Even cakes taste better made with olive oil, and this super chocolate, dense cake is so moist that it keeps well for a week in the refrigerator, but I can say with certainty that it will never last that long; as an alternative the batter can be poured into cupcake pans for smaller versions. This cake freezes well too.
3 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa (Perugina, if available)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
2 8-ounce packages Philadelphia Lite Cream Cheese, at room temperature
3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon oil or 1 tablespoon almond extract
Crystallized white sugar for sprinkling on topButter and flour two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. With a hand mixer on low speed beat in the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans. If using silicone muffin pans, no pan preparation is necessary. If using regular muffin pans, lightly grease them with butter. If using regular 9-inch cake pans, the same preparation.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not overbake the cake. It should be firm to the touch, and a cake skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean.
Put the cake pans on cooling racks and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans to cool completely. Frost when cool with frosting below.
Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth; gradually add in enough of the sugar to make a smooth frosting that is not runny. Stir in the cinnamon oil or the almond extract.
Frost the cake layers and sprinkle the crystallized sugar over the top. Or if you are making the cupcakes, frost them and sprinkle the tops with the sugar.
Cut the cake into wedges to serve.
Note: You may use either regular all purpose flour or cake flour in this recipe; both will give great results. For the icing, use either the cream cheese or an equal amount of Marscapone cheese for an even richer frosting.
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