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Author Notes: I have made this cake so many times I feel as though I could do it blindfolded. Its foolproof, so simple and aways turns out perfectly. It's an old recipe from a Hershey's cocoa can, there is no creaming butter or multiple steps just put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat them together. I love butter in cakes but this one is just perfect without it. The only change I have made is that I add instant espresso to the boiling water. I like the way coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate. It makes an exceptional layer cake or cupcakes or even a sheet cake. —sdebrango
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa (I use hershey's) the recipe doesn't specify whether or not to use dutch or natural cocoa since its a hersheys recipe I use what they say to use.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (If you want to substitute melted butter for the oil its fine)
- 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
- 2 large eggs at room temperature and lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee (Optional but recommended)
- soft butter and flour to prep baking pans or you can use cooking spray
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 9" round baking pans, butter the bottom add a parchment round then butter bottom and sides and flour the pan or you can use cocoa powder instead of flour. If you are making cupcakes place liners in two 12 cup muffin tins. In large mixing bowl add your dry ingredients, flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder and whisk to combine. Now add the wet ingredients milk, oil,eggs and vanilla do not add the boiling water yet. With hand held mixer beat for 2 minutes. Now add the boiling water with optional espresso powder, beat just until combined. Pour into your prepared pans (the batter is quite thin) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cakes sit in pans for 10 minutes then invert onto cake rack to cool. Use your favorite frosting or ganache. This recipe will make 2 9 inch cakes or 24 cupcakes. If making cupcakes pour batter into lined cup 3/4 full, leave room for them to rise. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven, cake should spring back when lightly touched, Be careful not to over bake.