NOTE: It is SUPER IMPORTANT that all the room temperature ingredients listed above are room temperature and not cold so that the ingredients mix and incorporate correctly.
Heat oven to 335º F/168º C.
Add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder) together in a bowl, whisk to combine and set aside
Combine wet ingredients in a bowl and set aside
Add butter to stand mixer and beat at medium-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar, beat until mixture is fluffy and almost white, about 3-5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, fully combining each egg before adding the next.
With the mixer at the lowest speed, add about a third of the dry ingredients to the batter, followed immediately by about a third of the water mixture, mix until ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter. Repeat the process 2 more times. When the batter appears blended, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake cakes until they feel firm in the center and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it, about 35-40 minutes.
Be sure to use natural cocoa powder or this recipe won't turn out.