Black Beauty Cake

Serves: 10Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 1 hour 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups butter
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1⅓ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 round cake pans (9").
  • In a bowl, mix together the cocoa and boiling water. Let cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder on low speed for 1 minute. In a small bowl, lightly beat together the eggs and vanilla. Beat in ¼ cup of the cocoa mixture. Add the butter and the remaining cocoa to the flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1½ minutes. Scrape the bowl occasionally. Add the egg-cocoa mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bowl before each addition. Pour into the pans.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
  • To make the frosting, melt the butter over low heat in a double boiler. Sift together the cornstarch, granulated sugar, and cocoa into a bowl, then mix into the melted butter. Add the milk and stir until completely blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to stir and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the confectioners’ sugar and blend thoroughly. Frost cake.