This chocolate cake has more of a milk chocolate, rather than dark chocolate flavor, making it perfect for kids. It's simple to put together, and bakes up into a moist but easy-to-slice cake. It's perfect for layers or cupcakes, or served right from a 9" x 13" pan. For a snack cake version, add a cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter. For a more grown-up taste, add a teaspoon of espresso powder.In this cake recipe natural unsweetened cocoa or Dutch-process; both work well. The Dutch-process cake will be darker in color and slightly less sweet.
This cake will be tender and moist. It makes a good layer cake, cupcakes, or eat-out-of-the-pan cake, with a fine crumb that you can pick up with the back of your fork.
King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour:- 2 1/4 Cups
Baking powder:- 1 1/2 Tsp
Baking soda:- 1/2 Tsp
Salt:- 1/2 Tsp
Unsweetened cocoa:- 3/4 Cup
Granulated sugar:- 1 3/4 Cups
Unsalted butter, very soft:- 1/2 Cup (1 stick)
Vegetable oil:- 1/3 Cup
Vanilla extract:- 1 Tsp
Milk:- 1 Cup
Coffee or water:- 1/2 Cup
Eggs:- 4 Large
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour your choice of pan(s): one 9" x 13" pan, two 9" round pans, three 8" round pans, or the wells of two muffin tins. You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.
2)Place a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Measure in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Sift/shake the dry ingredients through the strainer into a mixing bowl, to eliminate any lumps.
3)Add the butter and mix at low speed for 1 minutes. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sand.
4)Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water, and add all at once. Mix for 1 minute at low speed, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds more.
5)Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between additions.
6)Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, and mix for 1 minute more. The batter will be thin.
7)Transfer the batter to the prepared pan of your choice. For layers, divide the batter among the pans. Smooth out the tops of the layers with an offset spatula or the back of a tablespoon. For cupcakes, scoop by the heaping 1/4 cup into the prepared muffin tins.
8)Bake for 34 minutes for a 9" x 13" pan; 28 to 30 minutes for 9" layers; 24 to 26 minutes for 8" layers, or 21 to 23 minutes for cupcakes.
9)The cake is done when the top springs back when very lightly touched in the center, and the edges just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
10)Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack to cool before removing it from the pan.
The butter in this recipe needs to be very soft. You can soften butter by placing the sticks, still in their wrappers, in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes. If you can leave a dent in the butter with a gentle touch, it's ready to use.
To warm the milk before adding it, heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the vanilla after the milk is warm, then add all of the liquid to the recipe at once.
Never frost a cake until it's completely cool. For tips on frosting a cake, go to our cake decorating class.
The volume of this batter is 5 3/4 cups. It will rise quite a bit during baking. The weight of the batter is 3 pounds, 1 ounce. If you're weighing out layers, put 1 pound, 8 1/2 ounces in each 9" layer, or 1 pound in each 8" layer.