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May 19, 2010 / Sarah

National Devil’s Food Cake Day

For someone who doesn’t really like cake, I actually really liked this one.  It wasn’t the most beautiful cake – the middle was sunk in so my frosting all kind of pooled in the center of the cake.  I know my cake was cooked all the way through, so perhaps I should try lowering the amount of baking powder, but don’t you think David Lebovitz would have made this adjust on his recipe?  Or maybe it’s because I used a cake flour substitute (cornstarch mixed with all-purpose flour) instead of actual cake flour.  Or maybe it’s because I’m at a high altitude.  I’m not sure, ideas?  But an ugly cake doesn’t make it any less delicious.  It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? 😉

Devil’s Food Cake with Ganache Frosting
Adapted from David Lebovitz

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour (or 1/2 cup cornstarch mixed with 1 cup all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 at room temperature, 1 1/2 cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup water, divided
1/2 cup milk
10 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Butter two 9″ x 2″ cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. To make the cake layers, sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour (or cornstarch and all-purpose flour), salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the room temperature butter and sugar with a hand mixer until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
  4. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then add 1/2 cup water and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.
  5. Divide the batter evenly in the two prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack before frosting.
  6. Meanwhile, make the frosting.   Melt the chocolate with the remaining 1/2 cup water in a stainless steel bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter, whisking until completely melted.  Cool for 1 hour at room temperature.
  7. Remove the cake layers from their pans by running a knife around the inside of each pan.  Flip one cake layer on to a cake plate and remove the parchment paper.  Spread a layer of icing over the top of the first layer.  Top with the second layer and spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake.

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