Today we’re making a delightfully decadent devil’s food cake recipe. So let’s get started. First off, get that oven nice and hot at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. And grab two 9-inch cake pans. We’re gonna butter and flour these. That will be the glue that holds a parchment paper round on. I’m only telling you that because you need to have these come out of the pan easily and a parchment paper round is gonna be key. Pans are prepped.
For the Cake:
- 240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (100 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (240 mL) hot coffee
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) sour cream
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) milk
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons cream (adjust for desired consistency)
We’re gonna grab a large bowl out and sift our dry ingredients together. Into a large bowl that’s under a sifter and over a scale, I’m adding 240 grams or 2 cups of all-purpose flour. You really wanna be exact when you measure the dry ingredients for this devil’s food cake because if you add too much flour, it’s not gonna have that fluffy, amazing texture. It’s gonna be a little dense.
Devil’s Food Cake Recipe
1 teaspoon of salt. This will give us some contrast. 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Normally, I do not like boxed cake mixes, but I will say that those box-to-devil food cake mixes have some science magic in them. And they are so fluffy, it’s wild. When I developed this devil’s food cake recipe, I did a lot of chocolate cake recipe testing to give you a fudgy, but fluffy cake.
1/2 of baking powder. Sift those ingredients up. If you want to use cake flour in this, you totally can just use the same gram measurement. My scale is done. I’m gonna give this a whisk. This devil’s food cake is one of Brian’s new favorites. He is a chocoholic and it hits all your buttons. And the frosting is amazing, too. We’re gonna set this aside and get to our whole wet situation.
Create Cocoa Slurry
I forgot to finish prepping my pans. They needed just a little bit of flour for the edge. It’s not a must-have, but I’m better safe than sorry here. If your cake is cracked, no one can taste the difference, but it’s upsetting nonetheless. Devil’s Food Cake has butter and oil to give you the best of both worlds. But I have to talk about the chocolatey situation happening.
So we’re gonna use Dutch-processed cocoa powder today. You have to see the difference between Dutch and natural. Natural cocoa powder is a little bit acidic, so when you add it to your baked goods, it’ll react with the baking soda and give you a puffy, fluffy, chocolate cake. Dutch-processed cocoa powder has been treated in an alkaline solution. Removes the acid, makes the color darker, mellows the color out of it, and gives you a rich, fudgy cake.
Natural Cocoa Powder
We’re gonna use this today. It also gives you a darker chocolate look. Can you use natural cocoa powder? Definitely. You totally can. Just be careful because the cake might rise a little bit higher. It’s not even a bad thing though. In a medium bowl, I add 1 cup, or 100 grams, of the Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Normally, I would sift it out. But to this, we’re gonna add 1/2 a cup of veggie oil and create, like, a cocoa slurry.
We’re gonna whisk this up and it just turns into, like, a black, beautiful solution. This magic is why it’s called devil’s food cake. Hundreds of years ago, rich, decadent foods were called deviled. So deviled eggs, for example. It’s a regular hard-boiled egg. You add some delicious, rich stuff in there, up the flavor, now it’s a deviled egg for a cake. it’s devil’s food cake just because it’s dark and rich and decadent.
Prepare Butter and Sugar Mixture
The opposite would be angel food cake, which is light, and fluffy, the opposite. Both delicious. No cocoa powder was spilled. No one has anything to see there. I’m gonna grab my mixer and a paddle attachment. Now for the fun stuff. 1/2 a cup of unsalted butter at room temperature. It’s 113 grams. I just wanna cream it up first. Break the butter up, and get it nice and smooth. It just takes a 30-second interval, or two.
Add chocolate to butter. To this mixture, I’m adding 1/2 a cup of light brown sugar. I’m just gonna break it up with my fingers to make sure there’s no lumps. ‘Cause your mixer can’t break lumps up very well. So it’s a nice move just to crinkle it up with your hands. So add 1/2 cup, or 300 grams, of granulated sugar. If you go. It’s a big chocolate cake, you have a lot of ingredients.
Mixing Process For Chocolate Cake
Now we’re gonna mix this up for about five minutes until it’s light and fluffy. So that Dutch-processed cocoa powder is just rich, fudgy, and amazing. However, rich, fudgy, and amazing for me, streaks of butter throughout for you. Let’s scrap the bowl down. We’re gonna keep mixing this for just a few minutes on medium. We want it super light and fluffy.
And in the meantime, let’s crack some eggs into our measuring cup, just so they’re all ready with no shells. Now we’re gonna add the 3 room-temperature eggs, along with a tablespoon, or 15 ML, of vanilla. One last scrape of the bowl down. Before I move on, I just wanna tell you I measured out 1/2 a cup of sour cream.
And I’m measuring out 1/2 a cup of milk, as well. It’s a couple of extra steps than maybe a normal cake, but the payoff is amazing texture and taste. You’re gonna fall in love with this devil’s food cake and use it for so many different recipes.
Best Chocolate Cake Recipe
Mix on medium after you scrape the bowl down just for a few seconds more. And then we’re gonna move this to low. Add 1/3 of my dry mixture, add in 1/2 of the milk, Half of the sour cream. Another 1/3 of the dry mixture. The rest of the milk. Adding wet and dry ingredients in alternating batches lets you have more control over the mixing.
If you just dumped things in, you would have pockets of wet and pockets of dry, and some things would be overmixed. No one would be happy. Last bit of the flour. I’m gonna finish stirring this by hand. And you don’t even need to let this mix completely. But I will say that I’m done with my paddle attachment for now. It’s like chocolate pudding.
I cannot wait for this to bake up. Before I go to my last step, I’m gonna give this bowl a scrape-down because there is some chocolate pudding in the middle with some super dark chocolate on the bottom. And I want this to be a little bit more mixed in, but not all the way.
Magic of Coffee in Devil’s Food Cake
The magical step in this is 1 cup of hot coffee. it’s coffee. No, you’re not gonna taste it at all. It’s gonna amp up the chocolate flavor. And I get a lot of questions from people on whether or not you have to use coffee. The answer is no, you don’t. I often use hot water for these recipes if I’m making it for the kids. Just because they have a lot of energy, they don’t need any caffeine.
But I will say the taste is, like, a little bit more flat. Like, I do miss the coffee in there. So you could use decaf, or hot water, in a pinch. Switch to a whisk and I’m gonna whisk this up and you’re gonna see a magical change in consistency. Look at that. It immediately liquefies. So your goal now is just to carefully whisk this together without making a mess.
Baking Our Devil’s Food Cake
And once you have a uniform consistency, we can pour this in. Divide your batter equally. Today, you notice I’m not using cake strips just because this special batter will rise evenly on its own. This goes into the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the centers are set, and you’ll see the edges pull away from the pan. My chocolate cake layers are out of the oven and cooling.
We wanna let them cool in the pan completely before we dismount them. And in the meantime, I’m gonna make an easy, delicious, chocolate buttercream. 1 and 1/2 cups of unsalted, room-temperature butter. I’m gonna whip this on high for five minutes until it is light and cloudy. What a difference five minutes makes. This is a cloud of butter.
Now we’re gonna add 1/2 a cup of cocoa powder Into the bowl, I’m also adding in 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt, And 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. We’re gonna mix this on low until it’s nice and combined. Once that’s all mixed in, we’re gonna add 6 to 8 cups of powdered sugar. It’s kind of to taste, so it’s up to you. And you can add them in a cup at a time, letting it mix in on low.
Your buttercream will get very thick, but we’ll thin it out with some cream. It’s about 3 tablespoons, but you can add more sugar, less sugar, or a bit more cocoa powder, and more cream. My final tip for the buttercream is to use a spatula and just knock some of those big air bubbles out. This will give you that silky buttercream look, without those frosty air bubbles in it.
Now we’re gonna assemble our chocolate cake. Grab a cake plate. Normally, I put these on cooling racks, but this devil’s food cake recipe cools completely in the pan. So all I need is a dollop of buttercream to hold it down. It’s a little bit of glue. You can use the spatula just to double-check that there are no sticky points. And then it comes out just like a charm. That’s why you have paper.
Now Decorate Devil’s food cake
If you wanna have a four-layer devil’s food cake, you can carefully cut this down the middle, but I love the frosting-to-cake ratio of two thick, delicious, amazing, fudgy layers. It’s also a delicate cake, so if you’re cutting it in half, be forewarned, be careful, and don’t cry if it cracks. Add a nice amount of frosting onto the top. Smooth that out to the edge.
So when things cool completely, and it’s a cold day, so the counter’s cold, the butter can harden a bit, which is why it stays in the pan. Just give your chocolate cake a little tap on the side and some lateral pressure will dislodge it. We’re gonna cover this in frosting. I covered my Chocolate Cake all the frosting was used up. Then use either an offset spatula that has a nice, rounded edge, or a regular rubber spatula. This devil’s food cake is about to disappear so quickly. Fudgy, moist, chocolate amazingness, but so light and fluffy still, it’s magic.