Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines? This is the dilemma I faced standing in the baking aisle at the grocery store. My mom made store box cakes all the time. They are pretty much full proof for the novice cook. I've baked both. Neither is particularly spectacular, but there is an advantage to having a quick box cake handy in the cupboard. Although, honestly they taste sugary, a little airy, and a bit chemically. Also, the texture is so light it almost seems like there is nothing there.
I really want a rich cake with some substance to it. So after a few trial and errors I've come up with this recipe that seems to be pretty full proof and consistent. I hope you enjoy. (If you are looking for a comparison of store bought versus home made there is a good summary at the Ktchn called: Make Or Bake? Cake Mixes vs. Homemade.)
350 Degrees F
Butter and flour two 8 inch round baking pans.
It's cake. Really, you have to ask? Well, o.k. Typically chocolate cake is about 150 calories per ounce of serving which includes the frosting. A slice could easily be 500-600 calories. So watch it!
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting Recipe Link.
I prefer to use my stand mixer for this recipe, but you can use a hand mixer just as easily.
One nice thing about this cake is that the top doesn't rise too rounded, so that if you layer it you rarely have to cut off any of the top of the cake.
There are a couple of tricks to frosting a layered cake. First, put a bit of frosting down on your plate to help stabilize the first layer of cake. Secondly, you should do a light round of frosting around the cake first. This is usually called the crumb frosting. Then do the next layer of frosting after it has set up a bit.
If you are in a hurry, you can just dump all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix for 3 minutes.
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
You should have a bit of frosting left over.