I know you can't see the actual cake, but trust me: it's the richest, moistest, chocolatiest, easiest (note the succession of superlatives) chocolate cake any of us has ever eaten. I was going to make one today so I could photograph it but my oven "died" last night. The next time I bake one I'll take a photograph and add it to this post or publish a new post so you can see it. (Don't mind how the cake looks. Cake decorating is not my strength.)
Sharon Loomis, a high school classmate, gave me the recipe, which means I've been using it for more than 40 years. I wrote it on a recipe card then but over the years and through use, the original card wore out. I typed the recipe on this card a few years ago. The condition of this card, shown below, is evidence of its oft-used and much-loved status. You can see my daughter's and my penciled notes on the bottom.
Sharon's Chocolate Cake
Sift/mix together 2 or 3 times:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 tblsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
Make 3 wells and add:
3/4 cup oil
2 tblsp. vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla
Pour 2 c. cold water over all. Mix well but don't beat.
Pour into greased and floured tins. Bake at 350 degrees.
For cupcakes, bake 15 minutes.
For 9" round pans, bake 30 minutes.
For 8" pans, bake about 40 minutes.
For 9" x 13" pan, bake about 45 minutes.
Test for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cakes are done.
It doesn't need frosting but we always put it on birthday cakes. If you want a good chocolate buttercream frosting recipe, leave me a note in the comments and I'll give it to you. Otherwise, use your own recipe or buy a tub of ready-made at the store.