For the cake, sift the following together into a big bowl:
3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
Combine the following in a second bowl:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups water
3/4 cups vegetable oil
Add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a big whisk to get all the lumps out. Pour into two round cake pans that have been oiled and floured. Bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes. Test the centers with a toothpick or cake tester. If the tester comes out clean they are done. Cool ten minutes then invert on cake racks and allow to cool fully.
Measure into a largish bowl:
4 cups powdered sugar (one standard sized box)
1/2 cup margarine (make sure it's soft)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cocoa powder
Mix together with a hand blender or with beaters and then add and continue to beat:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons water (added one at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Be careful, if you put in too much you'll have to start over with new ingredients.)
2 cake layers
1 batch of chocolate frosting
1 jar raspberry preserves or jam, not jelly
1a.Split the two cake layers horizontally into four even layers.
1b. Spread the raspberry jam very generously between the cake layers you have just created (sort of use the preserves to glue the cake back together again.)
2. Put the layers on a big plate or cake stand like a hamburger bun, you need to invert the bottom layer or it will be lopsided when you frost it. Make sure to put lots of chocolate frosting in the middle,between them.
3. Put strips of waxed paper under the bottom layer of the cake and then begin to frost it. Use a knife or spatula and frost the sides first. Then frost the top.
4. Remove the waxed paper strips.
5. Decorate however you like, extra chocolate chips work really nicely.