Devil’s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting

Dessert has been a little pie-centric lately, so it was time for something different: cake. Rather than hitting up the bakery, I wanted to make my wife’s birthday cake myself for a change, and I knew chocolate had to be the focus. That’s still pretty open-ended, but I thought a good compromise between birthday cake and a heavy, rich chocolate cake (like a torte) was a traditional Devil’s Food Cake with a rich, fudge frosting.

Slice a fresh piece of devil’s food cake

The cake is delicious, semi-airy chocolate with a dense, rich, decadent frosting and filling (and rich in adjectives!). The cake itself is stacked two layers high and combines ingredients for a traditional, light batter with some darker flavors, like cocoa powder and dark brown sugar. The frosting is a fudge-like mixture of cream and some high quality dark chocolate for some real richness with the curious tang of sour cream. The combination: a happy birthday girl (success! :-) ) And I feel stupid for not ever having realized this until now, but did you know that Devil’s food cake is the counter to angel cake, given how diametrically opposed they are? News to me–I always just thought it was a bad pun on how tempting the cake is (well, I suppose that still holds true, too).

This recipe originated from the Williams-Sonoma Dessert book and is also my entry in this month’s WTSIM where the theme is layered cakes.

  • Cake
    • 2.5 cups all purpose flour (cake or some other, lighter flour is preferrable)
    • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1.5 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3/4 cup (so 1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 2 cups dark brown sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 4 eggs
    • 1.5 cups buttermilk
  • Frosting
    • 12 oz chocolate (I used an equal mix of bittersweet, semisweet, and milk chocolates)
    • 1.75 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • dash of salt

Grease and line pan with greased and floured parchment paper

Before you get started, butter the bottom and sides of your round pans. Then, cut out a piece of parchment paper for each so that it fits the bottom of the pan well. Stick it in place and butter that as well. Dust lightly with flour and set this aside. You do all of this so that the cake comes out of the pan very easily later because it would be a sad state of affairs if your baked cake stuck to the bottom and split in half when you tried to remove it. Pulling off a sheet of paper is much easier.

Sift the flour, cocoa, etc well

Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 350?F. In a large bowl, sift your flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sifting doesn’t mean just mix together–shake it through a sieve or some fine surface to get things as finely mixed as possible. This will help make your cake light and airy.

Beat and cream the butter

In a larger bowl, add your butter (which should be at close to room temperature, like all of your dairy ingredients). Using a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until it gets nice and creamy. This step alone gets a lot of air into your cake later.

Beat in the brown sugar

This begins the slow process or adding in everything else one at a time and beating it in so that it gets mixed together really well. This doesn’t mean beat the hell out of the batter–just to mix each ingredient in just to the point of completely integrating it into the mixture and then stop. Overmixing will undo all of your butter creaming efforts and deflate your batter, freeing all of the air you worked in earlier.

So with that warning, now, add in some (not all) of your brown sugar and beat it in well. Do this in three or so batches, adding in and mixing well. You should have a somewhat goopy, fluffy brown sugar mix. So next up: your vanilla extract. Add it and beat it in.

Gradually incorporate the eggs

Now for the eggs. Add each egg one at a time and then beat the mixture well. Things should lighten in color and become much creamier.

Gradually beat in the sifted dry ingredients and the buttermilk

Now for an opportunity to make a bigger mess than you might already have. Its time to incorporate the dry sifted ingredients with your batter, so it would be a good idea to use the mixer on a slower speed now (or else you’ll just finely dust your kitchen with flour and cocoa powder). So add about a third of your dry ingredients into the wet bowl and mix well. Then, pour in half of your buttermilk and mix well. Now another third of dry, mix, remaining buttermilk, mix, and finally, the last of the dry. Beat everything well so that you have a creamy, homogenous cake batter.

Half of the batter goes in one pie pan Bake for about 25 minutes and let cool

Pour half of your batter into each round pan and stir gently and give a little shake to get any major air bubbles out of there (you won’t get them all, so just go for the big ones). Bake these for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean through the center. Take these out and let them cool off for about fifteen minutes. Gently and carefully, use a knife around the edges to break the cake free from the pan. Then, just as carefully, flip the pans over to get the cake out on a clean surface (a wire rack is ideal, and I need to buy one already). Carefully peel off the parchment paper and let these guys cool off some more while you prepare the frosting.

The poor man’s double boiler Cream and chocolate Beat the melted chocolate into the cream well

The frosting is very simple to make and very rich. You probably noticed that chocolate makes up the better part of the frosting. So it follows that if you use cheap, junky chocolate, you’re going to get equally cheap, junky frosting, so use some good chocolate here (e.g. one of those 70% pure cocoa type of chocolates, such as Lindt). Depending on your audience, you might opt to use nothing but bittersweet chocolate, but I chose to use a mixture of bittersweet, semi-sweet, and milk chocolate.

Now if you have a double boiler, set that up. If you don’t (like me), get about an inch of water boiling in a saucepan, then drop the temperature down to medium to simmer the water, and put a heat-proof bowl on top. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water–it should just form a seal with your pan and be somewhat close to the water.

Mix the chocolate and the heavy cream in the bowl and whisk these as the chocolate gradually melts down. Do not cover and do not let the underlying water boil. Moisture getting into your chocolate or excessive, fast rising heat will stiffen the chocolate and do bad things, hence the indirect, gradual heat of double boiling. The chocolate should slowly start to melt down so whisk it into the cream as it does. Keep this going until the chocolate and cream are well blended and then remove from heat.

Let this cool off for a few minutes. Then, add in the sour cream and salt and whisk until blended. I know sour cream sounds like a strange addition, but it adds a really nice, subtle tang and body to the final frosting without tasting like sour cream–trust me, its a very good thing. Cool for a little while longer and whisk again once or twice just to fluff it up some more.

Spread frosting on top of bottom half

At this point, ideally you’ve let your cake and your frosting cool off sufficiently (in case you can’t tell from my photo, I didn’t 😉 ). Now, take one half of your cake, parchment side up, and put it on your intended serving plate. If it doesn’t seem like the cake is quite flat, you can carefully edge it off with a serrated knife. I’m no presentation perfectionist, so I was happier having more cake rather than a prettier cake. 😉

Spread no more than a third of your frosting on top of this. This will be your filling.

Add the top half, cover with frosting

Then, place your other cake half on top of this, parchment side up. Now, coat the entire thing with the rest of your frosting. Decorate it up if that’s your thing (clearly not mine 😉 ).

Cut the cake

Clean the edges of your serving plate, lick your fingers, and cut a slice…

Slice of devil’s food cake

Enjoy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Be Sociable, Share!
  1. Enjoy this recipe? Never miss another!

Related Posts


49 Responses to “Devil’s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting”

  1. holler Says:

    Wow, this is sinful! I have to make this!
    I have sour cream and i have yogurt, I wonder if I can substitute the quantity of buttermilk?
    Great post!

  2. holler Says:

    oh, and a very happy birthday to you wife!

  3. Lydia Says:

    Beautiful cake, and happy birthday to your wife!

  4. Scoob Says:

    Yogurt is in no way a substitute for buttermilk, their chemical composition is completely different and won’t bring the needed fats to the party to help the chocolate out.

    Besides, you’re talking about a chocolate cake with a fudge topping – healthy, which yogurt is, shouldn’t be anywhere near it :p

  5. mike Says:

    I was curious about the buttermilk substitution question and found some information out there, but I can’t vouch for how well it would work flavor/texture-wise. I was also a bit surprised that there’s no single suggested way to substitute, but for what its worth…

    http://www.ehow.com/how_114372_substitute-missing-ingredients.html

    http://www.ochef.com/250.htm

    http://www.foodsubs.com/Cultmilk.html

    And thanks for the well wishes. :-)

  6. Katie Says:

    Devil’s Food with Fudge Frosting was always my request for birthday cakes! Lucky wife!
    My recipe for the Fudge frosting comes from the ‘Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls’. I got it as a gift when I was a child. The only recipe I ever used but it’s wonderful1

  7. Pam Says:

    Wow, gorgeous cake! I had no idea either about the whole devilsfood/angelfood cake.

  8. holler Says:

    Thanks for the tips Mike, I have made a note of them. They will come to good use!

  9. Bubbles Says:

    Wow, what a beautiful chocolate cake, my mouth is watering, how long did it take before that was devoured? At our house it would have been gone in 2 days. Looks scrumptous, your wife must have loved it!

  10. mike Says:

    Katie — sounds like you’re going to have to post a cake on your web site soon!

    Pam — thanks! And I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one, lol

    Bubbles — welcome and still working on it 😉

  11. Andrew Says:

    My kinda cake mate!

    Many thanks for taking part in Waiter…

  12. Bubbles Says:

    I’m waiting on another scrumptuous dessert for your wife, the cake must be gone by now! How about something with peanut butter? All of your entrees look delicious, the last one looks like orange chicken from our chinese restaurant!

  13. Mike’s Table » Persimmon Chiffon Cake & Custard Says:

    […] before, the basic thing here is that we’re going to make a cake without butter. Normally, you cream butter when making cake batter in order to beat some air (and therefore fluffiness) into the batter so that the cake bakes in an […]

  14. Blueberry Muffins w/Hazelnut Streusel from Mike's Table Says:

    […] such delightful experience. Creating a butter-based cake batter, while not necessarily challenging, can be a bit of work what with all of the thorough mixing/creaming of ingredients one at a time all the way from start […]

  15. the caked crusader Says:

    Now I’m going to show myself up here…but that’s a very small slice of cake!
    Looks great!

  16. mike Says:

    caked crusader — Haha, funny it took this long for somebody to call me out on that slice! Its a side effect of my poor slice cutting/serving abilities 😉 Welcome and thanks :-)

  17. Chocolate Heart Attack Cake for my blog’s birthday! from Mike's Table Says:

    […] it regularly until it firmed up, then transferring it to the fridge (next time, I might opt for a more familiar ganache recipe that has never done me wrong). Ideally, you won’t have the same experience. Because of my experience and the fact that I […]

  18. Anne "boracay island philippines" Peterson Says:

    Can I have some?
    Can I?
    Please..
    =(

  19. Blueberry (or Cranberry) Muffins w/Hazelnut Streusel | iforgetmenot Says:

    […] delightful experience. Creating a butter-based cake batter, while not necessarily challenging, can be a bit of work what with all of the thorough mixing/creaming of ingredients one at a time all the way from start […]

  20. bestcoffeemakerreviews2014.com Says:

    These are genuinely enormous ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some nice points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  21. Link K Schwartz Says:

    Link K Schwartz

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  22. online reputation management mug shots Says:

    online reputation management mug shots

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  23. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  24. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  25. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  26. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  27. Post Brothers Says:

    Post Brothers

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  28. Post Brothers Apartments Says:

    Post Brothers Apartments

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  29. Post Brothers Says:

    Post Brothers

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  30. Post Brothers Apartments Says:

    Post Brothers Apartments

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  31. post brothers apartments Says:

    post brothers apartments

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  32. Post Brothers Apartments Says:

    Post Brothers Apartments

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  33. Post Brothers Apartments Says:

    Post Brothers Apartments

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  34. Post Brothers Apartments Says:

    Post Brothers Apartments

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  35. post brothers apartments Says:

    post brothers apartments

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  36. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  37. douglas pitassi Says:

    douglas pitassi

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  38. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  39. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  40. douglas pitassi Says:

    douglas pitassi

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  41. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  42. douglas pitassi Says:

    douglas pitassi

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  43. consolidated credit Says:

    consolidated credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  44. Consolidated Credit Says:

    Consolidated Credit

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  45. douglas pitassi Says:

    douglas pitassi

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  46. douglas pitassi Says:

    douglas pitassi

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  47. douglas pitassi Says:

    douglas pitassi

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  48. Douglas Pitassi Says:

    Douglas Pitassi

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

  49. sp=show-clips Says:

    sp=show-clips

    Devil?s Food Cake with Fudge Frosting from Mike’s Table

Leave a Reply