I feel like it’s been such a long time since I have made a cake! In reality, it’s only been a little less than two weeks, but it’s been at least a year since I have made this fantastic cake. Devil’s Food cake is different than regular chocolate by one major aspect: it contains coffee. A lot of regular chocolate cakes do not have coffee, but the amazing thing is that you can’t even taste it. The small addition of coffee to chocolate cake really brings out the notes in the chocolate. Amazing.
Nothing pairs better with a decadent Devil’s Food cake than a luscious chocolate buttercream frosting. The original recipe for this cake I have had for quite a few years now, and I can’t even remember where I got it. I also changed the recipe slightly, increasing this from a two layer cake to a three layer cake, because personally, I love the look of a triple layer cake.
Also, I experimented with a couple tricks that I have recently learned. Firstly, “Bake-Even” strips. You may or may not have heard of these. There are a few brand names that have these strips. Basically the idea is that you dampen these strips of material, fasten them around the cake pans, and the cakes bake up perfectly level. Oh my gosh, it works. I didn’t want to spend tons of money on the brand name version, so Paul helped me to cut up an old towel. That’s it, that’s all. We cut up an old towel into strips, soaked them in water, wrung them out so that they were still damp, and then safety pinned them around the cake pans. Place the batter in the pan, and then just bake away. Perfectly level cakes.
Secondly, “Miracle Cake Release”. It’s something I found on Pinterest, and decided to give it a try. It’s a 1:1:1 ratio of flour, vegetable or canola oil, and vegetable shortening (I tried ½ c. ratio of each). It really is a miracle. You just mix it all up, brush it on your cake pans, and off you go. No more flouring, cutting up parchment paper, anything like that. So simple and easy. If anyone wants, leave a comment and I can do a post just dedicated to this cake release. It really helps. The cakes just slide out of the pan!
Yield: 1 3-layer cake
For the cake:
13½ tbsp. cocoa
2¼ c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. baking soda
1/3 tsp. baking powder
¾ c. butter
2¼ c. sugar
¾ c. coffee
¾ c. milk
For the chocolate buttercream:
1½ c. butter
1 1/3 c. cocoa
1½ tsp. vanilla
6 c. icing sugar
3 tbsp. milk
Preheat the oven to 350. Brush 3 cake pans with Miracle Cake Release, or line with parchment paper. Secure Bake Even strips around pans with safety pins.
In a liquid measuring cup, mix the milk and coffee and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the cocoa, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder until evenly combined, and also set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the flour mixture and the coffee mixture to the butter mixture in alternating increments. I like to start with the flour mixture, and end with the coffee mixture. Blend until well combined. Pour into pans in even layers.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat the butter and vanilla together to make a fluffy mixture. Add in the cocoa, and the icing sugar one cup at a time. Add in milk a tablespoon at a time as needed to make sure frosting is the right consistency for icing. If you want to bring more of the Devil’s Food flavour to the icing, switch some of the milk for strong brewed coffee.
I promise, the icing will come together. If it seems a bit too dry, add a bit more liquid. If you add a bit too much milk, throw in a bit more icing sugar. Don’t worry. This buttercream is quite forgiving when it comes to consistency.
Once icing is the right consistency, stack cakes one at a time on a serving platter, spreading icing between the layers, and finish cake with a layer of icing on the top and edges. Personally, for Devil’s Food cake, I like a rustic looking icing, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Slice, and serve.