Jane Sauce Takes the Cake


Jane sauce on chocolate cake with strawberries

It makes everything better.

Chocolate is revered in my family. My aunt gets a Whitman’s sampler for Christmas every year. My mom keeps a bag of Hersey’s miniatures in her kitchen at all times. My 88-year-old grandmother refuses to quit eating it.

That’s why Jane Sauce holds a special place in the family cookbook (which does not, in fact, exist yet). It’s a recipe that’s more than 60 years old, but we’ve actually only been making it since 1998.

The story goes that my grandma’s friend Jane Zimmerman would bring this fabulous chocolate sauce to every social gathering. But when pressed for the recipe, she kept mum. “If I share it, then no one will invite me to dinner any more,” she claimed. It wasn’t until my grandma and grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary that she finally shared the Jane Sauce recipe as a gift. And we’ve been enjoying it ever since!

We usually eat Jane Sauce over ice cream (it goes especially well with peppermint ice cream!). But for my brother’s birthday this year, my mom made this scrumptious chocolate-strawberry cake from scratch and drizzled some Jane Sauce on top for extra chocolaty goodness. It was superb! Try it for yourself and add a little extra something to any dessert.

Jane's Chocolate Sauce

Jane's Chocolate Sauce


  • 4 one-ounce squares of bitter or unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter. Keep on a low flame.
  2. Very gradually, add the sugar while stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract, then slowly add the half and half.
  3. Put the baking powder in a separate small bowl and add about 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture to it. Add the rest of the mixture slowly as you stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Serve warm or store covered in fridge for up to one week.


Grandma Carol and Aunt Nancy demonstrating their enthusiasm for chocolate, circa 2008

1 Comment


about 5 years ago

It doesn't get better than that. Yum. You captured it perfectly!


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