Devil’s Food Cake

I remember as a kid, going to the grocery store and looking at the bakery display of all the delicious pastries, cookies and beautifully decorated cakes. This was back in the day when bakeries would display styrofoam cake forms that were decorated with royal icing to show the styles available to order for wedding and birthday cakes. I remember thinking that the people in the bakery must love their jobs and that they were the luckiest people ever because they got to decorate cakes and get paid for it. I will admit that when I have a good excuse to make a cake for someone, I still get very excited about it.

My son asked me to make double chocolate caramel cupcakes for his 15th birthday and ofcourse I said I would. This recipe for Devil’s Food Cake is one that I’ve adapted from a cookbook I bought in my early twenties, I love this book and in the twenty years that I’ve had it, the pages are stained with chocolate and butter and some of the pages even stick together at times and I love it more because of that. I’ve always told my kids that a cookbook or any book for that matter, should look loved if it was loved. My collection of cookbooks are definitely loved and one day I hope my kids will use them and see a chocolate stain and wonder if that was one of their birthday cakes.

All ingredients should be at room temperature for the best results


Devil’s Food Cake

Makes 30 Cupcakes

3 1/2 Cups All purpose flour

2 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Cup Cocoa, dutch processed*

1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk**, room temperature

1 1/2 Cups Butter, softened

2 Tbsp Instant Coffee

2 Cups Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed

6 Large Eggs, room temperature

*Dutch processed cocoa powder is not hard to find, it simply refers to adding an alkaline to the cocoa to remove any bitter flavours. Look for cocoa that has potassium as an ingredient. I know that Superstore no name brand works really well.

**To make your own buttermilk for this recipe, combine 1 1/4 cups milk and 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

Start by preheating the oven to 350F or 375F if using convection. Line the cupcake pans with paper liners and spray the pans with a bit of oil if the paper liners are not tall enough to reach over the rim of the pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand blender, cream the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy, approx. 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time while blending to allow each egg to be incorporated.

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. You can sift in a wire strainer or use a whisk but it’s important to ensure  there are no lumps from the cocoa powder, they can be pretty tight lumps and won’t break up in the mixing process. Add instant coffee powder after sifting and stir to combine.

Add half of your flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed to combine. Add your buttermilk and mix on low speed to combine. Add the remaining flour and mix on low to combine and then on medium for one minute to build structure in the cake. This is a thick cake batter, it comes out much darker than the batter suggests in it’s unbaked form and it’s moist and fluffy when it’s baked but has enough structure to build as a layer cake as well.


To make the Turtle Cupcakes in the picture go to the following recipes:

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Easy Chocolate Buttercream



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