It's a very basic cocoa-based cake. It probably could be made into layers, but we always baked it in a square time and iced it still in the tin.
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup butter or shortening (80g)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar (200g)
1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt or sour milk
1 cup flour (120g)
1 rounded tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
Put cocoa, butter, water in saucepan and bring to boil. Cook until it thickens.
Pour chocolate mixture into bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients in order listed. Beat hard for 2-3 minutes. Pour into greased and floured pan. Bake in 350 deg. oven for 35-40 minutes