THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE
- 2 2/3 cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) strong coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the bottoms and sides of the pans with melted butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Set the mixer to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping thoroughly between each addition.
Alternately add the flour and sour cream mixtures to the butter mixture in two batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
Scrape down the bowl after each addition.
Gradually pour in the coffee.
Scrape down the bowl and beat until thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans or muffin tins.
For 9-inch cake pans, bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean; for half-sheet pans, bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean; for cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes or until they spring back after being touched.
Allow the cakes to cool for 20 minutes.
Once the cake is cool, release it from its pan by running a metal spatula or knife around the sides of the pan.
Flip the cake over onto another pan or cake board and peel away the layer of parchment.