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A large slice of chocolate cake with a smooth chocolate frosting is being lifted from the cake.

Devil's Food Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate cake, classic devil's food cake recipe, devil's food cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling:: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 12
Calories: 724 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur

This Devil's Food Cake is a traditional chocolate cake that is light and fluffy and has a moist crumb. It's made with cocoa powder, buttermilk, and NO coffee!



  • cup (170g) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • ¾ cup (65g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cups (300ml) buttermilk


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • cups (375g) confectioners’ sugar
  • cup (50g) cocoa powder, natural or dutch processed
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 9" cake pans with parchment paper, grease the sides, and set aside.

  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt together in a large bowl; set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat the eggs on medium just until combined. Add the sugars and beat on high until light and fluffy and doubled in size.

  3. Fit mixer with the paddle attachment and add butter a little at a time (about 1 tablespoon at a time), and mix for 10 seconds after each addition scraping the bowl as needed. The batter may appear curdled and that is OK. Add the vanilla.

  4. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk mixing just until incorporated after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed. After the additions mix on medium speed just until thoroughly combined.

  5. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool completely on wire racks.


  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter until pale in color. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low until combined then beat on high until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). If the frosting seems too thin add a little confectioners' sugar. If it is too thick add a little more cream.


  1. Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand. Spread an even layer over the top. Place second cake layer on top and frost the top and sides with remaining frosting. If desired make pretty swirls in the the frosting.

  2. Store cake in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Recipe Notes

  1. MAKE AHEAD: Completely cooled cakes can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 1 day or refrigerated for up to 2 days. Frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Allow everything to come to room temperature before frosting. May need to beat the frosting again before frosting the cake. 
  2. FREEZER FRIENDLY: Completely cooled cakes can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap then in foil and frozen for up to 3 months. Frosted cake can be wrapped in the same manner and frozen for up to 3 months as well. 
  3. Buttermilk: I don't recommend making a DIY version of buttermilk for this cake. I haven't tested it so I can't say how it will turn out. 
  4. High Altitude: Use 1 teaspoon baking soda and ¾ teaspoon baking powder
Nutrition Facts
Devil's Food Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 724 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 28g175%
Cholesterol 162mg54%
Sodium 628mg27%
Carbohydrates 85g28%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 65g72%
Protein 7g14%
Calcium 122mg12%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.