2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
4 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened chocolate, melted, cooled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans; set aside.
Combine all the ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat on low speed, scraping sides of bowl continually, for 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and beat for 3 minutes, scraping bowl down occasionally.
Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for a minute or so. Remove from pans to cook completely on wire rack.
When completely cooled, fill and frost with your favorite frosting recipe.
For cupcakes, put paper liners into 36 muffin cups. Fill each cup about 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove cupcakes from pans to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.