I thought a "recipe" link might be fun. Send me your "tried and true" recipes and I will post them. Send pix too. This recipe is one I made from scratch for a birthday cake.
Cake Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pans 2 cups granulated sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3 eggs 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup unsweetened cocoa 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 3/4 cups milk
Frosting Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 2/3 cup (plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more, if needed) milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ice Cream: Approximately 2 quarts of your choice flavor
For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 8-inch round cake pans and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl down after each addition. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then add to butter mixture in batches, alternating with milk and ending with flour mixture. Do not overmix. Divide batter evenly between the three pans, smooth out and bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool slightly, then remove from pans and transfer to cooling racks to let cool completely. Put in freezer.
For the frosting, combine cocoa and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter with 1 cup of the cocoa-sugar mixture, then add the remaining cocoa-sugar mixture, alternating it with the milk. Beat until frosting is easily spreadable, then blend in vanilla.
For the ice cream, I used "Cookies and Cream" since that's what my son likes, but you can use anything you like that marrys well with chocolate. I made one last year that was filled with Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia....yummmmm! Anyway...remove the ice cream and cakes from freezer. Let ice cream sit out about 1/2 hour to soften (or microwave for about 30 seconds and scrape off top melted layer to get to the softened product). Remove one layer from pan and set on cake pedestal. Scoop out 1/3 of the ice cream and top the first layer by gently mashing/spreading around. I used clean hands for that part. Repeat process with second layer, then top with last cake layer. Put back in freezer to set approximately 2 hours. Remove again and ice cake around top and sides. Decorate with chocolate shavings or any decorations you prefer.