Chocolate Cake Mix
1 7/8 cups cake flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 package chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or orange extract
2 egg -- slightly beaten
Sift together flour, cocoa, soda, and salt; stir to blend; resift with sugar. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks crumbly. Label and store in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature. Makes 1 package of mix. Each package makes two 8 or 9 inch layers or one 9 x 13 x 2 inch rectangle.
TO USE: Pour 1 package of mix into a mixing bowl; add 1 1/4 cups milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla or orange extract. Using an electric mixer, beat at a slow to medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently. Add 2 eggs; beat 1 minute more. Grease and dust with flour your choice of pan(s); spread batter evenly in pans.
Bake round cake pans at 350 deg for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; bake the 9 x 13 inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in their pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto racks.
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: Pour cake batter into greased cupcake tins or tins lined with paper baking cups; fill 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake at 350 deg for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 2 dozen.