Preheat oven to 350º F. Preferably using a bundt pan, prepare by spraying with baking spray or butter and lightly flour. You can also use two 9-inch cake pans prepared the same way.
In a stand mixer or bowl mix sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Use your paddle attachment and mix at medium speed until combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan or distribute evenly between the two cake pans.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes in the bundt pan or 30-35 minutes in the 9-inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If making cupcakes, bake for approximately 17 minutes,
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, remove from the pan and cool completely.
If using frosting, allow cake to cool completely. If using glaze, apply while warm.
Note to self: Baked cupcakes on middle rack in small oven. 15 minutes in small muffin tin.
My Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
6 tablespoons softened butter
1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
In medium bowl, beat butter and vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until spreadable consistency is achieved.
Put the unsweetened chocolate and 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and place it over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate and butter have melted. Sift the powdered sugar and add it to the chocolate mixture along with 2 tablespoons of boiling water. While stirring constantly, continue adding boiling water in very small amounts until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle over the cake. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, if desired.
For Portal Cake:
After frosting the cake, carefully place crushed Oreo cookies evenly around the entire surface. Then top with Maraschino cherries placed inside a dollop of whipped cream.