There isn’t much better to chocoholics than a rich chocolate cake. Food Network offered a series of cake recipes for each month of the year in the January 2013 issue of their magazine. All of the fabulous creations start with either their basic vanilla cake or basic chocolate cake recipes.
Whip up a double or triple batch of the basic cake. Unfrosted layers freeze very well. Wrap them in plastic wrap and stack them in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature for about two hours when you’re ready to frost.
The chocolate cake is a great canvas for both easy and complex finishes. It’s perfect left simple with a dusting of powdered sugar and a layer of slices of sweet, juicy, fresh, in-season strawberries. It is also the perfect cake to layer into something fancy.
Make sure to full fat sour cream. Lighter versions, while better for your waistline, will change the texture and consistency of the cake. Splurge on good quality cocoa powder for the best results.
Food Network’s Basic Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make sure it is real vanilla extract and not imitation flavor)
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray two 9-inch-round cake pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper on the bottom.
- Whisk cocoa powder with 1 ½ cups of bowling water until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Add the eggs, oil, sour cream and vanilla.
- Beat with a mixer on medium high until smooth, about a minute.
- Reduce the speed and mix in the cocoa powder in a slow stream until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowls and finish mixing with a spatula.
- Divide the batter between the two pans. Tape pans on the counter to help the batter distribute evenly. It will be thin.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of cakes comes out clean. This should take 30 to 40 minutes.
- Let cool 10 minutes.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cakes and turn the cakes out onto racks to finish cooling.
- Remove the parchment paper.
- Trip the tops of cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level for layering if you prefer.