Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour your choice of pan(s): one 9" x 13" pan, two 9" round pans, three 8" round pans, or the wells of two muffin tins. You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.
1. Place a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Measure in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Sift/shake the dry ingredients through the strainer into a mixing bowl, to eliminate any lumps.
2. Add the butter and mix at low speed for 1 minutes. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sand.
3. Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water, and add all at once. Mix for 1 minute at low speed, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds more.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between additions.
5. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, and mix for 1 minute more. The batter will be thin.
6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan of your choice. For layers, divide the batter among the pans. Smooth out the tops of the layers with an offset spatula or the back of a tablespoon. For cupcakes, scoop by the heaping 1/4 cup into the prepared muffin tins.
7. Bake for 34 minutes for a 9" x 13" pan; 28 to 30 minutes for 9" layers; 24 to 26 minutes for 8" layers, or 21 to 23 minutes for cupcakes.
8. The cake is done when the top springs back when very lightly touched in the center, and the edges just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
9. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack to cool before removing it from the pan.
Hi there! I think the Italian Buttercream or Quick Buttercream Frosting would be great choices, and look like what might have been used in the picture. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF