Baking: Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Here’s my much awaited Devil’s Food Cake. I’ve never made a cake from scratch at home before (I don’t count the ones I’ve done in culinary school). It was much easier with my stand mixer, so I may do this again soon. Grant wants me to make some pies, though. He’s more of a pie man.

Anyway, here are the ingredients for the cake:

1/2 cup of unsalted butter

3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate

2 eggs

2 cups of sugar (in the container with the chives on it)

2 1/4 cup of flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt (in my red salt pig)

1/4 cup of milk

1 tsp white vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Instead of flour, I used cocoa powder as this was a chocolate cake (never too late to add a little more chocolate flavour!).

2. In a small pot, melt the chocolate and butter. Make sure you do this carefully over low heat. You don’t want that chocolate to burn (it gets grainy and nasty). As soon as the chocolate is in small lumps, I took it off the burner as the residual heat melted the rest. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Beat the eggs and sugar together. They should lighten up. Add the cooled chocolate and butter and combine well.

4. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. You don’t want any lumps in the flour. Add to the mixer and combine well. Don’t overbeat the batter. You don’t want the gluten to develop. This will make chocolate bread.

5. Add the milk and vinegar and mix again. If using a stand mixer, remove from the base and mix by hand to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated.

6. Divide into the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Before                                        After

It was a little stiff at first when I put it into the cake pans. It was almost like a brownie batter. It didn’t pour, but I had to divide it amongst the two pans and even it out and push it into the sides. Honestly, I was worried about how the cake would turn out, but I don’t like to play around with recipes for baking. I tasted the batter and it was delicious (Note: Do not try this at home as there is a risk of salmonella. I like living on the edge.).

When it came out of the oven, it had sunken in the centre. Not too sure why, but I’ll have to try another recipe next time.

The buttercream frosting came out fantastic, though. I got the recipe from epicurious. The ingredients are as follows:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

3 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups), room temperature

6 tabelspoons of water (not shown)

3/4 cup of sugar

3 large egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Ok, melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave. Keep a sharp eye on it. The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but I only had semisweet, so I just cut back a little on the sugar.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Stir just until the sugar is dissolved, then don’t stir it anymore (this prevents crystals from forming). The recipe calls to use a candy thermometer and remove from the heat when the syrup reaches 248 F, but I couldn’t find my candy thermometer. I just boiled it rapidly, then removed it from the heat. It worked fine.

3. In your stand mixer, beat three egg whites with a small pinch of salt until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. With the mixer on at medium-high speed, stream in the hot sugar syrup slowly. Don’t let it get on the beaters or the side of the bowl. Continue to beat for about 7-10 minutes or until the mixture is completely cool. Ignore the mess on the counter by focusing on the frosting. The spinning beater blade is hypnotic.

4. Cut the butter into pieces and beat into the mixture on medium-high speed, piece by piece. It looks really weird, clumpy and like it’s about to break, but it will thicken up as you add more butter. After all of the butter is added, beat a little longer until mostly smooth (you’ll have to turn it off for a minute to check, the beaters make it look kind of lumpy, but it’s not). Add the cocoa powder, melted chocolate and another pinch of salt. Enjoy the cloud of cocoa powder that you inhale as you forget to reduce the speed of the mixer. Chocolate coughs rule.

6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and mix with a spatula. It looks (and tastes) perfect!

I iced the cake (forget the pastry bag right now) and put it on the smallest cake pedestal I could find (it’s the only one I have and is apparently for tiny, doll cakes). I know you’re usually supposed to put pieces of parchment paper under the cake to remove when you’re done and have a clean stand, but I just wiped it down with a paper towel.

Mmmmm. Cake. It’s not that pretty (not that hideous, either), but it tastes good! And I just filled the sink holes in the centre of the cake with extra frosting, so who cares?


It appears the reason it was fairly dense is that I forgot to add the cup of water to the cake batter. I’ll have to remake it! LOL.

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6 Responses to Baking: Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. sharon moores says:

    Looks yummy…I got your # from your Mom but since I’m here…Not sure if you knew I’m helping to bake a wedding cake,we hve the apricot and raisin finished …I’m also doing the Choc Pound cake…8 by 3 inch high!! I’d like to use a buttercream filling in the middle..what do you think?? Love Aunt Sharon xxoo

  2. Laura says:

    Definitely. You could also look into adding something to the buttercream, like hazelnuts or liqueur. Or a raspberry or orange flavoured filling would be pretty good with chocolate. Or just straight chocolate ganache in the center, which might hold up better under the weight of the cake. My wedding cake was chocolate with chocolate-hazelnut ganache, so maybe I’m a little partial to that. But raspberry filling was also in the running, as well.

  3. Kara says:

    I think this cake looks pretty. Pretty delicious 🙂

  4. Pingback: Devil’s Food Cake: Update | Let's Get Homey, Homies!

  5. Pingback: Devil’s Food Cake 2: The Reckoning | Let's Get Homey, Homies!

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