No Nomsense: World’s Best Chocolate Cake

Leslie Kalohi via Flickr.
Follow these easy steps for some seriously delicious chocolate cake.

The holidays are approaching, and it’s important to have a classic dessert to bring to any and all holiday fêtes (because who wants to celebrate with store bought cookies?) That instant classic recipe is here—the world’s best chocolate cake.

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups cold water
1 cup corn oil
1 tbs vanilla extract

½ cup + 2 tbs butter at room temperature
3+cups of powdered sugar
¼+ cup of milk
1 ¼ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup cocoa powder

1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional- 3 tbs powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter three nine-inch round cake pans. Lightly coat them with flour. Sift together the first five ingredients in  a medium bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the water, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk in dry ingredients.  Divide the mixture among the pans. Cook in the middle racks of the oven. Place two pans on the upper rack and one on the lower rack for the first 12 minutes of cooking. Then switch the pans so the pans on the upper rack cook on the bottom and vice versa. Cook for another 13 minutes (25 minutes total), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow them to cool in their pans on cooling racks until they are at room temperature. In the meantime, prepare the frosting.

Beat butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in 3 cups powdered sugar. Beat in ¼ cup milk and vanilla. Beat in cocoa. Add milk or sugar as needed until mixture is thick but spreadable, the texture of whipped cream cheese. Whip for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Keep in fridge until about 30 minutes before assembling cake.

Beat cream with an electric mixer until light and soft peaks form. Add vanilla and if desired, sugar, and mix gently.

Dust the tops of the cakes with flour. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan. Place a plate on top of the pan and invert the pan and plate together. Pull off the pan. Place the serving plate on top of the cake. Invert both plates. Remove the top plate. Remove the next two cakes in a similar fasion, but leave them upside down on after taking away the pan. Spread half of the filling on top of the first layer of cake, with a slightly thicker layer on the edges of the cake to account for the concave cake top. Flip another layer of cake on top. Spread the remaining filling on the top of this layer. Flip the last layer of cake on this, and frost top and sides. Refrigerate the cake until serving. Serves 12.