(2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pans
unsweetened cocoa powder
pure vanilla extract
apple cider vinegar
red food coloring
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Heat oven to 350° F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.
- Transfer one of the cooled cakes to a plate and spread with 1 to 1½ cups of the frosting. Top with the remaining cake and spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.