Preparation time: 60 min
Cooking time: 30 min
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. red food coloring (equivalent to 1/4 cup or 2 bottles)
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour or 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vinegar
1) Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 9x1.5-inch round cake pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set pans aside. In a small bowl stir together cocoa powder and food coloring; set aside. In another small bowl stir together flour and salt; set aside.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition until combined. Beat in cocoas mixture. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low to medium speed
after each addition just until combined. Stir together baking soda and vinegar. Add to batter, mixing until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan(s).
3) Bake for 30-35 minutes for round pans, 30 minutes for 13x9x2-inch pan, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center(s) comes out clean. Cool layers in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans; cool thoroughly on wire racks. Or place the 13x9x2-inch cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly. Frost, cover and store cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Just a couple tips I learned from making it:
â€¢ Add either 2 tbsp. more cocoa or less food coloring, because the ratio they direct doesn't taste as chocolatey as it's supposed to.
â€¢ When combining the cocoa and food coloring, use a fork. You really have to work it in so the cocoa gets dyed. It's the whole secret to the cake, so make sure to do this step right.
â€¢ I used raspberry vinegar instead of regular, and it gave the cake a nice hint of raspberry â€” that's just a suggestion.