Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting

Devil’s Food Cake

This sinfully delicious recipe featuring moist, airy layers of cake coated in fluffy swoops of chocolate buttercream works well for any occasion year-round. Find more recipes for Classic Cakes, here. 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3¼ cups (325 grams) cake flour
  • ⅓ cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup whole buttermilk
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper, and spray pans again.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Carefully add ¾ cup boiling water; beat just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting
Makes about 6 cups
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 cups (960 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1⅔ cups (135 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ to ½ cup whole buttermilk
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. In a large bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and salt. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar mixture to butter, beating until combined. Stir in enough buttermilk until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency



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  1. This recipe is good, but too much. I had two cups of left over icing after generously frosting a layer cake. Quality of a truffle candy. Recommend cutting the butter to 1 cup. Cutting powder sugar to 6 cups (what a mess 8 cups is to work with). Butter milk added slowly to get the right consistency. I really don’t understand the rational of using a whip attachment. Butter and sugar became clogged and increased the mess!. Beater worked much better. I will make truffles with the 2 cups I have left.


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