If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m obsessed with chocolate. Love it, need it, gotta have it. So let’s talk about this devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.
All. The. Chocolate. Dense, moist devil’s food cake topped with light, creamy, chocolate buttercream frosting.
Seriously is there anything a chocolate lover could want more??? I mean maybe this chocolate cheesecake 😎 but let’s focus.
When we went to Chicago we missed both Father’s Day and my dad’s bday (SAME day this year)! I sent him his gift and the whole fam face timed while I was on the beach of Lake Michigan 😂 but it was just definitely not the same.
To make up for it, I drove up to Anacortes last weekend to visit the parentals and of course I had to bring my dad a birthday cake! And his favorite flavor? Chocolate. Runs in the family.
Although, In the past though I’ve not been too thrilled with straight up chocolate cakes. They’re always a little too sweet, especially when paired with traditional frosting. So I opted for the devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream frosting: deep, dark, chocolate flavor with enough sweet to cure the craving but not enough that you end up with a headache.
Honestly, I’m SO excited about this cake. I took a bajillion pictures of it (in case you can’t tell by this post 😇) and couldn’t wait to share it with you! It might seem like chocolate overload with my skillet brownie from a couple weeks back but really, is there such a thing?
OK so about this devil’s food cake. I researched and researched and tested and tested to make sure I had a good combo of ingredients.
First, I noticed most recipes mix cocoa powder with boiling water. Ummmm….I find there’s usually always a better liquid to use in pretty much almost any recipe to help with moisture and flavor. In my experience, chocolate cake usually does super well with a little bit of hot coffee (I use decaf). I double checked with my go to inspiration, Ina Garten (LOVE HER) and she definitely uses some hot coffee with no water in sight. Dooooone.
Second, most recipes called for milk to add more moisture. I did a little research and added buttermilk instead, adding a deeper flavor and it also helps to offset too much sweetness.
Third, I went for a simple chocolate buttercream frosting. I usually use a cream cheese frosting because obviously, but devil’s food cake is so heavy it could end up being too rich with that type of topping. A light buttercream is definitely the way to go!
Top with your favorite sprinkles and colorful candles and you’ve got the snazziest birthday cake for days!!
PS. Dad had several slices of this cake so…WINNNN 😎😎😎!Print
For the Cake
- 2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup hot coffee
For the Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar,
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease 2 8″ straight edge cake pans. Line with parchment paper.
- Make the cake filling: In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with a standing mixer or hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Whisk in eggs, one at a time on a low speed, mixing until fully incorporated each time. Add vanilla extract and whisk until mixed.
- Whisk together cocoa powder and hot coffee. Slowly pour in coffee and whisk in on a low speed.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mixing until fully incorporated.
- Add half of flour mixture and half of buttermilk to the egg mixture, whisk until combined. Repeat with the remaining with flour and buttermilk.
- Pour batter into greased layer pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of each cake. Set on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and flip upside down to help flatten out layers. Let cool at least one hour or the frosting will melt.
- Make the frosting: In a standing mixer, whisk butter until light and creamy. Sift in powdered sugar and cocoa powder, whisk until just combined. Pour in cream and vanilla extract, whisk until completely smooth.
- Assemble the cake: When the cake layers are cooled, place one of the cake layers with the flat side down on a plate or cake stand. With an offset spatula, spread the top with 1 cup frosting. Place the second layer on top of this frosted layer, rounded side down, and spread another cup of frosting. Frost the rest of the cake, evenly spreading frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to an hour, until frosting is set.
- Garnish as desired (I used confetti sprinkles and birthday candles).
You can make the cake layers a day ahead of time. After baking the cake layers and letting them cool, remove from their pans, wrap up in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to frost (no more than 24 hours ahead).