I swear by it, hands down, best chocolate cake recipe ever! If you size the recipe to 1.5, its the perfect amount for three 8" cakes. TIP: substitute the 1.5 cups of boiling water to 1.5 cups of hot coffee it brings out the chocolate flavor even more.
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Best White Cake - From Add a Pinch
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup vegetable shortening
3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.
Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
American Buttercream - My version
This one is my recipe and it is enough to frost and cover an 8" three layer cake.
1 lb. of unsalted butter room temperature
6 cups of powdered sugar (sifted)
6 teaspoons of good vanilla extract
a. Beat butter and sugar until completely incorporated.
b. Add vanilla and beat on high for a good 4 minutes. Stop and scrape down sides occasionally.
c. Beat until very pale in color.
(pic cred: pioneer woman)
1. Height: Make sure your cake is at least three layers high so that you get a nice tall professional looking cake. It looks better when you have a small cake that is tall, rather than a larger cake that is short. I try to make my cakes at least 4" high.
2. Size: I think the perfect size for a cake is an 8" three layer round. It feeds about 20-25 depending on the height. It is best to cut your layers evenly and apply frosting evenly to get a level top.
3. Clean Edges: Get your ProFroster ready! What makes a cake look elegant and professional is having straight edges even with minimal or no decorations.
Cake Cred: Tracey's Delights Australia
7 Easy Cake Decorating Ideas
We took the same cake and decorated it 7 DIFFERENT WAYS!
Now for the fun part!
Now we get to the fun part! Below are some design ideas that are simple, elegant and easy to do! I used the same cake to create these variations to show you that there are endless possibilities. You can combine several of these designs into one cake, but I wanted to highlight a simple cake with little or no effort.
Sprinkle / Confetti Cake
This is a really simple cake that you can do for any home birthday, or other celebration. I took a heart cookie cutter, you can use a star, a number (for birthday), snowflake, or any other design you like. I placed it in the middle and put sprinkles inside of the shape and removed the shape carefully. You can also do this in reverse, cut out a shape out of paper, place it on the cake and put sprinkles on the entire top of the cake and once you lift the paper, the center will be clear of sprinkles and will embody the shape of the paper.
I found some organic raspberries in my fridge and decided that I would decorate using them. You cannot wash raspberries otherwise they will wilt on the cake. So make sure when you do this, they are organic. I placed a pile in the center, and a few at the bottom on the cake stand, and lastly dusted some powdered sugar on top! Viola! A bakery worthy cake made by you!
I bought a box of ready made meringues for a couple dollars at the local supermarket and placed them on top of the cake evenly. Again, another simple but elegant cake. This can be done with any color meringue, pink, yellow, alternating, or putting them closer together! Play around with it and see what you like!
I also bought a handful of french macarons from the local market and placed them in a pile on one side. Easy, simple, elegant, still able to WOW a dinner table. You can also dust this with some powdered sugar on top and will add another dimension of texture.
I had some blueberries and strawberries in my fridge, I dipped them in a small container of granulated sugar, and it gave the strawberries a crystal shimmer. Again, just pile some in the center or off to the side, and put a couple at the bottom on the cake stand.
SO EASY! I found some greeting cards in my drawer, I cut them out in the desired shape. I taped them to a wooden skewer and placed them into the cake at varying heights. Super easy, cost nearly nothing, but looks like a Pinterest worthy cake!
This was my favorite version of this cake. I cut some stems of the roses and of the fern. I dipped the cut flower tips into melted chocolate (or you can wrap the tips in floral tape, as to not contaminate the cake with the flowers), and really this was just a matter of playing with it. I placed them in different ways several times until I got the look that I wanted. I wanted some to stick outside of the cake boundaries to give the cake more dimension which is what the fern did. Easy, fun, amazing looking cake!