Featherlight Chocolate Cake
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), plus more for the pan
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for the pan
- 1/2 cup good-quality cocoa powder, such as Valrhona or Droste
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups ice water
Serving suggestion: Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with milk
Arrange a rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar. One at a time, mix in the eggs, then the vanilla, occasionally scraping down the mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture; then 1/3 of the ice water. Repeat, mixing after each addition. Transfer the batter to the pan and bake until springy and dry, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Notes about the recipe: When I developed this recipe I was just looking for a good, reliable dark cocoa cake that could sit on the counter over the weekend and be enjoyed in slivers, craving by craving. This cake is really moist and keeps for days. I just finished one that's been hanging around the kitchen for 6 days! You could frost it with creamy white icing but it hardly needs it. My friend Lana's mom June was one of the best cooks I knew as a kid in the '60s and she did a cake by the same name, though the recipe handed down to me from her daughter is a bit different.