I love this cake! I first made it for my daughter’s fifth birthday party this past May, and since then it has become my favorite chocolate cake. It is soft, light, and very moist. It is also an unfussy cake, it doesn’t need icing, but it’s delicious with it too.
I found the original recipe in an old Good Housekeeping cookbook, but I have made several changes to it: once I only had a little bit of milk left so I used water instead, and another time I didn’t have caster sugar but I did have the powdered kind. Refined sugar is very expensive here in Pakistan, in comparison to the regular one, and that one is very grainy, with square little crystals that don’t dissolve very well, so I don’t use it for baking. The changes that I made out of necessity have improved the cake in my opinion, and now it’s the only way I make it.
2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups icing sugar
1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients: the flour, the cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
Mix the milk and the vanilla extract in a small bowl. Measure the water and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and the butter, until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the flour mixture to the butter and eggs mixture, alternating with the liquids, making sure that you begin and end with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides the bowl, and keep beating until the batter is smooth.
Pour the mixture into a prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.