Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes

Chocolate Cake
Makes (1) 9x13 cake, 24 cupcakes or (2) 9-in round cakes

-1/2 C butter (one stick), room temperature

-1 1/2 C sugar

-2 eggs

-2 tsp. vanilla

-1/4 C cocoa powder (double this if you want a more intense dark chocolate flavor)

-2 C all-purpose flour

-1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

-1 tsp. salt

-1 1/4 C water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Cream together until fluffy, about a minute. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine evenly. 

2. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients and whisk together to incorporate them. If you want to sift them together you can, but I just give it a quick stir with a whisk to make sure all dry ingredients are incorporated. 

3. Pour half of the water into first wet mixture  Mix just until combine. Pour in half of dry mixture and mix just until combine. Pour the remaining half of water into bowl and mix until combine. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

4. Grease and flour baking pan or use cupcake liners. If using (2) round pans, I always line the bottom of pan with a circle of parchment paper to ensure that cakes can be easily removed from the pan.

Cupcakes: Fill liners 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Cake 9x13: Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes
(2) 9-in round cakes: Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

**Cakes are done with you touch the center of the cake and it springs back without leaving an indent of your finger. Or when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. I always bake the minimum time and then recheck it every minute or two until done. 

5. For round cakes and cupcakes: Remove pan(s) from oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Remove cake or cupcakes and transfer to a cooling rack. You can frost once cake is completely cooled.
    For 9x13 cake: Remove from oven and eat cake while warm or allow to cool completely in pan before frosting. 

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