Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Glossy Chocolate Icing
This is not a molten-middle, blacker-than-night chocolate cake. It's the kind of cake grandma used to make, with "Betty Crocker" looks and one-of-kind flavor.
Test Kitchen Tip
To give the icing for this cake a chance to set up, make it before starting in on the cake.
Preheat oven to 350° with rack in middle position. Coat two 8-inch-round cake pans with nonstick spray.
Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Combine water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee, and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined—a few lumps are okay. Divide batter among pans (3 cups in each), then bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 35–40 min. Cool cakes for 15 minutes on a rack, then invert onto the rack. Leave cakes upside down to cool completely (this flattens domed cakes).
To assemble, set one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 1 cup Glossy Chocolate Icing. Top with second cake layer, then spread remaining icing over top and sides.
How to Build and Frost a Layer Cake
Check out our quick video for step-by-step instructions on How to Build and Frost a Perfect Layer Cake.
Combine wet ingredients with dry, whisking just to combine. Do not overmix or cake could be tough.
When a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, they're done. Cool cakes completely.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 61%
Sodium 501mg 20%
Carbs 109g 36%
Fiber 4g 16%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.