Devil’s Food Cake


Yields 1, 8 or 9-inch cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pans
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and place oven racks in the center of oven.
  2. Lightly grease your cake pans (2-3, depending on how many layers of cake you want) with butter and dust bottom and sides of pans with cocoa powder. Tap out excess.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl or mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides in the middle.
  5. Add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract, then (one at a time) add in eggs; wait for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
  6. In a bowl or glass, combine milk and hot coffee.
  7. Alternate between adding flour mixture and coffee mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.
  8. Divide batter into your greased and dusted pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Rotate pans halfway through baking.
  9. In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and cocoa powder until fluffy. 3-4 minutes.
  10. Alternate between adding in powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon heavy cream.
  11. Repeat until all sugar and cream has been added. Then add in vanilla extract, espresso powder and salt. Mix until just combined.
  12. Remove cakes from oven and let cool 15 minutes, then turn cakes out onto wire racks to finish cooling.
  13. If cakes have risen into slight domes, level off the tops and place cakes in fridge. This makes them easier to frost.
  14. Once chilled, transfer cakes to cake stand and frost however you want. Note: You can leave sides bare and just frost the top and in between layers, or you can frost the entire cake and use a piping bag to add detail. Adding chocolate curls (use a vegetable peeler) to place on the frosting is another option.


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