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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate 'Butter Cream'

Chocolate cake with 'butter cream'

I make this recipe a lot as cupcakes (it makes one dozen) and it's since become my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. Rich and moist, you'll never miss the butter (I promise). Double the recipe and bake in two 9-inch round pans for a layer cake, and double the frosting to fill and frost.

Makes 12 cupcakes or one 9-inch cake

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (can use a mix of wheat and white flours)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease one 9-inch cake pan or line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Whisk together until smooth.

Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.

For the butter cream:

4 ounces unsweetened (or bittersweet) chocolate, chopped

3 cups confectioners' sugar

1 stick margarine, room temperature

2 to 3 tablespoons soy milk, plus more, if needed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat chocolate in a double boiler until melted. Let cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners' sugar, margarine, milk, vanilla and salt, and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low. Add the chocolate and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.

If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks.

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