This little recipe might be what you're looking for if you need to bake a dessert this weekend. Epicurious credits Leigh McLean and Sweet Dreams Bakery in Memphis. It was in the September, 1995 issue of Bon Appetit and, since then, you can find it online on multiple blogs.
Chocolate cake - simple, quick, easy and good. This recipe doesn't use milk or eggs which is great if your friends are vegan or lactose intolerant. It's also a very versatile recipe and can be baked multiple ways. I've baked this cake twice in the past month - once as cupcakes for picnic birthday and last weekend for Father's Day.
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together in mixing bowl.
2 cups cold water
1 cup corn oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
Add wet ingredients and mix.
Grease and flour pans.
(I also use parchment paper.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 35 minutes.
*** cupcakes - 22 minutes / 28 large cupcakes
*** two 9-inch round pans - 35 minutes
You can also try:
- three 8-inch round pans
- 9x13 rectangle pan plus one 8-inch round
- two 8-inch square pans or 7x11 rectangle pans
- 10x15 jelly roll pan
If you'd like to reduce this recipe, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln has a great one-page PDF you can print out that tells you what measurements to use if you want to make just 1/3 or 1/2 of a recipe.