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Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache


Half of the ganache is used for the glaze, which should be cool to the touch but pourable. If necessary, warm it over a pan of simmering water.

  • Yield: Makes one 9-inch layer cake

Photography: not applicable

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November 2005


  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, 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
  • Chocolate Ganache for Devil's Food Cake


  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. 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.

  2. 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 cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with flour; beat until combined.

  3. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment. Turn cakes over; let cool completely, topside up. Transfer half of Chocolate Ganache (3 1/2 cups) to clean bowl of an electric mixer; set aside remaining. Let cool completely, stirring frequently, about 40 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until ganache holds soft peaks, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level. Transfer one of the layers to a cake turntable or platter, and spread top with 1 1/2 cups whipped ganache. Top with remaining layer, cut side down, and spread remaining whipped ganache in a thin layer over entire cake, covering completely. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

  5. Transfer cake to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour reserved ganache over top, letting it run down the sides. If necessary, use a large offset spatula to spread from the center toward the edges, so that the cake is evenly and completely covered. Refrigerate until ganache has just begun to set, about 30 minutes. Transfer cake to a serving plate. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered with a cake dome, for up to 2 days.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS12076736
    11 DEC, 2015
    Made this cake with one recipe change, instead of adding water as this recipe calls for, I added the same amount of cooled brewed coffee. The coffee really brings out the flavor of the chocolate and the finished product was delightful.
  • Nassprice
    18 MAR, 2015
    Hi I love this site , I m always looking at the cakes and recipes in it, the only things that really doesn t help me to use them is the measures, I wish you use grams as well.. Cups to measure butter is not easu when you jave to keep the butter cold for exemple :/
  • Hill Grieshaber
    9 NOV, 2013
    I made changes to the recipe that enhanced the original. First, I am not sure about the use of Dutch Process because the recipe calls for baking soda, unless it adds to the deep chocolate look that is lacking with regular cocoa? I feel you can use regular cocoa or substitute the used of baking soda with DP (double the amount in comparison to the baking soda). I also added 2/3 cup of mayo for moistness. This made a wonderful flavorful cake.
  • jstiresstires
    11 OCT, 2013
    Dry, crumbly, horrific effort with expensive ingredients; VERY poorly written. One sentence has hours of effort. I suggest a boxed cake and canned icing, they're FAR better. This cake is awful
  • redrover189
    20 JUN, 2010
    I was extremely disappointed with this cake. It's a dense and heavy cake, but not fudgey at all - and certainly not a Devil's Food-style cake. It didn't have much flavor (dutch-process may be too mild) and the texture was really offputting. I am definitely not a novice baker and I don't believe the results had anything to do with a mistake on my part. I definitely would not make this again.
  • tlksiva
    10 APR, 2010
    hai can i know how much grom for 3/4cup sour cream pls
  • jefflouie
    20 APR, 2009
    I like it.
  • hannah_raya
    28 MAR, 2009
    The taste of olive oil fades when it is heated (also possibly its unique health benefits).
  • corduroyroad
    5 MAR, 2009
    My daughter uses olive oil for all of her cooking and baking. I would think that extra virgin olive oil would not have a least I've never tasted it in her cakes.
  • prinesskikio12
    26 DEC, 2008