first lady recipes

Make Some Boozey Chocolate Cake With Betty Ford!

That is Betty Ford on the left, holding baby Willow. She looks so young!Who can forget this classic Thanksgiving liquor cake recipe from First Lady Betty Ford? Our dearly departed Juli Weiner wrote this up several Thanksgivings ago, and we still reprint it every year, even though now she makes Harry Potter slash fiction photo-comics for Vanity Fair:

Here is one for the “chocoholics,” starring Betty Ford! It’s a Chocolate Icebox Dessert, and while it SOUNDS racist, that is just because of all the liquor.

Grab the following:

6 eggs
1 angel food cake
12 oz. chocolate chips
4 tb. of sugar
6 tb. of water
2 ts. vanilla
1 ts. salt
2 c. whipping cream

12 steps to dessert fun:

Get a cake pan, it should measure 9 x 9, so it should look like a square. Line it with “wax paper,” which people… buy.. at.. hardware stores (?). Cut up the angel food cake, use a spoon or plastic spatula or some dull edge—NO ONE LIKES A PROBLEM—and place it in the pan. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks until they have reached a Bellini-like coloring and consistency.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over water. Ask someone what a double boiler is. Have that person boil the chocolate. Squeeze that person’s waist inappropriately, wink, and walk out of the room to lie down. Using your hands to make sure the floor is still there, come back to the kitchen and add sugar and water and mix, and then add in egg yolks too. Beat it awhile more, just beat it until you feel like you’re losing control, and then sit for awhile and come back and beat it some more and then let it cool. “Just be cool,” you’ll say aloud, “to the dessert.”

Add vanilla and salt, get the person who found the boiler and ask them why this is the single most complicated recipe on Earth. You’re not even HUNGRY. You just ate yesterday. Mix again, beat the egg whites and fold them into the chocolate and then add the whip cream, which you also should have beaten, because you have to do everything. Everything’s on your shoulders, all the time, just like this constant weight. Spread the frosting around the cake part and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Sleep slumped up against the refrigerator, so you’ll be able to tell if anything goes wrong.


About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne
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  1. tiger_tree

    The photographic quality seems to say Hoover administration, were it not for those floor tiles, which place it squarely in 1974.

    1. elviouslyqueer

      The truly horrible interior design aesthetic of the 1970s explains volumes about why Betty drank so damn much. Is all I'm saying.

    2. Chet Kincaid

      Hey Youngs, that photo obviously isn't from the 70s. That is not what either of them looked or dressed like in the 70s, and their kids were all teens or young adults by then.

      1. Jukesgrrl

        Correctamundo, Kreskin. A quick trip to the Wikipedia places it in 1953. And I'll take the flower-print chairs, thank you.

  2. Texan_Bulldog

    Gerald wasn't bad looking. (I think this means that I need to either drink a lot less or a lot more!)

        1. StillGoinGreen

          Better linky thingy or STFU! Or not. I'm probably not gonna get all worked up about not seeing GF play basketball when I am QUITE sure that my mother has "SP's Alaska" recorded on DVR for all of us to see on Indian-killin Day. Dear Baby Jesus with a rifle – just shoot me before tomorrow!!

          1. StillGoinGreen

            I used the "busted water heater" for last year's Christmas party. I think I'll just walk in and state, "Hello everyone, Sarah Palin is a cunt and I want to watch football. Where's the pea salad?"

          2. Lascauxcaveman

            I usually arrive later than most of the gang at my mom's and say loudly, "Geez, you guys. How come you don't have the game on?"

            All the men in the room make a relived sigh and join me in front of the tube. They're all too polite to be the one to be stone cold just turnin' on the TV; so they're counting on me. It's a family tradition.

    1. Terry

      Their kids are nice looking, too. Steven Ford is/was an actor and was on the soap opera "The Young and the Restless" for a few years.

  3. MistaEko

    A diet steeped in Chocolate Icebox cake is why, when Gerald Ford was eaten by wolves, he was found delicious.

  4. Gratuitous World

    "Gerald was never again allowed to hold the children after the prior Thanksgiving, when GF confused the infant with a football and started throwing it around the backyard." It was a simpler time.

  5. SorosBot

    A nice reminder that in ancient times before I was alive, a Republican could be President and not be horrible and evil, but kind of OK and not all that bad.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      They needed the nice ones to pardon the horrible evil ones. The modern GOP has since given up that pretense and allows the horrible evil ones to pardon each other.

    2. mereoblivion

      It helped if his wife had a clinic named after her. (But if life is a cabaret, old chum, how did Liza Minelli end up there?)

  6. elviouslyqueer

    I call bullshit on this recipe. Betty wouldn't be caught dead submitting anything that didn't include at least 4 phenobarbs and a bottle of gin.

  7. weejee

    And now you know Betty's secret about Gerry and Airplane Stairs?

    That could make a great band name, at least for the band. Get totally loaded, go to the gig, and after the lights come up just fall all over the stage. If one of the band members had Julie's legs no one would notice.

  8. horsedreamer_1

    Graydon Carter is so wasted on Xanax & Scotch he has no idea who works for him, so Juli's been skirting detection.

  9. V572625694

    Not to mention the karmic damage to Wonkette staff alumni from just being snarky about every fucken thing. First meeting at the new job: "Are you trying to bore us to death with this Powerpoint, or just torture us slowly, with the stoopid? Also."

  10. Midway117

    What's with Gerry and Betty's unAmerican small dining table? And each of those kids better have their own bathroom or I'm calling "European-style Socialism" in that house.

    1. marionetta

      Make it all the time. Cheat and use Dream whip, laced with whatever liqueur haven't drunk yet.

      Kids love it. Makes em quiet.

    2. Tundra Grifter

      My Mom always made it in a roll – the cookies were stacked, as it were, like coins. Yes, then covered over and sliced cross-wise.

      Somehow it's easier in real life than this brief description depicts the process…

  11. Oblios_Cap

    Our dearly departed Juli Weiner wrote this up several Thanksgivings ago, and we still reprint it every year

    Great! Now all I need to do is play "Alice's Restaurant " and all of my Thanksgiving traditions will be completed.

    1. OkieDokieDog

      Yes, nothing says American Thanksgiving like "Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
      KILL, KILL." And I started jumpin up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL," and
      he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
      yelling, "KILL, KILL." And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
      sent me down the hall, said, "You're our boy."

      I heard this twice last Sunday on 2 different radio stations.

  12. Guppy06

    For the Muslim communists:

    6 eggs
    1 angel food cake
    340 g chocolate chips
    50 g of sugar
    90 mL of water
    10 mL vanilla
    6 g salt
    480 mL whipping cream

    Be sure to chant "Death to America!" while doing the aforementioned beating. Add the tears of the baby Jesus to taste.

    (Why, yes, I am bored.)

  13. Jerri

    When the rest of the family is thanking the lord for various career and family happiness bestowed upon them this year, I'll be thanking Sky Daddy for Wonkette and these Thanksgiving recipes.

  14. x111e7thst

    If you have some of elviouslyqueer's Betty Ford phenobarb it is possible you can stay passed out till next week.

  15. Steverino247

    I've met the kid sitting in the chair. Nice guy. Loves football. It would appear his parents did a good job raising him. And Gerald didn't send me to Vietnam when it collapsed like Nixon would have, so I've gotta love him.

  16. sanantonerose

    How very Revolutionary Road. I want to go back in time and abort myself just looking at that picture.

  17. transfatz

    That is a photo of hell. Those are some of the most miserable looking people I've ever seen. They're all dressed up for the "empty plate" family dinner. Forever.

  18. ThePerfesser

    When Jerry first got elected to Congress, the Fords moved to Shirlington….those little garden apartments just south of Glebe Road. Looks like that's where the picture was taken.

    I'm Jack's age – and have never been involved in partisan politics – but have had the pleasure of meeting Jerry and Betty and all of the kids. Not a bit of phoniness or pretension in any of them. Good people.

  19. Tundra Grifter

    A real lush would put the angelfood cake in a large bowl, pour Hershey's Chocolate Sauce over it, then add ReddiWhip from the can, sprinkle with chocolate chips and then eat the whole damn thing.

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