Moist Devil's Food Cake with Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting

Moist Devil's Food Cake with Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting

This is the best birthday cake a chocolate lover could have, courtesy of former crafts and editorial director Hannah Milman's mother. The frosting requires constant stirring for about thirty minutes, but the result is such chocolaty goodness, you'll know every swipe of the spoon was worth it.


  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans

  • ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans

  • ½ cup boiling water

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 ¼ cups sugar

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment. Dust with cocoa powder; tap out excess. Set aside. Sift cocoa powder into a medium bowl; whisk in boiling water. Set aside to cool.

  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside. Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until creamy. Gradually mix in sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, a bit at a time, mixing well between each addition; mix until well blended. Mix in vanilla.

  3. Whisk milk into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture.

  4. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn our cakes onto racks; remove parchment, and reinvert. Let cool completely.

  5. Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand. Spread 1 1/2 cups frosting over top. Add second cake layer, and spread 1 1/2 cups frosting over top. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining 3 cups frosting over top and sides of assembled cake. Cake can be covered with a cake dome or plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature up to 3 days.

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