This is my very first attempt to make a cake (this can be baked in 2 9-in round pans for 30-35 minutes), and prior to this I did not know that all-purpose flour can be used to make a cake! Not only that, I was surprised to find the cake to be moist and spongy. Maybe the boiling water did the trick.
I did not have round pans then, so I used my muffin tins. It also had an advantage in that muffin liners (paper) make it easier to eat the cake. No slicing, no dish and fork to wash. After baking them, I cool them completely then place in sandwich bags and store in the fridge, ready as snack items anytime. I keep the frosting in the ziploc bag, squeezing it out as cake is consumed.
The kids have fun sprinkling the decors. My husband loves bringing a couple to work. It is such a big hit in the family.
I usually make the frosting first before the cake batter. And I boil the water and turn on the oven as I start measuring the dry ingredients. This is to maximize the effect of baking powder on the cake (once mixed with the wet ingredients, the dough should be baked within 30 minutes.)
I think the boiling water here interacting with the baking powder is responsible for the big holes of the cake, thereby making it spongy.
Recipe courtesy of Hershey's (I found it at the label, but below is a cut and paste from their site):
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
"PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING(recipe follows)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.
"PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.