recipe

This fluffy, chocolaty cake is a blank canvas for your favorite frosting and decorations.

safety
  • Uses the oven
  • Uses a knife
difficulty
  • Intermediate
time
  • 1 hour, plus 1 hour cooling time
yield
  • Serves 16 to 20

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Prepare Ingredients

Vegetable oil spray
1½ cups (7½ ounces)
all-purpose flour
1½ cups (10½ ounces)
sugar
1 cup (3 ounces)
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon
baking powder
½ teaspoon
baking soda
½ teaspoon
salt
1½ cups (12 ounces)
milk
¾ cup
vegetable oil
2
large eggs
2 teaspoons
vanilla extract

Gather Baking Equipment

2
(9-inch) round metal cake pans
2
(9-inch) round pieces of parchment paper
2
bowls (1 large, 1 medium)
Whisk
Rubber spatula
Toothpick
Oven mitts
Cooling rack
Butter knife
Chef's knife
1
 
Vegetable oil spray

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray inside bottom and sides of each 9-inch round cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Line each cake pan with 9-inch round piece of parchment paper.

 
2
 
1½ cups (7½ ounces)
all-purpose flour
1½ cups (10½ ounces)
sugar
1 cup (3 ounces)
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon
baking powder
½ teaspoon
baking soda
½ teaspoon
salt

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

 
3
 
1½ cups (12 ounces)
milk
¾ cup
vegetable oil
2
large eggs
2 teaspoons
vanilla extract

In large bowl, whisk together milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

 
4
 

Add flour mixture to liquid mixture and use rubber spatula to stir until just combined and no dry flour is visible. Do not overmix.

 
5
 

Use rubber spatula to divide batter evenly between parchment-lined cake pans and smooth tops. (Spread batter out to edges of each pan to create even layer.)

 
6
 

Place cake pans in oven. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of each cake comes out clean, 34 to 36 minutes.

 
7
 
Vanilla Frosting or your favorite store-bought frosting

Use oven mitts to remove cake pans from oven (ask an adult for help). Place cake pans on cooling rack and let cakes cool completely in pans, about 1 hour.

 
8
 

Run butter knife around edge of each cake to loosen cake from pan (see photos, below). Remove cakes from their pans and discard parchment paper. Assemble and frost cake (click here to learn how to frost a layer cake). Cut cake into wedges and serve.

Remove cake from pan 1

Run butter knife around edge of cake to release cake from pan.

Place cooling rack on top of cake pan. Hold bottom of cake pan with 1 hand and place other hand on top of cooling rack. Turn over pan so cake falls onto rack. Remove cake pan.

Remove Cake From Pan 2

Carefully peel parchment paper away from cake and discard. Place cutting board or serving platter on top of cake and flip cake right side up onto cutting board or serving platter.

Remove cooling rack.