Devil’s Food Cake

devils food cake

The key to this cake’s moistness and depth of flavor is the hot chocolate you make for it. Feel free to experiment with the type of chocolate you use since it can only add to the cake’s richness and character.


  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (58 to 62 percent cacao), chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Makes 3 (9-inch) cakes

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Coat the bottoms and sides of three 9-by 2-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or butter and line with parchment rounds.

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, oil, chopped chocolate and water and heat over medium heat just until the chocolate and butter are melted. Do not let it boil. Set aside off the heat.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then add the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Stir with the whisk until the mixture is well combined and smooth.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake on rack in the center of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cakes seem firm and a toothpick inserted in the center of each of the cakes comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool in the pans on racks. Run a small knife around the sides of the cakes and invert them onto the racks.

If you’re not using the cakes right away, wrap them well in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze.