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Devil's Food Cake

Devil's Food Cake

There is something to be said about a simple chocolate cake. No frills, no fuss, no mountains of too sweet buttercream to spoil the treat—just chocolate and cake.

Growing up, I didn't like chocolate. I didn't like the way it looked, the way it smelled, or the way it tasted. I avoided brownies, chocolate ice cream, and chocolate cake like the plague. I'd snub my nose at candy bars. On my birthday, I would insist on eating strawberry shortcakechocolate wasn't going to grace my special day. I was too cool for it and I wanted everyone to know it. Chocolate was the enemy.

Devil's Food Cake
Devil's Food Cake

On occasion, I would gobble down as many chocolate chip cookies as possible. I loved chocolate chip cookies. I was probably too naive to understand the brown spots were chocolate. Or, better yet, I knew they were chocolate but I had a tough girl I-don't-eat-no-chocolate image to uphold. I don't remember much from this stage in my life (perhaps I am blocking it from memory because I cannot fathom a life without chocolate), but this is what my mother tells me. And we must believe our mothers.

You can see my opinion on chocolate has certainly changed. Over 1/3 of the recipes on this website prominently feature chocolate as one of the main ingredients. I can't help myself. Chocolate is my vice; it corrupts me. I can't handle this level of decadence on my own, so I'm bringing you down with me.

I hope you don't mind.

Devil's Food Cake

This devil's food cake is the quintessential chocolate cake. It is dense and rich with chocolate. It is thick and sticks to the roof of your mouth. It is satisfying in the only way chocolate cake knows how. The frosting is a dark chocolate frosting. Made with brown sugar and unsweetened chocolate, it's dark, rich, and intense. This frosting isn't playing around. Combined with the devil's food cake, this is a lethal (and delicious) combination. You need this chocolate cake.

Devil's Food Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Yields 1 10-inch or 2 8-inch cakes

Devil's Food Cake
Adapted heavily from Found Baking

3 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups cake flour
Dash of salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup fresh brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cake pan(s).

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until very full and thick.

In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt). Alternatively add the dry and wet ingredients to the egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before removing and cooling completely on cooling rack.

Dark Chocolate Frosting

Yields enough frosting to thinly cover a 2-layer 8-inch cake

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. Add the brown sugar and milk. Increase the heat to medium and wait until the chocolate begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Beat the powdered sugar into the frosting until it becomes lighter and spreadable. Frost the cooled cake.

Devil's Food Cake

Reader Comments (26)

I can't imagine a kid not liking chocolate! And I can't wait to try this recipe, my mom's been looking for a good chocolate cake recipe, and this one looks like it'd be really delish! :)
03.23.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaya Marie
Wow, that looks amazing! Your photos really bring out how chocolatey this cake must be.
03.23.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
This cake is perfection! Looks tempting.
Oh! It looks decadent!
03.24.2011 | Unregistered Commenterlynne
Wow! I've never met anybody else who uses coffee as the secret ingredient for a moist, rich cake. Fabulous.
03.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal
What a delightful and inspiring story (and tempting recipe); I always presumed the rare bird who didn't like chocolate had some chemical out of whack and there was no changing it. Glad you came around, and love the rebel in you!
03.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice Harper
If I had to have an affair with anyone / anything, you can bet it would be pastry! Pastry-free as the cake may be, it looks fantastic.
What a lovely cake. I, too, have a weakness for chocolate and find it hard to resist. I found your blog by chance, but while I was here decided to browse through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did. I really love the food and recipes you feature here and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary
03.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary
I want to eat this cake now!!! But, reading through the frosting don't mention what to do with the 1 cup of confectioners sugar? Do you beat that in after simmering for 4 minutes?

thanks...can't wait to make this one!
03.26.2011 | Unregistered Commenterchocolategoat
ChocolateGoat-- Thanks for noticing that error! You beat in the powdered sugar after you've let the mixture cool down to room temperature. I've edited the recipe to reflect this.
03.26.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
wonderful devil's food cake... looks so good. love your picture too. i'm on my way to crate and barrel this week to buy some coffee cups and saucers, so i have to ask... where did you buy those cute white cups and plates? i'm looking for the perfect coffee cup and i saw them on C&B's site. :-)
Honey-- Believe it or not, I actually bought them at a dollar store. The cup and saucer set for $1. Dollar stores have great little finds like that. Though, I did just check out C&B and they look very similar.
03.27.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I have a sister who doesn't like chocolate. (she also wouldnt eat anything with salt as a child)
but I am definitely making this cake.
03.28.2011 | Unregistered Commenterkrimpetgirl
I made this cake for my friend's birthday, and it turned out amazing! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!

If you want to see how mine turned out, check it out here:

Love and cookies,
03.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
I will do!
07.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterOlga
Lovely picture ! wonderful recipe ... it uses baking soda which makes for a luscious texture ... i don't like chocolate cakes using baking powder - this gives a chemical undertone to the cake !!!
10.11.2011 | Unregistered Commentercreamfudge
I wanted to know if these could be made into cupcakes and can you please tell me the baking time for them? Thank you!
06.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica R
Jessica R-- These can easily be made into cupcakes. Fill baking cups 2/3 full and bake for 18-22 minutes.
06.18.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Do you think that would make a 2 or 3 dozen batch?
06.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica R
Jessica-- I will make about 2 dozen cupcakes
06.18.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Thank you very much. I am very excited about making these!
06.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica R
what can i use instead of coffee i don't drink coffee and do not have any coffee in my house
06.25.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjayme
Jayme-- You can just use water. Coffee brings out and add richness to the chocolate flavor, but you can certainly make it without it.
06.25.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
i will try it with water thank you
06.25.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjayme
Hi, i baked this cake jus nw. it turned out very dry and not moist at all... and very bitter.... any idea y this happens.... tq
I agree with tq. The cake was dry. It was very disappointing, and not at all like Portillo's cake. I am sorry that it did not turn out as you said it would. I am a seasoned baker and cook, so I truly feel that there is something missing in this recipe.
05.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEs

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