This picture shows the cake baked in 9-inch rounds and filled and frosted with espresso buttercream.
The name is true but we turn to this easy chocolate cake recipe for its incredibly rich flavor, its deep, dark color and incomparably moist texture – and because it works every time. Every. Time. You don’t even need an electric mixer; it’s that simple! As a bonus, it happens to be vegan as well, containing no eggs or dairy.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ⅔ cup sifted natural cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups room-temperature water
- ⅔ cup flavorless vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
- 2 tablespoons apple cider or distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Position rack in the middle of your oven. Preheat to 350˚ F. Coat the insides of two 9-inch by 2-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line bottoms with parchment rounds, then spray parchment. (Or coat the inside of 9-inch by 13-inch pan, line bottom with parchment, then spray parchment.)
- Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together water, oil, vinegar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pour wet over dry and whisk until combined and smooth. Divide batter evenly in prepared pans. Firmly tap bottom of pans on work surface to dislodge any bubbles.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes for the 9-inch rounds (30 to 35 minutes for the 9 by 13-inch pan) or until a toothpick shows a few moist crumbs. Cool on rack for about 10 minutes, then unmold, peel off parchment, and place cakes directly on racks to cool completely. Cakes are ready to fill and frost. Alternatively, place layers on cardboard rounds and double wrap in plastic wrap; store at room temperature and assemble your cake with fillings and frostings within 24 hours.
- Sift the cocoa before measuring to remove any lumps or you won’t get the proper measurement.
- Natural cocoa, as opposed to Dutch-processed cocoa, will give you the best results in this recipe.