Annika Eats

Devil's Food Cake

A moist chocolate cake that is layered between a silk like, rich chocolate frosting making for a perfect chocolate filled spoonful with every bite. 

With 2020 being 2020 – I think Halloween is a celebration we cannot turn a blind eye on. I mean I don’t go around trick or treating but I do like to celebrate and adorn the occasion with special food round my table. Hence it only made sense that I dish out a Devil’s Food Cake recipe. In saying this, what is Devil’s Food Cake? If you want the straight forward answer it is a Chocolate cake. But lets understand that this chocolate cake is no ordinary one. I mean it wouldn’t be called Devil’s Food cake if it was a basic chocolate cake. There is a surplus amount of chocolate not only in the cake but also in the frosting making it very indulgent and luxurious.  

Where did it get its name from? The cake surfaced in the early 1900s in United States when fancy names for cakes was a thing. It stuck around and decades later here we are, it stood the test of time. But why Devil you may wonder? The cake itself is dark and decadent, paired with the frosting it makes for a very rich and almost sinful experience, hence the name. The cake gets its dark color and over all appeal from the amount of cocoa in it, it is an all butter cake making it very tender allowing for a melt-in-your-mouth sort of experience. The frosting is the thing of beauty as the amount of dark chocolate used makes it moreish and balances out the cake sponge well. 

Important points to keep in mind: 

Weigh out your ingredients before you start baking. Take your time beating the butter and sugar together. Do not over work the batter once all the dry ingredients have been added as it will make the cake very dense. Let the cake cool completely before frosting or else your frosting will melt off the cake. Make the frosting head of time as it needs to chill in the fridge before using. If you don’t have corn syrup, golden syrup or glucose syrup will be great here. Do not skimp on the quality of chocolate as the frosting is made up of half chocolate. If the frosting has not set let it cool further in the fridge before using. If you don’t have 3 sandwich cake tins bake the batter in 3 intervals one after the other in the same tin. The batter doesn’t lose much of its airy and it is a better option in reference to baking one huge cake and then attempting to trim and layer the cake evenly as it is very tender.  

This cake is better when devoured the next day hence it is great to bake in advance. You can make and assemble the cakes a day before and enjoy slicing into it later. It stores well at room temperature and doesn’t melt out, as long as it is not in direct heat or humidity it will be fine. After a day you can slice the cake into individual portions, wrap in cling film, store in a zip lock bag and transfer to the freezer for up to 1 month. When you desire a piece of this cake, let it come to room temperature on the kitchen counter and eat. As the cake has a frosting you cannot heat it in the microwave. The joy about this cake is that there is no fuss in trimming or leveling that most cakes need before it can get frosted. 

I have decorated my Devil’s Food Cake to mimic a graveyard scene, since its Halloween. I used some biscuits and royal icing to do the job for me. You can leave it as it is and it still looks inviting and intensely sinful. So Happy Halloween and Happy Baking! 

Devil's Food Cake

A moist chocolate cake that is layered between a silk like, rich chocolate frosting making for a perfect chocolate filled spoonful with every bite.
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Decorating Time 15 minutes
Course Cake, Dessert, Sweet tooth
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Slices


  • Whisk
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Heatproof jug
  • Sauce pot
  • Spatula
  • Offset spatula
  • Baking paper



  • 250 gm Boiling water
  • 1 tbsp Instant coffee
  • 110 gm Brown sugar
  • 55 gm Cocoa powder
  • 125 gm Butter (soft)
  • 150 gm Castor sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 215 gm Flour
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • Pinch of salt


  • 340 gm Dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 400 gm Whipping cream
  • 30 gm Butter
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt


To make the cake -

  • 1.Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Line 3, round 9inch sandwich cake tins with oil and baking paper.
  • In a heatproof jug, pour the hot water, cocoa, instant coffee and brown sugar. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the butter and beat with an electric hand beater. One pale and light, add the castor sugar and beat further until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well between each egg. Add the vanilla and using a spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
  • In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and stir to together briefly.
  • Add 2 spoons of the dry mixture into the egg batter and mix well, pour half the liquid mixture into the batter and mix again. Alternate the wet and dry mixtures and mix between each addition until all is combined.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake in the middle and bottom rack of the oven for 22-25 mins until risen, dry to the touch and when you press it with your finger it springs back. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting -

  • 1.Heat the cream with the cocoa powder and icing sugar in a sauce pot until little bubbles form on the side, do not boil the cream. Whisk it to ensure there are no pockets of cocoa powder in the liquid. Pour over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a minute before stirring.
  • Get a whisk and gently start whisking from the center moving outside until smooth. Add the butter and whisk until combined. Add the corn syrup, salt and whisk again until smooth. Do not be alarmed at how runny the frosting is, as it cools down it firms up. This should take 2 hours.

Assembly -

  • 1.Get a spooky looking plate/platter and place four strips of baking paper around it. Dollop a spoonful of the now set frosting into the center of the plate. Place your ugliest looking cake from the 3 at the bottom and dollop 2 tablespoons of frosting onto it.
  • 2.Using an offset spatula or knife spread the frosting evenly and keep going until you have layered all the cakes. Dump the remaining frosting on top of the cake and frost it in a very hap hazard manner, it is a Halloween cake after all, it doesn’t need to be perfect.
  • 3.Decorate with sprinkles or edible candy and let it sit for at least an hour before you cut and serve it.


>You can add bits of Twix bars or any crunchy candy you like into the cake while layering it with frosting.

4 thoughts on “Devil’s Food Cake”

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