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Martha's Favorite

Devil's Food Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

This devilishly delicious all-occasion cake recipe was adapted from "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook," and the frosting recipe is courtesy of Matt Lewis of Baked.

  • Yield: Makes one 9-inch layer cake or 3 dozen standard cupcakes
Devil's Food Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Source: Martha Bakes

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment; dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa with hot water until smooth. Whisk in sour cream; let cool. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each; scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined.

  4. Divide batter between prepared pans (or cupcake tins); smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes (or 18 to 20 minutes for cupcakes).

  5. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment. Re-invert cakes; let cool completely, top sides up.

  6. Make the frosting: Finely chop both the bittersweet and milk chocolates. Place into a mixing bowl. Set aside.

  7. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream and corn syrup to a boil. Take off the heat and pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.

  8. Starting in the center, whisk towards the edges of the bowl until the chocolate is smooth. Let cool at room temperature.

  9. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat at medium speed and gradually add butter until frosting is smooth and silky.

  10. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level. Transfer one of the layers to a cake turntable or platter to frost. With an offset spatula, spread top with 3/4 cup milk chocolate frosting. Place the second cake layer on top.

  11. For the crumb coat, spread the entire cake with a thin coat of frosting using an offset spatula. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

  12. Spread the entire cake with remaining frosting, swirling to coat in a decorative fashion. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered with a cake dome. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

Reviews (13)

  • Tanya Baker 17 Feb, 2014

    I, too, thought the cake was very dry, not moist like devil's food should be. Wondering if I over baked? The chocolate flavor wasn't great and I bought good Dutch-process cocoa especially for the cake. Disappointed!

  • the lone baker 19 Sep, 2013

    I love this cake and have baked it as cupcakes too. I didn't have any problem with dryness. The cake is quite mild in flavour, more of a "crowd pleaser chocolate" than a "death by chocolate" experience. The frosting is silky, glossy and delicious. I usually add a raspberry preserve or coffee cream to the centre filling along with the frosting which is really a "milk chocolate ganache". I'm from Australia and this cake is large by our standards and could easily be halved, then split to fill.

  • Polskagirl 18 Sep, 2013

    In my opinion, this cake is good, but not great and I won't be making it again. I followed the recipe exactly and tested it often with a cake tester as the time neared. I felt it had a weak chocolate flavor even though I used high quality, organic, dutch process cocoa powder. The texture was different from how I expected a devil's food cake to turn out. It had a dry quality to it. I didn't make the frosting, so I can't comment on that. Again, it was so-so.

  • NicoleC98 22 Apr, 2013

    This cake turned our very dry and i baked it 7 minutes less than suggested in recipe. My gas oven is only a year old and bakes pretty accurately. I was very disappointed, this cake took time and it was not good. What a bummer. I suggest baking for 30 minutes and check it every couple of minutes from there. 45-50 minutes was waaaaaay too long of a baking time. I baked mine for 38 minutes and it was already over done :( big disappointment.

  • Maria Clemencia Reyes Gomez 31 Mar, 2013

    Its very good

  • Marina Shaylitsa 16 Jan, 2013

    If your cake came out dry, it is because you over baked it. Decrease baking time and it will come out moist like it is supposed to be.

  • SherryDiGiovanni 24 Aug, 2012

    This cake was very chocolaty in flavor, but it turned out very dry which was very disappointing. The frosting was good but couldn't get my mind off of the dryness of the cake.

  • Rebecca Gamache 13 Jul, 2012

    I made this cake, but I made six times the recipe and turned it into a tiered cake for a rather huge birthday. I created a filling of homemade marshmallow creme between low sugar raspberry preserves. It was a delicious giant. The frosting came out really smooth, but I let it cool for about five hours.

  • amqueen 29 Feb, 2012

    I'm made the frosting because i just couldn't resist the richness of it. It tasted really good more toward the bitter than the milk chocolate side yet I love dark chocolate. The only thing is that the consistency I obtained wasn't as spreadable as the one in the show mine was more liquid. I did waited till the ganache was room temp and the butter was room temp yet cool and folllow every instruction. guess i should have refrigerated the ganache before adding the butter for better consistancy.

  • amqueen 29 Feb, 2012

    I'm made the frosting because i just couldn't resist the richness of it. It tasted really good more toward the bitter than the milk chocolate side yet I love dark chocolate. The only thing is that the consistency I obtained wasn't as spreadable as the one in the show mine was more liquid. I did waited till the ganache was room temp and the butter was room temp yet cool and folllow every instruction. guess i should have refrigerated the ganache before adding the butter for better consistancy.

  • terry2010 16 Sep, 2011

    Hi :) I Was Watching Martha 's Recipe On The Devil's Cake. And I Loved Every Step By Step On How To Do This Very Easy Recipe. And I Loved It. And Now I'm Going To Make IT. Because I Had Made One For My Daughter. And Everything Came Out wrong. My Frosting Came Out Dry, That I Couldn't Even Spread On The Cake, So I'm Going To Try Martha 's Recipe. So At Least I Can Give My Daughter Her Belated Birthday Cake. Thank You.

  • sweetreats0709 2 Sep, 2011

    I made this recipe as cupcakes but did not use this frosting recipe. The cake was very moist and delicious, but I filled the cupcakes too much and the tops look ugly and flat. The cake recipe is very good though, i am not sure why the other reviewer said it was very dry, I wonder if she used regular flour instead of cake flour?

  • SparklyEyes7 19 Mar, 2011

    This was an incredibly dry cake. The frosting was extremely bitter and I added 3 cups of powdered sugar to not just balance the botterness but give it some body. What a waste of time and money!

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