February 20, 2022

Chocolate Devil's Food Cake ~ #TheCakeSliceBakers

The devil is in the details with this seriously chocolatey Chocolate Devil's Food Cake. 

This year the The Cake Slice Bakers are baking their way through Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. Her book covers everything from Bundt cakes and loaves to a beautifully layered wedding cakes, with her expert knowledge guiding you through each step. And for those who have not heard of Zoē François she is an amazing baker and bestselling author, blogger, and has a series called Zoë Bakes on the Magnolia Network.

The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of dedicated bakers who all love cake. Each year we choose a new cake-centric cookbook and bake our way through it. Every month we are given 3 choices and on the 20th day of each month we reveal what we have chosen on our blogs. This month's choices were Black Forest Cake, Chocolate Devil's Food Cake, and Raspberry Charlotte Royale. I was going to bake the Black Forest Cake but could not find any cherries here at the moment, so I baked the Chocolate Devil's Food cake instead, which turned out to be an amazing second choice.

Last month I struggled to find small pears, and this month I could not find any cherries. They call it the cost of living in paradise. It can be a PITA, but there are always alternatives, and there is usually a few varieties of chocolate available, and I was extremely happy with how my Chocolate Devil's Food Cake turned out, as well as the Chocolate Frosting.

I have to say that this cake is definitely very well-named. There is something devilish about the preparation for both the cake and the frosting and I had serious doubts that either one of them would actually be edible. The batter for the cake is the thinnest batter I have ever made, like pourable hot chocolate.  As I poured it into the baking pan I prayed to the baking gods for a little help.  I checked it after 15 minutes and it looked like a mini volcano was happening, and I thought for sure it was going to overflow and quickly put a tray underneath it. If it didn't turn out well I knew that I would be disappointed, and I didn't want to add cleaning my oven to the mix.  But surprise, surprise nothing went south and the cake turned our perfectly. Then I moved onto the chocolate frosting, with everything going smoothly until I started mixing in the powdered sugar. Honestly, it looked like an oily, gritty mess - attractive I know -  but I persevered and after adding about 3 tablespoons of additional whipping cream it all came together and was smooth sailing from then on.  This is one seriously perfect cake for the chocoholics, and I can see why Zoë describes it as "the BEST chocolate cake I have ever made".

Chocolate Devil's Food Cake

Cake ~
  • 128g (2⅓ cups) all-purpose flour 
  • 400g (2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 50g (⅔ cup) Dutch processed cocoa powder (sifted if lumpy)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 300ml (1¼ cups) hot strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp rum or brandy
  • 2 eggs
  • 240ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 120ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Frosting ~
  • 120ml (½ cup) heavy whipping cream, plus more as needed
  • 220g (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 450g (16 oz) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 300g (2½ cups) powdered sugar (sifted if lumpy)
  • Chocolate shavings for topping

Cake ~
  1. Preheat the oven to 175℃ (350°F).
  2. Generously spray a 23cm x10cm (9 x 4-inch) Pullman pan (or two 20cm (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray.
  3. Line with parchment paper, spray parchment paper with baking spray; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. In a small bowl, stir together the coffee and rum.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until well combined.
  6. Add the egg mixture and half the coffee-rum to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until smooth. Slowly add the remaining coffee-rum and whisk until totally blended and smooth (the batter will be quite thin).
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter several times to release excess air bubbles.
  8. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes (30 minutes for 8-inch rounds).
  9. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the pan and inverting onto a serving plate.
  10. Using a metal decorating spatula, cover the entire cake with an even layer of the frosting and top with chocolate shavings.
  11. Serve at room temperature.
Chocolate Frosting ~
  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, butter, espresso powder, and salt and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring often until the butter is melted.
  2. Add the chocolate and swirl the pan until the chocolate is submerged in the hot cream.
  3. Let the mixture sit for about 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  5. Let the mixture cool to room temperature; it will become quite thick as the butter and chocolate set.
  6. Turn the mixer speed to low, add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, and beat until smooth and spreadable (if the frosting is at all grainy, add additional cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it’s smooth.)
  7. The frosting will be quite soft but firm enough to cling to the cake and spread evenly - use immediately.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

It is a new year and a new book - Zoë Bakes Cakes - and our choices for February 2022 were ~

Black Forest Cake

Chocolate Devils Food Cake

Raspberry Charlotte Royale
  • Note: No group members choose this cake to bake


  1. Wonderful job, it looks picture perfect. I'm sure it was scrumptious.

  2. Hello, is the buttermilk measurement correct? Can you check?

  3. Your cake is beautiful! I had all the same doubts, especially about the frosting, but it all worked perfectly.


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