Black Beauty Cake

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

Serves: 10


  • 3⁄4 cup plus 5 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1⁄2 cups softened unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1 1⁄3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 round cake pans (9 inches).
  • In a bowl, mix together 3⁄4 cup cocoa and boiling water. Let cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together flour, 2 cups granulated sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder on low speed for 1 minute. In a small bowl, lightly beat together eggs and vanilla. Beat in 1⁄4 cup cocoa mixture. Add 1 cup butter and remaining cocoa mixture to the flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1⁄2 minutes. Scrape the bowl occasionally. Add 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.
  • Melt 1 1⁄2 cups butter over low heat in a double boiler. Sift cornstarch, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and 5 tablespoon cocoa into a bowl, then mix into the melted butter. Add 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 heat and let cool. Add the confectioners’ sugar and blend thoroughly. Frost cake.