Yield: 1 (9-inch) 2-layer cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons baking soda
1¼ cups whole milk
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coffee Filling
Rum Ganache
Garnish: caramel shards (see note)
 
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Line bottoms of pans with parchment rounds, and spray again. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, coffee granules, and baking soda. In another bowl, combine milk, oil, and vanilla. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.

5. Spread Coffee Filling between layers, spreading to the edges of cake. Spread warm Rum Ganache on top of cake. Garnish with caramel shards, if desired.

Note: To make caramel shards, lightly spray an 8-inch sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle 1⁄2 cup sugar in a small skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar begins to turn golden brown in spots. Remove from heat; gently stir until completely golden brown. Immediately spread in a thin layer on prepared sheet of foil. Let stand until hardened. Break into pieces.