Chocolate cake

Cake recipe:

Ingredients

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¾ cups good cocoa powder, such as Valrhona

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken

½ cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

Step 2

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and mix until combined. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add the wet indgredients to the dry ones. Slowly add the coffee and stir just enough to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for another 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. (Not to worry, the top will sink a little in the center.)

Step 3

With a serrated knife, carefully slice the top layer of the cake off. This will create a flat surface for stacking purposes. Place one layer, cut side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream on the top only. Place the second layer on top, cut side down, and spread the frosting evenly first on the sides and then on the top of the cake.

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Frosting recipe:

Ingredients

2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3-4 cups confectioners' sugar

¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or dutch process)

3-5 tablespoons heavy cream

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation

Step 1

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy (about 2 minutes).

Step 2

Add confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 full minute.

Step 3

If frosting is too thin add 1/4 cups more confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder. If too thick add another tablespoon of heavy cream.