This moist, delicious cake from Good Housekeeping Step by Step Cookbook is also one of the easiest I've ever made. Whenever I need a chocolate cake this is the recipe I use. Pair it with the Peanut Butter Frosting to get Rose's favorite combination. Go with the Chocolate and Mint for the birthday cake I remember so fondly from childhood. Or come up with your own.
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans or 10-inch Bundt pan. (I frequently make this in a 9 x 13-inch pan, baking it for 35-40 minutes.) Dust pans with cocoa.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
In medium bowl, with wire whisk, mix buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until blended. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Divide batter between prepared layers or pour into Bundt pan; spread evenly. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes for 9-layers or about 40 minutes for Bundt cake. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run thin knife around layers to loosen from side of pan. Or, if using Bundt pan, run tip of knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert onto racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare frosting of your choice. Place one layer, rounded side down, on cake plate. With narrow metal spatula, spread 2/3 cup frosting over layer. Top with second layer, rounded side up. Spread remaining frosting over side and top of cake. Makes 16 servings.