Moist Chocolate Cake

This is now my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I made this cake a couple of weeks ago for Papa's birthday with a peanut butter frosting and a week ago for my youngest daughter's birthday with chocolate frosting. It was exceptionally moist both times. I love chocolate and I'm picky about my chocolate cake - I don't like it to taste too bitter or too much like cocoa or too sweet - this one surprised me and is now at the very top of my list. So I'm sharing it!

Now, don't let the fact that it has no eggs scare you. Or the fact that it has vinegar in it. The vinegar and the baking soda react to make this cake super light. I'm telling you this cake is divine. And easy.

Moist Chocolate Cake (frosting recipes follow)

2 cups white sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan or 2 square or 2 round cake pans.

Stir together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix together the wet ingredients, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix / blend until well blended.

Pour into prepared pans and bake a 9 x 13 for 40 minutes or until set in the middle.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before trying to remove cake from the pans.

Peanut Butter Frosting

I'm not a huge peanut butter fan. I'm about chocolate. But for Papa's birthday this past week, I knew he'd want something besides just chocolate cake. So I decided to liven his up and make it different with a homemade peanut butter frosting. My mom said it was the best frosting she'd had - she usually scrapes off any frosting, but loved this one.

1/2 cup butter - room temperature (1 stick)
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (the frosting will be as good as the peanut butter you use)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2+ Tablespoons milk

Cream butter and peanut butter in a mixer until well blended. Gradually add confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk. Keep adding milk gradually until the frosting reaches the consistency that you desire - thick to spread or thin to drizzle.

Chocolate Frosting

1/4 - 1/2 cup butter - room temperature
2 cups confectioners sugar
3-4 Tablespoons chocolate cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2+ Tablespoons milk

Cream butter in a mixer - gradually add confectioners sugar, cocoa, vanilla and milk. Use less cocoa for a light chocolate flavor - more for a heavier flavor. Keep adding milk gradually until the frosting reaches the consistency that you desire.

You can make a vanilla icing by using this same recipe and omitting the cocoa powder. For mine, I sometimes add a tiny splash (1/8 teaspoon) of orange or lemon extract to make it different.