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This extra-tall (three-layer) offering makes a very impressive birthday cake.
4 1/2 cups (1 pound, 2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 cups (1 pound, 5 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (1 5/8 ounces) cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons almond extract
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) vinegar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (7 3/4 ounces) vegetable oil
3 cups (24 ounces) cold water
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, beat together the vanilla, almond extract, vinegar, vegetable oil and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, beating till well-combined.
Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Divide the batter among the pans. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cakes test done. Remove the cakes from the oven, and cool completely before frosting.
To fill and frost: Fill between layers with chocolate pudding or mousse, or raspberry jam or raspberry mousse. Frost with chocolate icing made by melting 2 cups chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons butter, or melting 2 cups chocolate chips with 1 1/4 cups heavy cream.