Devil’s Food Birthday Cake

I I love trying new recipes, which unfortunately means I  don’t get around to repeating some of the favorites soon enough. However I’ve made this Devil’s Food Cake a few times, because it’s a great go to recipe and is very versatile. I’ve used it to make both a single layer cake with a glaze (recipe here), and this  2-layer birthday cake with frosting. It’s moist and chocolatey so is always a big hit with everyone, irrespective of how you dress it.

Serving: two 9″x 9″ cakes

For the Cake Batter:
2  1/4 cups of All Purpose Flour
3/4 cups of Cocoa Powder (+ 1 tbsp for dusting)
1 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Baking Powder
2 tsp of Baking Soda
2 cups of Granulated Sugar
1 cup of brewed coffee
1 cup of Unsalted Butter
3 Eggs
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup of Milk

For the Frosting:
2  3/4 confectioners sugar
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
8 tbsp butter
5 tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
Any candy of choice

For the Cake Batter:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare the cake pans by buttering and then dusting with cocoa powder.
  2. Using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approx. 4 minutes. Then add the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Add half of this dry mixture with half of the milk and coffee into the butter, and mix that in well. Then add the remaining half of the dry ingredients with the milk and coffee. Whisk until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, and tap on the counter just to get rid of any air bubbles.
  6. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove onto a rack. Allow to cool for several hours before layering and frosting.


For the Frosting:

  1.  In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with 1 tbsp of milk at a time.


Layering & Decoration:

  1. Level the cakes off if required by cutting off any excess cake.
  2. Put 1/3 of the frosting on the top of bottom layer and spread out evenly. Place the second cake layer on top. Place the remaining frosting on the top layer, and level it off, and then move excess onto the sides and cover equally. Ensure that the frosting is evenly spread over the cake, it doesn’t have to be very neat.
  3. Press the coconut into the sides of the cake. On the top of the cake, use a fork to make a checkerboard effect. Then place the candy, I used peanut M&Ms here, in any configuration you like, such as an age number.
Adapted from Laura Vitale

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