For batter amounts and cooking times, see Cook's Note below; this recipe can be multiplied.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Stir together cocoa powder and boiling water in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms. Let cool.

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Stir together cocoa powder and boiling water in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms. Let cool.

  • Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs in a slow stream, mixing until batter is no longer slick.

  • Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Gradually whisk milk into reserved cocoa paste. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and cocoa mixtures. Divide among prepared pans.

  • Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack before inverting to remove. Peel off parchment paper. Reinvert onto the rack; let cool completely.

Cook's Notes

Batter amounts and cooking times for 2-inch-deep round pans: 6-inch: 2 cups, 35 minutes; 8-inch: 4 cups, 40 minutes; 10-inch: 6 cups, 50 minutes; 12-inch: 10 cups, 60 minutes; 14-inch: 16 cups, 70 minutes; 16-inch: 24 cups, 80 minutes; 18-inch: 32 cups, 90 minutes.

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