Devil's Food Cake

Total Time:
4 hr
Prep:
2 hr 15 min
Cook:
1 hr 45 min

Yield:
8 to 10 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Frosting:
  • 15 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup nonalkalized cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup milk
Directions

To make the frosting: Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, move the bowl gently to let the cream settle. Set the mixture aside until softened, about 4 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Cover the surface of the frosting with plastic wrap. Set aside and let set up at room temperature, about 2 hours.

To make the cake: Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with a circle of parchment or wax paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar. Continue beating until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1 minute more. (Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if needed.) With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat.

With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture, about a 1/4 cup at a time. Carefully pour the hot liquid into the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, finish combining the batter until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lightly drop each pan onto the counter to settle the batter.

Set the pans on the middle rack in the oven. Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and the center springs back when touched lightly, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool the cakes, in the pans, on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake layers out of the pans and cool on the rack. (If not assembling the cake right away, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 2 months.)

Assemble the Devil's Food Cake. Place 1 cake layer upside-down on a cake stand or flat plate. Scoop about 1/3 of the icing onto the center of the layer. Using a large, offset spatula, spread the icing evenly over the layer to the edges. Place the other cake layer, rounded-side up, on top. Evenly spread half of the remaining icing over the top, spreading any excess icing down the sides. Spread the remaining icing around the sides of the cake. Use the tip of the offset spatula to make a swirling pattern in the icing. Serve. Store under a cake dome or loosely wrapped with plastic, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, GP. All rights reserved


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    This is a very moist and delicious cake! My FIL asked for Devil's Food Cake with cream cheese frosting for Father's Day. This was a hit! I chose to make cupcakes instead of cake. I overfilled the muffin tins (how can you tell 3/4 when the bottom is tapered? and got 27. I think you could easily get 29 or 30 properly filled. I used the cream cheese frosting from recipe 67256 and thought they worked very well together.
    Absolutely amazing! Decided to make from scratch Devils Food Cake rather than buy the box mix and it was a success. My father is fanatical about his cake and our homemade Carmel frosting. He liked the rich, moist, nice texture and great chocolate flavor of the cake. It's a winner and I plan to make it again!
    Made this cake for bake sale for my son's school, it was gone in minutes !!! Thanks for a great recipe....follow instructions in the recipe n u can't go wrong.....
    This is an excellent recipe. It's my go-to Devil's Food cake recipe (I've memorized it, as I've done it so many times!. I don't agree with the reviewers who mentioned that the cake is crumbly. It is perfect. Be sure to measure the ingredients well. Sift the cocoa powder before measuring it. Weigh the butter - you need 175 grams (around 6.2 ounces or 1.75 sticks. Also, my cakes bake in 29 minutes.
    asmenrit: The frosting is called "ganache" and it can be poured or whipped to a fluffier consistency. No sugar added, just the cream and chocolate. It kind of tastes like a soft, thin chocolate bar... YUM.
    i am confused abt the frosting.In the frosting they didn't specify any sugar to add. do we have to add or not?
    No there is no sugar that is said to be add so don't add any
    The cake tasted very good. However, it was too light and crumbly -- too delicate. I suspect this is because there is too much liquid present -- or the need to add more ingredients to bind it together better.
    I made just the cake, not the frosting (not a big fan of frosting in general) and it turned out pretty good. Dense and moist and flavorful, just like devil's food cake should be
    Excellent cake... I actually used it as a base for a chocolate banana dream cake--- add a small box of instant french-vanilla pudding & a ripe banana... supermoist and delicious... I used whipped cream cheese frosting and then melted some chocolate added a little whipping cream, mixed that up and drizzled over cake... decadent! Be careful when heating up chocolate go slow... it will burn if u aren't extremely careful!! Great cake I am anxious to use it as a base for chocolate rum cake next!!
    haven't made it yet but it is EXTREMELY fattening :(
     though i've tasted it and it's EXTREMELY yummy !
     
    At the end you might think you made a mistake because it looks very watery but trust me it comes out moist and yummy.
    I made the cake, not the frosting, for my daughter's first birthday. I paired it with Peanut Butter Mousse filling, a little bit of Butter Cream Frosting and some marshmallow fondant. It was absolutely delicious! I will make this again and again!
    It's a little dense for my liking, but other wise OMG is it good!!!! It took a little longer to make than the directions stated, but I think that's from me getting everything measured out before starting rather than measuring it out as I went along. Also, I think it would be easier to make with a stand mixer rather than a hand-held mixer. And there is less chance that I would burn it out since the butter, sugar, etc gets so stiff. It's definitely a keeper!
    Just made this cake and wowza!! The cake itself was perfect. The frosting on the other hand was good, but too rich for my liking. Overall, it was definitely the kind of cake I was looking for! rich, moist and oh so chocolatey!
    This cake is great! Always get the Wow factor. I cut the cake rounds in half to make four layers. Make a bit more frosting and it is delicious!  
    I use this recipe for my homemade cakes and my customers LOVE it!! Some can't tell the difference from this recipe and a box mix!
    This cake was amazing. I actually used a 1/4 c measuring cup and made 24 even cupcakes, baked 'em for 20 mins. So fluffy; rich chocolate flavor but not too strong! This will be my permanant go-to chocolate cake recipe!
    I needed a devil's cake to serve 24, so with fingers crossed, I doubled the cake recipe and baked in two 9 x 13 inch pans. Naturally, it took a bit longer to bake but ithe cake baked beautifully. For the frosting, a made a recipe and a half which was actually enough but probably could have doubled the frosting recipe as well. The cake was moist and the frosting scrumptious, even when using Hershey's cocoa and Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate. With comments like, "This is the best cake ever" and "I've never seen a more beautiful cake," I feel quite confident in saying this recipe is a definite winner.
    I made this cake as a bundt cake and it was the best chocolate cake I had ever had. I love it so much, I sent the recipe to my mom to make for my birthday cake this year!
     
     For the frosting, I found that 2 hours at room temp was not enough to really set it, so I put it in the fridge for about an hour after the first 2 hours at room temp, and that really helped. Also, it was way too much frosting for my bundt cake, and I had about 1/2 left over. It kept for over two weeks in the fridge until I made another cake, and all I did was set it out on the counter for about an hour or so, and it was perfect for the second cake!
     
     
    Frosting was the best form of chocolate we'd ever eaten - absolutely perfect! I basically shaved the choc bars (rather than chopped) (that alone took a 1/2 hr). It set up beautifully. Also, I added a pinch of each ground cardamom, ginger, cloves & nutmeg just to give it a little more depth of flavor. Add lots of frosting between the layers.
     
     I substituted a 1/4 cup of coffee for 1/4 cup of the water. I did feel funny about adding vanilla to the dry ingredients instead of the wet, but it worked fine.
     
     My pans were heart-shaped and thus, smaller (about 7" at widest point) & we overcooked cake edges by about 5 min (we tested @ 25 min & added 5 min increments) - we took it out when cake bounced back, but it was too overdone @ edges and could have been just a little moister in the middle. If using 9" rounds, I would definitely cook toward the 20 min instead of 35 min side & not necessarily wait until cake FULLY springs back.
     
     Regarding "dutch process," I did find online the explanation of the difference - and WHY it cooks differently - http://www.joyofbaking.com/cocoa.html
     I used Ghirardelli from my supermarket for both the frosting & the cake - it worked beautifully!
     
     All my chocolate lovers thought this was not only the best chocolate cake, but also an awesome chocolate experience all around! :)
    I usually don't care for chocolate cake but I made this for my mother-in-law who is a chocolate lover. It was AWESOME! The cake is moist and flavorful. Preparing the cake requires a little more attention than using a box mix but it is so worth it. I didn't use the chocolate icing because I wanted to make a ganache for the center which turned out to go perfectly with the decedent cake. I would recommend this cake to anyone who would like to indulge into the best chocolate cake ever!
    I am currently trying to wean myself off of the boxed cakes and I am a pretty inexperienced baker, but I had no problem with this cake at all. I also used Hershey's baking cocoa and it worked great. I have a standing mixer but no paddle attachment, so I used the normal mixer attachments and it still worked fine. It was a HUGE hit with my family. Even my 7 year old who hates cake LOVED it. Thanks food network!!
    This looked like a lot of work (as opposed to buying a boxed cake mix) but the reviews were so outstanding that I had to try it. I made only the cake (and used a basic vanilla frosting with a different recipe from this website). I do not have a kitchenaid mixer and used a hand mixer. Used regular hershey's cocoa powder instead of the non-alkalized powder. And it all came out amazingly well despite these differences!
     
     The cake was pretty moist, rather dense (but not too heavy like some homemade cakes are) and the flavor was incredible. Worth the effort and extra steps (like the boiling of the milk and water..which was probably cooler than it should have been when I did it but it still came out fine.)
     
     If you need a chocolate cake recipe, this is the perfect one. Everyone raved about it!
    I agree with all reviewers below - this is an excellent devil's food cake recipe. I made this for a friend's birthday with an orange chocolate mousse filling with orange chocolate buttercream on top and it was a hit!
    Tips:
     
     - The batter will be very liquid, don't worry.
     - When baking, make sure to check for doneness before 30 minutes.
     - The frosting needs a long time to set. Leave the cake overnight at room temperature.
     - Serves more than 10 people
     
     Having high expectations, I was somewhat disappointed by the recipe. The frosting was delicious when it set, but the cake was only average. I used Dutch processed cocoa powder, but I don't see how that could have made a big difference (one of the main differences is a slightly redder color according to Wikipedia).
     
     This cake is quite easy, in spite of the rating. To make it even easier, put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir together gently.
    I used this recipe for cupcakes and brought them to a friend's house party. Since the cupcakes are much smaller, I reduced the baking time to 20 minutes and checked for doneness using a toothpick inserted in the center. The result was awesome! The cupcakes were so moist and chocolate-y.
     
     I also used fresh whipped cream as the topping. I sweetened it a little bit with confectioner's sugar and dusted with cocoa powder.
     
     The best part is that they aren't overly sweet either. Just the right amount of sweetness. Even the mothers at the party didn't mind letting their kids eat the cupcakes at 10pm! I just wish that I saved a couple of cupcakes for myself and didn't bring all of them over! My mouth is starting to water just thinking about how good they were.
     
     
    I just entered this cake in our county fair and won a Blue Ribbon! It was only the second time I had made it. The only other time was a week earlier, when I wanted to see if I liked it. I LOVED IT and so did the judge.
    So the whole time I was making this, it looked like I was messing it up, but it came out so perfect. When you pour it into the cake pans, it's about the consistency of thick hot chocolate. So don't worry! You didn't mess it up!
     
     It tastes so amazing. This will be THE go to chocolate cake from not on. Don't be discouraged by the intermediate level of this recipe. As long as you thoroughly read through the recipe before you do anything, you'll be fine.
     
     A couple of things that worked for me...
     -I didn't line my pan with parchment paper because I used Bakers Joy. It's a butter and flour spray just for occasions such as this. The cake came out perfectly!
     -Also, to make sure I was putting the same amount of batter in each pan, I used a ladle. Made it much easier.
     
     I hope this helps you guys!
    Definitely the best chocolate cake I have ever made. You can't get that amazing flavor from a mix. I used trans fat free margarine for part of the butter, and didn't have enough regular baking cocoa (only 1/2 cup), so had to add 1/4 cup of Dutch process cocoa. And I baked it in a bundt pan, baking it for ten minutes longer. It turned out amazing -- airy and light, yet at the same time extremely moist and so chocolatey. I've been baking a long time, and it's been many, many years since I've had a chocolate cake with this fantastic flavor and texture. I just used a simple chocolate glaze. This outstanding cake was absolutely devoured by everyone. Don't hesitate to try it. It really is not difficult to make at all.
    This cake was so perfect and delicious on the first try! I want to make it again and I have dutch processed cocoa powder, which the recipe says not to use. I'm wondering if it makes a big difference. Anybody know?
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    Devil's Food Cake

    Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown