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A Sweet Celebration with a Sister Across the World

As we near the end of a difficult year, we still find time to express gratitude and celebrate with one another, even from afar. It’s a lesson we’ve learned from women in our global community, after all!

Amela was a participant of the Signature Program in Bosnia & Herzegovina — and through it, was connected to Brita Fernandez-Schmidt. Amela shared this piece of wisdom as she also shared her cake recipe:

“Even during the war, while supplies are scarce, women manage to cook something and take care of their families, their children.  

“That is the enormous strength that women have, especially in difficult situations. There are not enough supplies during the war. What to eat? What to cook? But my mother would prepare household magic for us.” 

Brita and Amela standing together and mixing batter for a cake; Photo: Hazel Thompson
Brita Fernandez-Schmidt and her sister through the Women for Women International program, Amela bake a cake together. Photo credit: Hazel Thompson

This year, we invite you to join us in celebration with women like Amela and her mother with Amela's cake recipe!  


  • 175g all-purpose flour  

  • 1 tsp baking powder 

  • 1 tsp baking soda 

  • 150g powdered sugar 

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder 

  • 2 tbsp treacle or molasses 

  • 3 eggs 

  • 2/3 cup (150mL) warm milk 

  • 2/3 cup (150mL) vegetable oil 

  • 1 cup (250mL) heavy cream 

  • 180g cooking chocolate  

  • Jam of choice 


  1. Amela's Chocolate Cake. Photo: Hazel Thompson
    Amela's chocolate cake. Photo credit: Hazel Thompson

    Preheat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Grease two 7” round baking pans and line the pans with parchment paper.  

  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and powdered sugar.  

  3. In another, separate bowl, combine the treacle or molasses, eggs, oil, and warm milk.  

  4. Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir carefully to combine. Beat the mixture until batter is smooth and silky.  

  5. Pour the batter into the two baking pans. Put in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake springs back when pressed gently with a finger. Remove from oven and let cool before removing from tins.  

  6. When cool, spread chosen jam on top of one of the cakes. Place the other, clean cake on top, sandwiching the jam.  

  7. Prepare the topping. Pour heavy cream into a heatproof bowl and place it over a a pan of water that is simmering gently. Add chocolate to the cream, stirring continuously until chocolate melts and is incorporated.  

  8. Once the cream and chocolate is combined, remove from heat and immediately pour over the cake.  

  9. Let cake and topping cool together for at least 30 minutes, until it is slightly firm to the touch. 

Did you make Amela’s cake? Tag us and share your creation @womenforwomen!