- 2 2/3 cups (400 g) plain cake flour
- 2 tbsp (10 g) cocoa powder , unsweetened
- 1 tsp (5 g) baking soda / bi-carb soda , NOT baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter , softened (1 US stick)
- 1 1/2 cups (330 g) caster / superfine white sugar
- 2 eggs , at room temperature (around 2 oz / 60g each)
- 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (or essence)
- 1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk , at room temperature
- 2 1/2 tbsp red food colouring liquid (UK: use Gel)
- 14 oz (400 g) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, block , softened but not too soft
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter , softened (but not too soft)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups (450 g) soft icing sugar / powdered sugar sifted
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F (all oven types). Butter 2 x 21cm / 8″ round cake pans (sides and base) and dust with cocoa powder.
- Sift the Dry Ingredients and whisk to combine in a bowl.
- Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with electric beater or in stand mixer until smooth and well combined (use paddle attachment if using stand mixer).
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating in between to combine. At first it will look curdle – keep beating until it’s smooth.
- Add vegetable oil, vinegar, vanilla, buttermilk and red food colouring. Beat until combined and smooth.
- Add Dry Ingredients. Beat until just combined – some small lumps is ok, that’s better than over mixing.
- Divide batter between cake pans. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes on the same shelf, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Rest for 10 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool.
- Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla for 3 minutes (this makes it really smooth and changes from yellow to almost white). Add icing sugar and beat for 2 minutes or until frosting is light and fluffy to your taste. If your frosting seems too runny (depends on quality of cream cheese/ if the cream cheese was too soft), just add more icing sugar.
- Cut the top off the cake using a serrated knife (to make the layers neat).
- Spread one cake with 1 1/2 cups of frosting. Top with the other cake. Spread top and sides with remaining frosting.
- Optional: Crumble offcuts and use to decorate the top rim and base of the cake.