2 cups flour
¾ cups cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups sugar
½ cup oil
1 cup boiling water or hot coffee
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two 23 cm round cake pans, or one 23 x 33 cm rectangular baking pan, with wax paper.
Grease the paper and the sides of the pan well.
In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence and beat with an electric mixer for about two minutes.
Add the boiling water or coffee and mix until combined.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes.
To test if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the middle of the pan. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. A single rectangular cake will take slightly longer to bake than two round layers.
Slide a knife around the edge of each cake to loosen it from the pan, turn the pan over onto a metal rack and peel off the paper.
Let the cake cool completely before covering with icing.
Photo: Geri-b Mak