For the cake mix: Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, dry milk, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Store in a resealable bag in a cool dry place for up to 3 months until ready to use.
To bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment. Coat with cooking spray.
Whisk 1 1/4 cups water, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until well mixed and slightly frothy. Add the dry mix and whisk vigorously until well combined and smooth, about 50 strokes. Divide between the prepared cake pans. Bake until set and slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack right-side up to cool completely. Frost and decorate as desired.
For cupcakes: Place paper liners in pans for 24 cupcakes. Fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees F until puffed and a toothpick comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool completely before frosting.
We found that Carnation instant nonfat dry milk is more finely ground and dissolves in the cake batter better than other brands with larger granules. This mix also makes 24 cupcakes. Place paper liners in pans and fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees F until puffed and a toothpick comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool completely before frosting.
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