We all need a good basic cake recipe and this is a good chocolate one. You can add special fillings, frostings, and flavors to make this basic recipe your own!
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat 2 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with circles of wax paper and spray the paper before adding batter.
In a small saucepan heat the butter, water, and oil just until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt using a wire whisk.
Whisk the milk, eggs, and vanilla into the lukewarm butter mixture. Add all at once to the flour/sugar mixture; whisk to blend.
Pour the batter equally into the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife or spatula around the edges to loosen cakes. Invert onto the wire racks, remove the paper, and allow to cool completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.