Devil’s Food Cake w/ White Buttercream Icing

Three Chocolate’s Devil Food Cake with White Frosting

If there was one perfect cake, well then at least in my book this would be it. And I know that in my heaven this is the only cake that will be served, at least in one room. My all time favorite cake is always chocolate with white frosting, and this is the Best cake I have ever tasted. This is a cake that has a lot of ingredients, but it is worth the time, and cost to create perfection.

I was Blessed with this recipe so many, many years ago. But, I did early on change the Chocolate frosting that was in the original recipe, to white which I think takes this cake way over the top. And after baking, and tasting this cake for the first time I wondered why people ever switched to box cakes. I have updated this recipe just a bit over the years, too the better. When I first started making this cake I did not know about unsalted butter, and really Good chocolate, or room temperature eggs, milk, and butter. Or, why you add in one egg at a time, and why it is important to always use large eggs. Or the reason just a bit of very Good bittersweet chocolate will really take your devil’s food to another level.
This is the cake recipe I used when I made my Nephew Toddy wedding cake (9 double layer cakes in all), their wedding was all black and white and people were sure surprised when they cut the cake.

When I make this cake (not for weddings) I do use 8-inch cake pans for two reasons; first I love the look of the taller cake you get. Second years ago I bought two real bakery quality heavy 8 x 2 1/2 -inch deep cake pans. And yes, I have bought a lot of cake pans since then, but a real good deep 8-inch set of cake pans is always a very good investment. I like to sprinkle a bit of grated milk-chocolate on top just to let people know this is no run of the mill white cake, and Boy are they in for a Big surprise.

There is a reason this is called Devil’s Food, because it is Devilishly Delicious, and each bite is almost sinful! Thank you Alice Baker for the original recipe, back in the early 70’s. At my house I always let them eat cake…

1 1/3 cups all-purpose floured
½ cups unsweetened cocoa powdered
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
10 Tablespoons (1 ¼ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces (very good) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup buttermilk, or whole milk
½ cup BOILING water
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Filling and Frosting:

4 large egg whites, separate cold keep white room temperature
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 milk chocolate candy bar, chilled for a few minutes only just before finely grated for garnish

1.    Place rack in the center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and cocoa two 8 X 3-inches, or two 9 X2-inch round cake pans, line bottom of pan with parchment paper or wax paper, (cut the papers just smaller than pan). Put the pans on a jelly roll sheet; and set aside.

2.    Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder; set aside.

3.    Use the paddle attachment on standing mixer, or a hand mixer in a big bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduced the speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternate with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. At this point, the batter well be thick, like frosting. Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.

4.    Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the jelly roll pan at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be springy to the touch and a wooden skewer inserted into the center will come back clean. Transfer the cake pans to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes, and then run a butter knife around the side of the pan; and then invert the cake, peel of paper from each cake. Now place the cake right side up on to the wire rack to cool to room temperature.

5.    Now for the frosting: In a large heatproof bowl mix together the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and water. Set over barely boiling water, and beat with electric hand mixer, begin at low speed and then proceed to medium, finally to high 4 to 7 minutes, until mixture pecks stiffly. Add vanilla and continue beating to good spreading consistency.

6.    When you are ready to fill and frost the cake, if the cakes have crowns, use a long serrated knife to remove the tops to make cake level. Now if using 8-inch cakes, slice each cake in half horizontally.

7.    Cut 4 strips of waxed paper about 3 X 12 –inches. Place first cake layer cut side down on cake plate, place these waxed papers around cake, just under the cake so no cake edge is touching the plate (this keeps the plate clean of frosting). Place a good dollop of frosting spread out evenly. Place the next cake on, top side up and frost, now place the third layer on top of cake side down, frost; and last but not least the fourth layer cut side down ( this will give you a beautiful even layer cake). Now use the rest of the frosting to do the top and the sides. Carefully remove the waxed paper. Sprinkle finely grated milk-chocolate on top.

8.     If using 9- inch pans, follow all the same directions, but do not cakes in half horizontally. The first cake on the cake plate is placed upside down, frost and place second cake upside down on top frosting.

Let cake set for at least 1 hour before cutting.


– Chef Jerrieann Taylor



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