2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ounces vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
12 ounces superfine granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, for icing
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for icing
1/2 stick unsalted butter, for icing
3/4 cup evaporated milk or whole milk, for icing
1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate, melted, for icing
Preheat the oven to 350F and place the rack in the middle position. Line the bottoms of up to six 8- or 9-inch round pans with parchment.
Measure the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients into separate bowls. Whisk each to combine.
Measure the butter, shortening, and superfine sugar into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine on medium to low speed for about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time to the well-creamed butter mixture.
Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients about a quarter at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Pour about 1 cup of batter into each prepared pan.
Bake the cakes for approximately 12 minutes, or until the top surface looks blond, with slightly browned edges.
Immediately flip each layer out onto wax or parchment paper. If necessary, reline and reuse the cake pan(s) to make all the layers.
Lightly cover each cake layer with plastic wrap as it cools to prevent it from drying out as you make the icing.
Assemble the cake by spreading a layer of icing (about an inch thick) between all cake layers and swirling a good amount of icing onto the outside of the cake.
If you’d like an even more decorative look, you can apply piped borders of frosting using a pastry bag or a parchment cone (see opposite).