the generations.

First of all, for it to be called Black Magic Cake implies it may have been used for dark or sinister reasons, what could a cake possibly be used as a Black Magic Tool? Voodoo uses black magic, and there are plenty of stories about using the cake and hiding drugs in it in order to make someone a zombie. The story is told in the movie THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, the subject would be knocked out buried, then come back to life and rescued by their new master, whom they would owe their life to

Story number 1-In New Orleans, Madame Duveaux came up with this recipe to use on her enemies. She would cook the cake and offer it to her victims, who immediately become suspicious and would force Duveaux to eat it first. She did, and nothing happened. So the victims would drink spirits and enjoy cake with Madame Duveaux and they would eventually meet their demise. They were never seen again. No one knows how many people the Madame did this to.

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Story number 2-Salem, Massachusettes, There was a single woman who was approaching her 30s and everyone shunned her because she was considered to be an old maid. Day after day, she never met the man that she wanted to be married to. There was a gentleman caller that came around when she was in her early 20s. He told his friends he met the woman he wanted to be with the rest of his life. Then she served him a piece of cake and he died. Everyone thought she poisoned him, but no one knew why, this was a man that was in love with her. It became known as Black Magic Cake after he died from it. Over the years she made her own cleaners and grew her own food which no one knew. It was simple combination of chemicals. People thought she was casting spells. Her chicken soup could cure you of the common cold. The woman was invited to make a cake for the big town dance. When she brought it no one knew which was hers, so everyone stayed away from the chocolate cake. The next day most of the town died from poisoning. After years of picking on her, she poisoned everyone else's food and those that ate it passed away.

Story number 3-Those are both fiction. My friend Mary found this in an old church cookbook from Marylyn Hanson from years ago. Which makes it kind of humorous that a Black Magic Cake was found in an old church cookbook. Mary says it is the most asked for dessert that she makes, so she wanted to share it.

Here's the recipe:

BLACK MAGIC CAKE

1 3/4 cup flour                     2 eggs
2 cups sugar       1 cup black coffee
3/4 cup cocoa        1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp baking soda        1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder       1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS IN BOWL. ADD REMAINING ITEMS AND BEAT WITH MIXER
BATTER WILL BE THIN, BUT THE CAKE STAYS MOIST.
BAKE AT 350 DEGREES ABOUT 35 TO 40 MINUTES IN AN OBLONG 9X 13 PAN
LAYERS-BAKE 30-35 MINUTES