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Devil's Food Cake

Creating a Wickedly Good Dessert

How some versions of deep chocolate cake picked up the ominous moniker of “Devil’s Food” isn’t clear. There are many theories, but they’re just that. So, of course, I have my own. The opposite of the chocolate cake must be angel food cake–the light, fluffy sponge-like dessert that can be dressed up, but is quite heavenly when eaten plain.

Enter the devil’s food cake. It’s rich, laden with calories, and dishes up all that, well, dangerously addictive chocolate. Where angel food cake may feel like Sunday family lunch, devil’s food has that Saturday night vibe.

I found this recipe years ago, and it has become my devil's food basic go-to. This recipe’s deep chocolate flavor and moistness makes it impossible to resist. Bring on the Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.


1 cup butter, softened

3 cups packed brown sugar

4 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup baking cocoa

3 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 1/3 cups sour cream

1 1/3 boiling water


½ cup butter, cubed

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

5 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350̊ F. Grease and flour three 9-inch round baking pans.

  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternating with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Stir in water until blended.

  3. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

  4. For frosting, in a metal bowl over simmering water, melt butter and chocolates; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

  5. In a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Add chocolate; beat until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate leftovers.


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