While it takes slightly longer to prepare this recipe than a box mix, the resulting moist, delicious cake makes it VERY worth the little extra time. I consider this 'perfect' chocolate cake. This cake is excellent with both with Butter Cream Icing (Buttercream Frosting) and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (the dark flavor version). (I use Decorator Buttercream Icing when I'm decorating the cake.) I love how the leftovers are still moist even a day or two later. (I store my loosely covered with plastic wrap.) My father adores this cake with Butter Cream Icing (Buttercream Frosting) on it. For his birthday, Father's Day etc. I make him cupcakes with the icing on them and individually wrap them. He keeps them in his freezer for when he wants "a piece of cake". He claims they are as good as when they are fresh. (Even though it isn't where I got the recipe from so I can't vouch for it, reviewers have said it is the recipe on the Hershey's cocoa can. I would recommend using their Special Dark Cocoa if possible.)
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans or one 13x9 inch pan.
- In large mixer bowl, stir together dry ingredients.
- Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Stir in boiling water by hand (batter will be thin). NOTE: I have tried it with 1/2 cup, 2/3 cup and 3/4 cup boiling water and we prefer it with less than 1 cup water. I usually use between 2/3 & 3/4 cups. The cake is still very moist but it doesn't seem to "fall" as much as it cools. This might have to do with our high humidity or brand of flour or other factors so I don't know if it will work for everyone.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round 9-inch pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Do not use 8-inch pans or the batter will overflow.).
- Because they have a tendency to overflow if you fill them more than 2/3 full, I usually get about 27-28 cupcakes per batch. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes.
- Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire racks.
- Please note: baking cocoa isn't hot chocolate drink mix! Baking cocoa contains no sugar and it is found on the baking aisle. Chocolate drink mixes that you add to milk or water to drink WILL NOT work in this recipe.