Devil's Food Cake

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Devil's Food Cake

star rating (19) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

The most traditional of chocolate cakes, devil's food is marked by its dark color and dense texture. Try finishing the cake with Recipe: Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. We tinted the frosting this pink color with a few tablespoons of raspberry purée.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) soft unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) Baker's Special sugar or granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) milk or water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, three 8-inch round pans, or a 13 x 9-inch sheet cake pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt till fluffy and light, beating for at least 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. If lumps remain, sift the mixture.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix together the milk or water and the vanilla. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, then add half the milk, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and the remaining flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally throughout this process. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake the cake(s) in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes (a bit longer for the sheet cake), until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove the cake(s) from the oven, cool them for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove them from their pans (leave the sheet cake in the pan, for easiest serving). Cool completely before frosting. Yield: Two 9-inch or three 8-inch rounds, or a 13 x 9-inch sheet cake.

This recipe reprinted from The Baker's Catalogue, Spring through Summer 2001.


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  • star rating 11/07/2014
  • mtempty from KAF Community
  • Very good, dense, rich cake. I've had consistent results with the recipe as written, but I want to bake it in a bundt pan. Do I need to adjust the amount of batter? Cooking times/temps?

    To make this in a bundt pan, I would guess you should be alright to use the full batter in the bundt (I wouldn't fill it much over 2/3 full). I wouldn't change the temperature, but you will certainly need to increase the bake time significantly. I would test for done-ness with a clean tester and a check for a nice set spring back on the top of the cake. If you have any further questions, feel free to call our Baker's Hotline at 855-271-2253. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 08/22/2012
  • Donnaturner from KAF Community
  • I substituted black coffee for the water. I also cut the recipe in half to make a snack cake. The cake tested done but was a bit gummy in the center. Thanks to Frank, found that I may have over-mixed. I cut out and tossed the center - still had 9 servings that were excellent. I will definitely give this recipe a try again.
  • star rating 01/09/2012
  • cattyrdz from KAF Community
  • Delicious cake, very moist and rich! I made it with unsweetened cocoa in a 9x13 pan and it was really good! It was so good that the family ate almost the whole cake in minutes (and it's a small family)..
  • star rating 05/09/2011
  • ClioBklyn from KAF Community
  • This is a great recipe - my go-to chocolate cake - incredibly moist and decadently chocolatey. Yesterday, I scaled the recipe back by 1/4 and baked in two 7" cake pans for 32 minutes. I iced with KAF's marshmallow frosting from the Baker's Companion book. It was the perfect petite cake for the chocoholic moms in my life on Mother's Day.
  • star rating 08/25/2010
  • JPrue from KAF Community
  • Have made this super easy recipe twice, once as cupcakes and once in a 9X13 pan. Both times them came out light and moist.
  • star rating 08/15/2010
  • SMJ from CT
  • Baked as cupcakes. The cake came out moist, perfect and delicious! Another fantastic recipe from your website. Will be a regular in my cake recipes.
  • star rating 04/26/2010
  • Margaret from Elk River, ID
  • Used this recipe this afternoon, substituting a mix of 2 parts double-dutch dark cocoa and one part black cocoa for the Dutch-process cocoa. Then I added a teaspoon of espresso powder, resulting in a deep, rich, dark chocolate cake. It was perfect for the Black Forest Cherry Cake I made for my son's birthday.
  • star rating 04/23/2010
  • RSM from NYC
  • Easy recipe. Simple and minimal with the ingredients. The flavor wasn't as rich as I expected but this may just be the nature of devil's food case. Curse Satan! Maybe I should try the angel food cake recipe. But this is a good recipe- it's just not ardently chocolatey.
  • star rating 03/25/2010
  • CS from Massachusetts
  • Can't resist fooling with recipes, so I substituted half white whole wheat flour and half cake flour, lowered baking powder to 1 tsp, added 1 tsp of baking soda and used buttermilk for the liquid. Came out great, if a bit dry (I actually like my cake on the dry side, though). Iced with coffee buttercream.
  • star rating 02/23/2010
  • Tracey A from West Los Angeles, CA
  • Wow! I made this for my husband's birthday, and it is awesome! Prep was easy; I saw what the other rater said was a little "batter breaking" when adding the milk, but mine was room temperature (as all ingredients should be) and the batter came together beautifully when the last of the flour was incorporated. The taste and crumb are stupendous, moist, and light. I used KAF's Unbleached Cake Flour Blend, too; so light and moist! I used two 8" pans too and baked it for 40 minutes. I made a chocolate buttercream (my hubby's a chocoholic!) to go with it...this is his new favorite!! We loved this recipe!! Thanks KAF!
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