Preheat the oven to 350F. This recipe is great for 3, 8-inch cake rounds; 2, 10-inch rounds; 13x17 jelly roll pan; and makes 24 cupcakes. Line baking pans with parchment paper and spray sides with baking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Then add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix again until creamy. Prepare the coffee: dissolve the 2 tablespoons of granules in 1/4 cup water, then add to the batter along with the milk.
NOTE: the cake batter can look as if it's separated after you add the milk. It is not! The milk can cause the butter particles to clump together. Just proceed with the recipe.
In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Mix together, then sift into the cake batter to get rid of any clumps. Using a hand whisk, mix the flour into the batter just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix the batter! Gently fold in melted chocolate at the very end.
Divide the cake batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake the layers in preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, then remove onto a wire rack to cool completely.