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).