- 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.
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.
Let cool in the pan on a rack, then carefully turn the cake out. Just before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Serve with very cold milk!
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.