Perfect Chocolate Cake

Perfect Chocolate Cake   

1 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 cups boiling water

1 cup butter, softened

2 ½ cups sugar

4 eggs

2 ¾ cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking  powder

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp vanilla

Combine cocoa and water; stir until smooth.  Set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes.  Adds, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.  Do not overbeat.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.  Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes;  remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Batter may also be cooked in a parchment paper lined 13x9 pan along with 12 cupcakes.  Cook the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes and the 13x9 cake 30-35 minutes.  

            Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

½ cup butter, softened

3 cups powered sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

4-5 T. cream

Beat butter in an electric mixer until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, cocoa and salt.  Carefully combine.  Add vanilla.  Add cream a little at a time until the frosting is moistened.  Beat until smooth.  More cream may be added until the frosting reaches spreading consistency.