Devil’s Food Cake with Heavenly Chocolate Frosting

Homemade cakes have about 5 basic ingredients. Did you know devil’s food cake in a box has over 20!

Box cakes contain things like Sugar AND Corn Syrup, Leaveniers (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), and usually cottonseed oil – which in untreated forms is used as an insecticide!

Even store-bought cakes from the grocery store have usually been freeze-dried for several weeks before they are put out and decorated (with frosting that is usually filled with saturated fats and high fructose corn syrup). I guarantee you have everything in your kitchen right now to make this delicious cake! Give it a try!

Oven: 350 degrees

Tools of the Trade:

  • 2, 9-inch round pans
  • 2 medium mixing bowls (cake)
  • Kitchen-aid mixer with paddle attachment (or regular hand mixer)
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients: Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Kitchen Tip: Butter really does have to be at room-temperature. Here’s a tip from to get butter at room temperature:

Place stick(s) of butter on a microwave safe plate. Leave the paper wrapper on. Place the plate into the microwave and heat on high power for 5 seconds. Open microwave give the stick 1/4 turn (meaning, pick it up and flip it over onto its side) and heat again for 5 seconds.”

Directions: Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment; dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa with 3/4 cup hot water until smooth. Whisk in 3/4 cup sour cream; set mixture aside to  cool.


    You can use a glass measuring cup to heat the water and then add the chocolate directly to the glass cup

  4. Into a medium bowl, sift together 3 cups cake flour,  flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt
    and set aside.


    Make sure to whisk so all the dry ingredients are mixed

  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment if using your Kitchen-aid, beat 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) and 2 1/4 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about  3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Next, add eggs (4 total) one at a time on medium speed, beating to combine after each; scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.


    Remember to add eggs one at a time – it matters! This makes sure that the eggs will mix with the batter, otherwise they mix together and end up like scrambled eggs!

  7. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Remember, don’t over-beat here, best until combine
  8. Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth with an offset spatula.


    I use parchment paper that is pre-cut in rounds – it is so much easier then trying to cut your own.

  9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.


    Another way to check if the cake is to lightly touch the center – if it springs back when lightly touched – they are ready!

  10. When cakes are done, place on wire rack to cool 15 minutes.
  11. After cooling, Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment.Re-invert cakes; let cool completely, top sides up. Usually 1-2 hours.

Chocolate Meringue Buttercream
Makes: 6 1/4 cups (enough to frost one 9-inch layer cake)

Ingredients: Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled


  • Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixing bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water; whisk constantly until sugar is completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

I use a double-boiler for this – make sure the sugar is completely dissolved

  • With an electric mixer, whisk on high speed until cool (test by touching bottom of bowl), 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Change to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-high speed, add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until combined.
  • Beat in chocolate.

There is a nice lightness to this frosting.


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