This recipe is from General Foods, 1938, and was in an ad that Helen had cut out of a magazine and paper-clipped in her cook book. There was a picture of the cake in color, and I found a copy of this ad on the web in an old Life magazine dated September 19, 1938. I cannot get it to post properly so if you search the recipe, minus Helen's name, the link will come up and you can see what it looks like. I wrote the recipe down verbatim as it was in the ad I found that Helen had saved.
Helen's General Foods Butterscotch Pecan Cake
2 cups sifted Swan's Down cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3 squares unsweetened Baker's chocolate, melted
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour, measure, and add soda and sift three times. cream butter thoroughly; add sugar gradually and cream together till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; then add melted chocolate. Add flour, alterantely with milk, a small amount at a time, beating well till smooth. Add vanilla. Bake in two greased 9" round cake pans or three greased 8" pans in moderate oven* 25-30 minutes. Cool. SpreadButterscotch Fudge Frosting between layers and on tops and sides. Double recipe for three 10" layers. *350 degrees is a moderate oven
Butterscotch Fudge Frosting
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup top milk*
1/2 cup water
Add 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar to 1/2 cup butter and cok over low flame, stirring constantly, until mixture darkens slightly (5-6 minutes). Remove from fire and add 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup top milk*, and 1/2 cup water. Return to fire and cook to 232 degrees, without stirring, or until small amount of mixture forms a very soft ball in cold water. Remove from fire. Cool to lukewarm (110 degrees), then beat until of right consistency to spread. If necessary, place over hot water to keep soft while spreading. Makes enough frosting to vover tops and sides of two 9" layers. Double for three 10" layers.
If desired, add 1/2 cup chopped pecans to part of the frosting and use as filling. Spread remaining frosting on tops and sides of cake and decorate top with pecan halves.
*Top milk is milk that rises to the top with the cream with fresh milk. You may want to use half and half in this recipe for a richer cake unless you are lucky enough to have your own fresh milk supply.