I have tried different recipes for chocolate cake, but many years ago I found one to beat out all others. I use this recipe for any other recipe that calls for a chocolate cake. Today, I will share (and show) you how I make my very best chocolate cake. I'll blog separately for the different cakes I make with this recipe.
There are a lot of steps in the preparation of this yummy recipe. However, this is the world of baking--ingredients need to be measured more carefully, and steps need to be followed for a beautiful and delicious result. And spending the time is sooo worth it for this particular recipe!
The below recipe is for the plain cake only; I promise to post an awesome frosting recipe that goes perfectly with this cake. Also, as you look at my pictures, please note that I have doubled the recipe. I bake two 9" rounds and three 8" rounds to make five layers for two different cakes. I usually make one kind of cake with one set of layers, and freeze the other set of layers for making the other kind of cake (I'll post that recipe, too!). Here goes...
My Very Best Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use organic white-wheat pastry flour)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
Frosting recipe: Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then prepare two 9" round cake pans, or three 8" round cake pans.
First, cut out rounds of waxed paper to fit in the bottoms of the pans. Rip off two (or three) sheets of waxed paper from the roll, then stack them together. Then, turn the cake pan upside down on the stack of waxed paper.
I press my kitchen shears along the edge of the cake pan and drag the point all the way around the stacked sheets. This leaves a line which I use as a guide for cutting. When I do this, the sheets of waxed paper stick together a bit, and I can pick them up and cut out the three-ply circles all at once.
I then place the waxed paper rounds in the bottoms of the pans to make sure they fit. I trim them if needed.
Once the waxed paper rounds are cut for the pans, grease the bottoms of the pans with coconut oil (or use your own method of greasing).
Then, place a round of waxed paper on the bottom of each pan, pressing to make it stick.
Once the waxed paper is placed in the pans, grease and flour the bottoms and sides of the pans.
Prep all the ingredients: crack the eggs into a bowl or measuring cup, and measure the vanilla into a prep bowl.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Measure out the sugar into another bowl, and measure out the milk into another bowl with a spout, or into a large measuring cup.
In a mixing bowl (I use my Bosch Universal Mixer), beat butter on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar (I pour it in a slow stream), beating on medium speed until well combined (3-4 minutes). Scrape sides of bowl; continue beating on medium speed for two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about one minute total). Beat in vanilla.
Add flour mixture and milk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition. Then, beat on medium to high speed for about 20 more seconds.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans for ten minutes; remove cakes from pans onto cooling racks.
Carefully peel off waxed paper. I make sure I don't pull the paper up; I gently peel it back. Allow cakes to cool thoroughly on a wire rack, then frost with your favorite frosting.
My cake is ready to frost!
Pair this with: Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
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