Adapted from: James Beard’s American Cookery
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons water
2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
1 ½ tsps baking powder
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
(or stir 1 tablespoon vinegar into sweet milk and let stand 10 minutes)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar
Preheat Oven 350 degrees:
Cream the butter, and cream in the sugar until very light. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the cinnamon and vanilla. Mix the cocoa and water and add to the creamed mixture. Sift the flour with the baking powder and add alternately with the milk. Blend, well. If using an electric mixer, turn to lowest speed when adding flour and buttermilk. Dissolve the soda in the vinegar and fold into the cake batter very carefully. Turn into two 9 inch greased and floured cake pans. Do not over flour the pans heavily.
Bake 35-30 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
Let cool in pans on a rack for several minutes. Then loosen and turn out onto the rack to cool.
I filled the center with strawberry preserves and topped the cake with powdered sugar.