Maida - 2 1/2 cups (all purpose flour)
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Cocoa powder - 2 tbsps (unsweetened)
Eggs - 2
Buttermilk - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Vegetable oil - 3/4 cup
Instant coffee powder - 1 1/2 tbsps mixed in 1/2 cup hot water
Vanilla essence - 1 1/2 tsps
Distilled vinegar - 1 tsp
Red food coloring - 3 tbsps or 3/4 tsp of red gel color mixed in 4 tbsps water (I used Wilton No Taste Red gel color and 1 tbsp of tomato red food color)
For cream cheese frosting
Cream cheese - 225 gms (I use Philadelphia brand)
Butter - 1/2 cup
Powdered sugar - 2 1/2 cups, sieved
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease and dust three 8" round cake pans or four 7" round cake pans or two 9" round cake pans..
In a large bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and cocoa powder. Keep aside.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add the butter milk and mix. Keep aside.
In a large bowl, add oil and sugar and beat for 3 to 4 mts until well combined. Add the vanilla essence, egg-buttermilk mixture, red food coloring and coffee mixture and mix until well combined.
Slowly add the flour, about 1/3 cup at a time and mix to combine. Do not overbeat. Repeat till all the flour is blended into the batter.
Mix 1/2 tsp of baking soda with a tsp of distilled vinegar and as it sizzles, add it to the cake batter and mix. Immediately pour the cake batter into the prepared pans.
The batter should fill only half the pan and not more since the cake with rise on baking.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 C for 40 to 45 mts. Check from 35 mts onwards. Large cakes take more time to bake than smaller cakes. Cool the cakes for 5 mts and then invert each onto a plate, then invert again on the right side of cake onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature..
To prepare the frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter for 3 mts with an electric mixture. Add the vanilla and mix. Add sieved powdered sugar a little at a time and beat until frosting is light and fluffy approx 4-5 minutes.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake plate, level the cake (if the cake has a dome shape use a serrated knife to level) and spread a quarter of the frosting on top. Place another cake layer over it and level the cake. Spread a quarter of the frosting on top. Place the third cake layer on top, level the cake and spread frosting on top. You can frost the sides with the remaining frosting.
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