1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons anisette liqueur
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
1 1/2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with butter and line with parchment paper. Butter the paper and pan sides and dust with flour. Set aside.
Combine the flour, 2 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Beat in the oil, milk, eggs, vanilla, and anisette liqueur using a mixer set on medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add 1 cup of the boiling water.
Equally divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about about 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and return to the wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa until combined.
To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake plate. Spread a third of the frosting over the layer. Sprinkle with half of the chocolate chips, if using. Top with the remaining layer and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.