Is there anything quite like a really good piece of chocolate cake? Not to me. It’s simple, unpretentious, and always delicious — and did I mention, it’s made with chocolate? So when I had a few friends coming over for a little wine night in the backyard this last weekend, I decided to dust off my baking pans and make a cake from scratch, and of course I called my favorite baker — my sister — for a recipe referral. She had made me a divine chocolate layered cake for my birthday this last year, and I had decided that was the one I wanted to try. All she had to say was, “it’s so easy,” and I was sold. I made one mistake, letting it fully cool in the pan (rookie move), but when I called to commiserate, she replied, “just eat it with a spoon!” (I love you, Kristen!) And that’s exactly what we did. I might have even continued with the spoon-fed cake the next day. Oops. But seriously, because I think everyone should have an easy classic chocolate cake recipe on hand. Enjoy!
DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE (8-10 servings)
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark or regular cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
- Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.* Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired.)
*important step if you want a layered cake; otherwise, eat it with a spoon!
CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (about 2 cups)
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa or HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Beat butter in medium bowl.
- Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed).
- Stir in vanilla.
*Recipe adapted from Hershey’s.