1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light Karo syrup (see note)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 cup sour milk (see note)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour an 8-inch cast-iron skillet. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat. Add syrup and vanilla extract, if using. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon, if using. Alternate adding sifted ingredients and milk to butter-sugar mixture. Pour batter into prepared skillet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.
When done, the center will shake a little and appear not to be quite done, but the outside rim will be baked. A wooden pick inserted in the center will come out clean. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
NOTES: You can substitute a cane syrup, for the Karo.
To make sour milk, combine 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of 1 percent fat or 2 percent fat milk and allow to sit for a few minutes at room temperature. (Sometimes this mixture is called clabbered milk.) Or, blend 1 cup of nonfat milk with 2 to 3 tablespoons of plain, nonfat yogurt. You can also substitute buttermilk.