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Devil’s Food Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Devil’s Food Cake is a classic – a dark, rich, moist chocolate cake with a tender crumb. Pair it with dark chocolate ganache – it’s as ‘chocolaty’ as it can get!

It’s different from the ‘traditional chocolate cake’ – cocoa powder gives it an intense chocolate flavour; acidity from buttermilk and cocoa reacts with the baking soda to give it a moist crumb. The recipe also has little coffee to accentuate the chocolate flavour, but you cannot taste the coffee in the final cake. You can skip it if you want.

Some say that the name Devil’s food cake might be because of the reddish-brown colour, some say it’s because the cake is so sinful! Whatever be the reason, this cake is definitely a notch higher than your regular chocolate cake.

What’s better than dark chocolate ganache to frost this cake?

If you are going the chocolate route, go it the whole way! Smooth and silky, ganache is just a combination of chocolate and cream. Depending on the type of chocolate (white, milk, dark) and the purpose of your ganache (frosting/filling, truffles, whipped or glossy glaze), the ratio of chocolate and cream would differ. This warrants another post on ganache!

For this cake, I’ve used a 1:1 ratio of dark chocolate and heavy cream. For making the ganache, you simply have to chop the chocolate into little chunks, pour hot cream over it and let it sit for few minutes before mixing it to combine. Cool it at room temperature or in the fridge. Chocolate Ganache can be frozen as well for future use.  I recommend using good quality couverture chocolate as it gives the best flavours.

Since I made the chocolate ganache a day in advance, I cooled it to room temperature, then covered it and stored it overnight in the fridge. Before frosting, I let it sit at the counter to thaw till it reached the peanut butter consistency, which was perfect for filling and frosting.

The cake recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog. This recipe makes three 6″ cakes to get a tall layer cake. I’ve adapted the recipe to make two 5″ cakes as shown in the pictures.

If you want to adapt this cake to different pan size, refer to my post Adapting Recipes to different pans” for an easy way to do it. For example, multiply the ingredients by 1.5 to make two tall 9″ cakes which can be then cut into halves to get 4 layers in total. You may need to bake the cakes longer.

Store the cake either at room temperature or in the fridge(if the weather is too hot). Cake stores well for 3-4 days at room temperature and about 7 days if refrigerated.

By the way, can you see how moist the cake is?

Devil's Food Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Devil's Food Cake is a classic - a dark, rich, moist chocolate cake with a tender crumb. Pair it with dark chocolate ganache - it's as 'chocolaty' as it can get!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, devil's food cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Noopur


Devil's Food Cake (makes 3 x 6" cakes)

  • 165 g all-purpose flour
  • 260 g caster sugar
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 180 ml buttermilk - or make your own with milk and 1 tsp of vinegar mixed and left for 5 min
  • 90 ml oil
  • 2 regular eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180 ml hot coffee

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 250 g couverture dark chocolate - at least 55% cocoa, roughly chopped
  • 250 g heavy cream


Making the cakes

  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Line three 6" round pans with parchment paper at the bottom and butter & flour the pans. 
  • In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep it aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. 
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in 3 additions. Gently mix in until there are no dry lumps. Do not overmix.
  • Add the hot coffee to the batter and gently mix until combined. The batter will be quite wet.
  • Pour the batter equally into 3 pans and bake them at 160C for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. (Baking them at 160C instead of 180C helps get flat tops instead of domed shapes). Remove from oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling on a wire rack completely.
  • If you make the cakes in advance, cling wrap each cake individually and freeze them. When you're ready to use, let them thaw a little before filling and frosting.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • In a large bowl, add all the chopped chocolate.
  • In a saucepan, heat the cream till it just starts to boil.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate gently and let it sit undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Gently start stirring the chocolate and cream together. In few minutes the cream will be fully incorporated into the chocolate and you'll get a homogenous smooth mixture. (If there are some lumps of chocolate that have not melted even after mixing for a while, microwave the mixture for 10 seconds at a time till its completely melted.)
  • Let it cool at room temperature. Cover the bowl with cling wrap such that it touches the surface of the ganache to avoid a skin from forming.
  • Ganache can be kept refrigerated for a couple of weeks and can be frozen for up to three months.

Assembling the cake

  • Make sure the layers of cake are not domed a lot - if they are then cut off the dome to get a flat top. The ganache should be of peanut butter consistency for filling and frosting.
  • Place one layer of cake on a cake board. Apply a dollop of ganache on the top and spread it evenly using an offset spatula. Place the second layer on top and apply a layer of frosting. Place the third layer on top with the bottom side up. Apply a layer of frosting and spread it evenly with an offset spatula.
  • Using a large spatula, apply ganache around the sides of the cake. Use a bench scraper and turntable to get even smooth edges. You can dip the bench scraper in warm water and clean it everytime you run it around the sides - this will help get a smooth finish.
  • Decorate as desired - you can add some chocolate ganache to a piping bag filled with an open star piping tip (Wilton 1M) and pipe rosettes on top.

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