1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa - divided use
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups hot water
Sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Combine flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add in the milk, oil and vanilla and sstir until smooth. Pour batter into an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. Set aside.
Mox together remaining cocoa and brown sugar; sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over all; do not stir.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top, if desired.