Most of us have at least one cake in our recipe books that is a can’t miss, go-to cake. You know, the one that’s perfect for a birthday or to have on hand for lunches, snacks or just a treat. This is mine! I realize that calling this the Perfect Devil’s Food Cake is pretty audacious – but to our family, that’s exactly what it is! This recipe was passed to me over 30 years ago from hubby’s family, and on to my side of the family and has become the cake that everyone loves. Holidays, birthdays or just getting together – chances are pretty high that this cake is part of the dessert table!
This is not an airy cake. Though it tastes light, it’s dense and is a great partner to ice cream. It is never dry, has just the right chocolate taste and is not too sweet. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to this cake. This is one of those cakes that you just know is always going to turn out perfectly…well, except for the one Christmas when my poor mom was rushing around and forgot to add the sugar to the batter. Ok, THAT one tasted weird.
One of the ingredients is a cup of strong, decaffeinated coffee. Now, I’m not a professional pastry chef or food scientist, just someone who loves to bake and cook, but I know you HAVE to include the coffee or this cake just won’t turn out. I always keep a very small jar of instant, decaffeinated coffee in the pantry, pretty much just for this cake.
I’ve never baked this cake in anything other than a tube pan; I never want to miss the opportunity to use one of my grandmother’s vintage pans! This flower pan is pretty much one of my favorite things, and although the flat part of the removable “tube” piece has become slightly warped, I just put it on a cookie sheet. Yep, the pan sometimes leaks a bit and it did with this cake, too. I just cut away any cake that leeched out onto the cookie sheet. I’m not giving up this pan and I’m always amazed that it has survived 60+ years! If you bake this cake in standard 8” or 9” rounds, I would recommend checking to see if it’s done at about 35 minutes and then at five minute intervals. You can also bake this cake in a bundt pan.
Devil’s Food Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups of flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 cup of milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (8 ounces) strong, decaffeinated coffee
Prepare a 10″ tube pan; cut a piece of parchment paper to size and place in the bottom of pan. Generously grease and flour pan and parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk and vegetable oil until well blended; add coffee and continue mixing for about two minutes. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Pour batter into prepared tube pan and bake for one hour. Cool on wire rack in pan for 10 minutes. Invert pan on wire rack and remove cake from pan. Cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 2 and ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon of milk
Using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add confectioner’s sugar about ½ cup at a time and mix until smooth. If frosting is not smooth enough to spread, add small amounts of additional milk until it reaches desired consistency.
Garnish the cake however you’d like. A sprinkle of grated, semi-sweet chocolate makes a nice finish. The next time you want to make a chocolate cake – for an occasion or just for snacking – try this perfect devil’s food cake. Maybe it will become part of your go-to cake list!
What’s your favorite, go-to cake?
Ok, my friends, if you are with me in the path of this big winter storm, stay safe, stay warm and if cabin fever hits, bake a cake! All of our other friends – send us warmth and sunshine. I think we all need a bright, little reminder that Spring IS coming, so I’m excited to add this happy little countdown to the sidebar for your visits. Thank you so much for stopping by today!
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