David’s Dish: Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – There’s no denying it, this cake is just too sweet not to try! WILX’s David Andrews has a spooky cake you can really sink your vampire teeth into just in time for Halloween.

See how you can do it yourself!



  • ¾ cup dutch cocoa powder 3 oz. Spoon and level method (see notes)
  • 1 cup of hot coffee, you can also use hot water instead
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup sour cream straight from the fridge is good
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract


  • 14 oz softened unsalted butter (3 ½ sticks)
  • 16 oz white sugar 2 ¼ cups
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 9 oz flour 2 ⅛ cups, measured by spoon and level method, please see notes
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda, reduce to 1.5 teaspoons if making 2 layers (see recipe notes)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line the bottom of three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, butter and dust the sides with cocoa powder. Set aside until needed.


  • Place the hot coffee, cocoa powder and chocolate in a small saucepan. Heat this mixture while stirring to melt the chocolate and cocoa powder in the coffee. Once you have a smooth mixture and all the chocolate is melted, remove the pan from the heat. It doesn’t need to boil.
  • Add salt, sour cream and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Set aside until needed.


  • Place the softened butter and white sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until you have a light, fluffy and creamy butter-sugar mixture. This may take a few minutes on medium-high speed, depending on the temperature of the butter to begin with. Don’t forget to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the butter mixes well.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, on medium speed. Add the next egg as soon as the previous one is well mixed. Do not beat the eggs too much (about 30 seconds per egg). Scrape the sides of the bowl halfway through cooking.
  • Once the eggs are added, add the cocoa mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Add it to the dough in 2 to 3 additions and incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Mix only until the flour is combined and there are no lumps.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. You can either measure this by weight or use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to divide the dough evenly.
  • Tap the cake pan against the work surface 2 to 3 times to remove air bubbles and distribute the batter evenly.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes. The cake is done when a clean toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. The cake will also move slightly away from the sides of the pan.
  • Remove the cake pans from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes to cool slightly. Then turn them out onto a rack so that they cool completely.


  • While the cake is baking. Prepare chocolate and Swiss meringue buttercream according to the recipe here, with the ingredient quantities listed above. This will be more than enough to generously fill and glaze the cake and to decorate.
  • For the simplest option, you can make 3 batches of this simple American Chocolate Buttercream.


  • Place a cake board on a decorating stand (or plate). Place some buttercream on the cake board, then place a layer of cake on top. This buttercream will help secure the bottom layer of the cake to the board.
  • Add about 1 cup of frosting (or as much or as little as you like) and spread it evenly over the surface of the cake layer. Place the second layer on top. Repeat with the same amount of frosting.
  • Place the third layer on top (flat side up). Apply a thin layer of frosting to cover the entire cake. This thin layer constitutes the crumb coating.
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator or a cool place in your home for a few minutes to help set the crumbs.
  • Once the crumb coating is set, apply a generous layer of icing. Create swirls for a rustic look or use an icing scraper to create smooth sides. Also use a spatula to make the icing smooth on top.
  • Pipe a border of frosting along the edge of the cake (optional). The cake is now ready to be served.

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