Appalachian Food

Cocoa Bread and Peaches

cocoa bread with peaches

Back last August Melissa Vaughn and I were emailing about Chocolate Gravy and she wrote:

“When I found the gravy recipe I was actually looking to see if you had written anything about Cocoa Bread. My dad remembers my grandma making cocoa bread when he was growing up. She would make it as a snack for when the kids got home from school. And she always baked it in a cast iron skillet. My dad has commented on that bread many times, but we have yet to find a recipe similar to what he remembers. Would you happen to know of a recipe for Cocoa Bread? Just curious… thanks!”

As soon as I read Melissa’s email I thought of a recipe for Cocoa Bread with Peaches that I cut out of a “Southern Living” magazine years ago. I pasted it in my recipe notebook but never got around to actually trying it. I kept the recipe because I love anything chocolate and Pap always liked peaches with his cake.

After reading Melissa’s email I finally made the recipe…it was worth the wait.

Cocoa Bread with Peaches

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sorghum syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together water, butter, sorghum, and sugar. Let cool slightly. Stir in eggs.

Sift remaining ingredients together; add to water mixture and stir till smooth.

Bake in a greased and floured (or use parchment paper) in a 8 inch square baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or till done.

Stewed Peaches

  • 3 cups sliced peaches (or one 16 oz. bag of frozen peaches)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Add all ingredients to saucepot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve cake sliced with peaches.

I’m not sure if the cake is similar to the one Melissa’s father remembers, but it sure is good! Next time I make it I’m going to try baking it in a cast iron pan like her father remembered.


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  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    June 22, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    That combination looks delicious. I buy big cans of Greer Peaches to make Cobblers with because they are ripened just right. I think they are from South Carolina too.

    I opened the door for Carolyn today and she had a big bag of “Meals on Wheels” for me. She is James Mcleans sister and lives in the same holler. Those Meals on Wheels were Frozen were for Bill Albriton, before he got so feeble. They take care of each other. I called Lauralea and told her. She said she would get ahold of Jennifer for me.

    I knew Carloyn, James, and Johnny’s Mother and Dad, Della and Saul. He was a Veteran of WW11. I may be some Kin to them, I don’t know for sure, but they’re all good friends. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 22, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    That looks good! On December 1st 2019 I weighed 217 lbs and couldn’t tie my shoes without holding my breath. If I got down on the ground, I couldn’t get up. I was having trouble getting into 36″ waist pants. I had had enough! I had to lose weight. So I went on a diet. Not counting calories. Not a keto diet. Not Weight Watchers. Not the Adkins or Paleo diet. My own diet.
    It dawned on me that you can’t eat certain things to help you lose weight. The only way to lose weight is to not eat. The point is to burn more calories than you take in. I more or less understand how the human body works and that is the only plausible way to lose weight. So, I severely cut back on my intake. I still eat what I like but not nearly as much of it. It is coming up on 7 months and this morning I weighed myself. I weighed 173. That is 44 lbs! My goal was 5 lbs. a month. I have exceeded that. But my goal was to lose down to 165. That is still a ways away. I’m not at my goal yet but I can see it from here.
    44 lbs. might not be a record for 7 months but I needed to do it the way I did. I didn’t go to a doctor and get handed a diet plan. I didn’t have to spent extra money to buy prepared meals or special ingredients. In fact I have cut my grocery bill in half.
    That being said, that looks goood! I think I will try it. I don’t have sorghum syrup so I will have to wait until I go out. Unless, there is a substitute for it.
    Don’t worry. I’m still on my diet. It might take me eight days to eat it so I might have to freeze part of it. I don’t really like cooked peaches but I love the syrup off of them. Let is soak down into the cake a little bit then go to town on it.

    PS: Is “go to town” a phrase you are familiar with?

    • Reply
      June 27, 2020 at 9:49 am

      Ed-yes “go to town’ is a phrase we use often! I need to do a post about it 🙂

  • Reply
    June 22, 2020 at 11:22 am

    It is like gingerbread but with chocolate instead of ginger.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 22, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Well, in all my years I do not recall eating or seeing or hearing about using cocoa to make bread. But it makes a lot of sense to use it as a flavoring in a variety ways..

    By the way, I am impressed with your memory. Remembering the recipe as soon as you read the recipe is good but being able to lay your hands on it is great. I can’t do either with my tools or hardware or materials. But I don’t think any of us readers should be surprised at you.

    How is your cookbook coming along?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 22, 2020 at 6:39 am

    I thought it was great, Tip. It was fitting for a Fathers Day Dinner yesterday! The home canned peaches were a fitting touch!

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