3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water
1 cup corn oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or butterscotch (more if desired)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter and flour baking pans.
Three 8″ or 9″ round cake pans (great for a three layered cake, or a two layered cake for the party and a single round reward to the baker)
One 9″x13″ Pyrex pan plus one round cake pan (see note on two layered cake above)
Two square/rectangular pans (a combination of 8″ square, 9″ square or 11″x7″ rectangular – two squares also makes a great layered cake)
One jelly roll pan (10″x15″ flat pan with 1″ rim – makes a nice big flat sheet perfect for a child’s birthday party)
Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt) into large mixing bowl.
Add water, oil and vanilla. Whisk to mix well.
Divide batter among pans. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over batter in each pan.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25-35 minutes depending on pan. Test often toward end of cooking time so as not to overbake.
Cool completely. Chill for a couple of hours in the refrigerator for additional moistness.
Dust with powdered sugar or frost, if desired.
If making layered cake, cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes; cut around pan sides to loosen cakes; turn cakes out; cool completely before frosting (can also chill cakes in refrigerator before layering to make them a bit firmer).