For the Cake:
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (natural)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (can use light)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 cup strawberry jam (I used homemade)
For the Frosting:
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons or ¾ cup), melted
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural)
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
4 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round piece of parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
4. Add the egg mixture into the flour mixture; beat on medium speed for one minute (or combine by hand to prevent over-mixing). Whisk in the boiling water (the batter will become thin). Pour into prepared pans.
5. Bake 17-22 minutes, or until a cake tester (or a wooden toothpick) inserted into the center of each cake, comes out clean.
6. Once the cakes are out of the oven, with a [dry] clean oven mitt (preferably a cloth one), gently press down onto the cakes, to make them level (this will allow you to skip a whole step in trimming the cakes).
7. Cool cakes for 15 minutes in the freezer. Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), combine the melted butter and cocoa powder powder. Alternatively mix in the milk and powdered sugar, beating (on medium speed) to spreading consistency. Add a tablespoon of milk, if needed. Mix in vanilla and light corn syrup.
8. Remove cakes from pans, and place on wire racks.
9. Place one cake on a cake stand (bottom side up) and spread half of the strawberry jam, being sure not to spread to the edges of the cake. Place the second cake on top of the first (bottom side up), and spread the remaining half of the jam onto the cake. Place the third cake on top (bottom side up).
10. Place the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes (this will make frosting the cake much easier).
11. Using an off-set spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the layer cake. Let the frosting set in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes; then, spread a thick coat over the base coat.
Cake adapted from Hershey’s & Martha Stewart