It's really perfect cake — tasting deeply of chocolate, with dark, almost bitter notes that penetrate the whole bite. It isn't a dense fudgy flourless torte; it's a simple yet true chocolate cake, suitable for layering and frosting. Basically, it's the recipe you're looking for when you want a layer cake, a birthday cake for a budding chocolate-lover, a base for German chocolate cake, or any others in the host of reasons to make "chocolate cake" cake..
Chocolate Layer Cake
Makes three 9-inch round layers
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch round baking pans. (Or, instead of flour, you can use cocoa powder, to match the color of the cake.)
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Mix in boiling water. The batter will be quite thin. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of each cake comes out clean.
Set the pans on wire racks and cool for 10 minutes. Then, lightly run a knife around the inside of the pans to help the cake edges release. Flip the cake pans over, one by one, and tap firmly with the palms of your hands. Carefully lift up the cake pan; the cake should release easily. If it doesn't drop right out, drape with a warm wet towel while continuing to tap.
Cool the cake layers completely before frosting.
Looking for the icing recipe? I used a very basic cocoa buttercream for the cake in the photos (whip butter for several minutes with cocoa and powdered sugar, adjusting each until you get the flavor you want)