(adapted from “The Confetti Cakes Cookbook,” by Elisa Strauss via the New York Times)
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt together in a bowl.
Place oil and sugar in a large bowl and whisk or blend until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add red food coloring and vanilla and mix carefully. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 6 cups
10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat, on low speed to combine. If too soft, chill until slightly stiff, about 10 minutes, before using.