Devil’s Food Cake

22 May
Devil’s Food Cake

Sometimes I stumble upon something that, almost by accident, becomes iconic. That is exactly what happened when National Devil’s Food Cake Day rolled around and I wanted to make a Devilishly good cake.

Really, I had criteria for the cake that were very basic. I needed to have all of the ingredients in my house. Therefore, I wasn’t going to be using baking chocolate. I was out. What I did have, of course, was cocoa powder.

Not too many parameters. While Devil’s Food Cake is generally a layer cake Daughter Number Four asked if I could make this in a regular cake pan. She doesn’t like frosting. My guess is that she thought it easier to take the frosting off this way.

I whipped up the cake and set it aside to cool. About an hour later I headed back into the kitchen to make some frosting. My original plan was to frost the Devil’s Food Cake with chocolate buttercream. As I was pulling out my ingredients I opted to add one more ingredient and turn this into Mocha buttercream.

This was the decision that my 2 youngest daughters will forever be grateful. I frosted the cake and refrigerated it. No one seemed overly hungry for cake after dinner. What an odd turn of events. However, both girls asked for a piece after school the following day. Daughter Number Four was just about to wipe off the frosting and give it to her sister when she tasted it. She asked if I had made coffee cake.

A quick definition of coffee cake as it pertains to my youngest child. Her favorite restaurant as a small child was a Chinese Buffet in our local mall. For dessert she would get Chocolate Mousse Cake. It is common on Chinese Buffets and is a layered dessert with chocolate cake, coffee mousse, and gelatin.

I explained to her that the frosting was Mocha which is chocolate and coffee. She ate the cake and the frosting. Later, she asked for another small piece.

The following day after school both girls asked if there was any Devi’s Food Cake left for a snack. There was, and I told them to take as big a piece as they thought they could eat. I had already eaten too much cake. D3 took an enormous piece. D4 took a small piece, then immediately cut a second small piece and set it on the plate. She informed me that this is the only frosting she has ever liked.

Through a mouthful of cake D3 said that the combination of the Devil’s Food Cake and the mocha frosting made this the best cake ever. She told me that this was one of the only cake’s I should ever make. Oh, and only with this frosting.

I am so glad that I made this cake. In the past some of my Devil’s Food Cake attempts have not provided the dark chocolate flavor I wanted. Also, some have been a bit dry. This was neither dry nor lacking in chocolate-ness. It feels good to find the best ever.

Do you like Devil’s Food Cake? What kind of frosting do you use on it?

Devil’s Food Cake


  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • ½ cup butter (1 stick, softened)
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk (more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

For Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour two 8-inch-diameter cake pans or one rectangular cake pan.
  3. Whisk together sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl to blend.
  4. Sift in flour, cocoa and baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
  5. If making layer cake divide batter between prepared round pans. For rectangular cake pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  7. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto wire rack and cool completely. Frost when cooled.

For frosting:

  1. In a small bowl add espresso powder and water. Set aside.
  2. Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl. Using electric mixer beat until smooth. Sift ¼ of powdered sugar and cocoa powder into bowl. Mix together slowly.
  3. Add about ¼ of the milk. Mix until smooth.
  4. Alternate adding sifted powdered sugar and cocoa with milk until you have the consistency you want. Add more milk or sugar if necessary.
  5. Beat in reconstituted espresso and vanilla.
  6. Frost cooled cake. Refrigerate frosted cake or any unused frosting.

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Posted by on May 22, 2018 in Baking Recipes


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