2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened regular or dark baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 bottle (1 oz) black food color
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 containers (12 oz each) cream cheese whipped ready-to-spread frosting


Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease 3 (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans with shortening; lightly flour.

In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, beat oil, buttermilk, eggs, food color, vinegar and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed just until blended. Gradually add flour mixture; beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.

Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Brush off all loose crumbs from cake layers. Place 1 cake layer, rounded side down, on serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with second cake layer, rounded side up.
Spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with third cake layer. Spread very thin layer of frosting on side to seal in crumbs. Spread remaining frosting on side and top of cake.

This is the perfect cake for Halloween. You can frost it with any color of frosting you want. You can dye white frosting orange or you can use white. Excellent decorations are string of black licorice, black and orange jelly beans etc. Use your imagination here. Have fun with it! Enjoy!

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