This cake... let me tell you something about this cake. You have never tasted chocolate cake until you have tasted this chocolate cake. In my family, there is no other cake. Ever. Every birthday, every Valentine's day, every special event that called for a cake while I was growing up, was celebrated with this cake. It's that good. It is so chocolaty and moist, there is absolutely no compare.
Imagine my surprise the other day when my mom informed me that she was surprised this cake wasn't already on here. What do you mean it isn't on there? I asked. Of course it is. But it wasn't. I guess this recipe is so ingrained in my life, it never occurred to me that I had never actually posted it.
Well, let me correct that error right this second.
As you might imagine, my family's had this recipe for a long time (I'm no spring chicken, you know). My family is from Pennsylvania Dutch country, near Hershey, which makes sense since I'm pretty sure this recipe is an adaptation of Hershey's chocolate cake recipe. Audrey is my aunt and I guess my mom got the recipe from her since it's her name that's been attached to this recipe for as far back as I can remember; I have no idea where she got the recipe. I suppose it's fairly irrelevant at this point. All I know is that this is the best chocolate cake ever. Oh wait, I said that already.
The first step is to sift together the dry ingredients. I'm not normally a stickler for this kind of thing, but cocoa powder can be lumpy.
Then mix together the wet ingredients. Brew a cup of black coffee and have it on stand by. Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour and cocoa mixture first and then add the coffee last.
This batter will be exceptionally thin. I guess that's what makes for such a moist cake.
Pour the batter into two greased and parchment lined (cut to fit the bottom of the pan to help the cake come out cleanly) 9" cake rounds. If you prefer not to make a layer cake, simply pour into a 9" x 9" square pan with 3 " sides. Bake at 350 degrees for around 35-40 minutes for 9" rounds, closer to 50 minutes for the 9x9x3 cake. Bake until a tester in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
I like this best as a layer cake with frosting, but it is plenty good all by its little lonesome (that's how my mom usually serves it). Be sure to have a glass of milk or a cup of coffee on hand for this one; you're gonna need it!
Audrey's Chocolate Cake
Yield: one 2-layer 9" round cake or one 9"x9"x3" square cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa powder (do not use Dutch processed cocoa)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup black coffee
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Sift together the first batch of ingredients. Mix together the second batch of ingredients in a separate, smaller bowl. Add the wet to the dry and mix thoroughly. Lastly, add the coffee. The batter will be very thin.
Pour the batter into two prepared 9" cake rounds. Grease and place a cut-to-fit piece of parchment in the bottom of the pans. Or, you can bake the cake in one 9"x9"x3" pan. Bake 35-40 minutes for 9" rounds or 45-50 minutes for a 9"x9"x3" cake, or until a tester placed in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pan and frosting.
Yield: enough to frost one 9" 2-layer cake
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
8 TBS milk
Sift together the cocoa powder and sugar. Stir in the butter carefully, lest you end up with a cocoa/sugar cloud. Add milk. When evenly moist, whip with a mixer until smooth.