“Devil’s Food Cake: Moist, rich, and decadent chocolate cake that’s so easy to make!”

Watch me make this easy devils food cake from start to finish!

I posted this recipe over 8 years ago and it’s still a fan favorite! Once you make it you’ll see why!

We LOVE devil’s food cake around here. Well, actually we love just about any kind of chocolate cake (hello there chocolate poke cake)  but I find myself making this particular devil’s food cake recipe for just about every birthday. Isaac always requests this cake, but just what is Devil’s Food Cake??

Why is it called Devil’s Food Cake?

If you go on a hunt for the history of Devils Food cake you’re sure to run into several different stories.  Some say it’s the opposite of an Angel Food Cake. Others say it’s red velvet cake with more chocolate and some historians believe the cake was called “deviled” because it was a popular term in the early 1900s for recipes that were “sinful”. Meaning they were very rich, decadent, or tangy.   You can read more about the history of Devil’s Food Cake here.

What does Devils Food Cake Taste Like?

Devils Food cake taste similar to a Red Velvet Cake but with an intense chocolate flavor. It has the same moist, and fluffy crumb as a red velvet cake and includes buttermilk. However, this cake does not contain vinegar or red food coloring like traditional red velvet cake.

This devil’s food cake recipe creates a dark, chocolatey, super moist, and fluffy cake.

And did I mention it’s a one-bowl cake recipe?

moist devils food cake recipe white frosting

What Frosting Is Best For Devil’s Food Cake

I usually make a basic white buttercream frosting (sometimes with a hint of mint extract) for this cake.  There is something about the contrast between the dark cake and white frosting that I love. To decorate the cake I go with shaved chocolate or mini chocolate chips (didn’t have any chocolate chips on hand for the photos). A dark fudge frosting, chocolate buttercream, whipped cocoa frosting or ganache would work just as well.

What makes this Devil’s Food Cake so good?

This devil’s food cake packs a secret ingredient that I love to add to all of my chocolate desserts. And that’s COFFEE!!!

Yep, the chocolate flavor is enhanced by using prepared plain coffee instead of water, as similar recipes require. Don’t worry, you totally can’t taste the coffee. Also, rich buttermilk gives this cake a rich flavor and moist crumb instead of using sour cream.

It’s the perfect Devil’s Food cake because it uses such simple, unfussy ingredients and comes out amazing every time!

What is the Best Unsweetened Cocoa Powder For Devil’s Food Cake?

Usually, when I make this cake I’m making it for kids so I go with what I can find easily in the store.  Therefore,  it’s Hershey’s brand unsweetened cocoa powder for the win! Any dutch-processed cocoa powder will work fabulously in this recipe and give you an incredibly rich and delicious chocolate flavor.




  • all-purpose flour-  Use your favorite baking brand. I love Target’s brand of all-purpose flour.
  • kosher salt- Use to balance sweetest and for leavening.
  • baking powder-Used for leavening. Make sure it is fresh.
  • baking soda-Used for leavening
  • unsweetened cocoa powder- Try to use a dutch-process cocoa powder that has a more intense flavor. Sift to remove any lumps.
  •  granulated sugar- Plain granulated sugar is used to sweeten this cake to perfection!
  • plain hot coffee: No worries, you won’t be able to taste it in the finished cake. And man, it really intensifies that chocolate flavor!
  •  canola oil-This is how this cake is able to stay so moist for so many days!
  • buttermilk: Buttermilk add such a richness to this already rich, and naughty cake!
  •  large eggs: Make sure they are at room temperature
  • vanilla extract: Use a quality brand for the best flavor


  • confectioners sugar
  •  butter softened
  • heavy whipping cream
  • vanilla extract

how to make devil's food cake

How to Make Devil’s Food Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and lightly flour (2)  9-inch round cake pans (set aside)
  2. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Add coffee, oil, and buttermilk and mix using an electric mixer until combined.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and mix for another 2 minutes on medium speed, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. (Be careful not to overmix)
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking pans.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Let cakes cool until pans are cool enough to touch and then remove the cake layers and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. While cakes are cooling prepare frosting by creaming butter with a mixer in a medium bowl.
  9. Slowly add in powdered sugar until the mixture is well combined.
  10. Mix in heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until frosting is light and fluffy. Add more heavy whipping cream by the teaspoon if the frosting is too thick.
  11. Frost cooled cake layers immediately using an offset spatula.
  12. Store cake in an airtight cake container on the counter.


What’s the difference between Devil’s Food Cake and Chocolate Cake? There really isn’t a big difference between devil’s food cake and regular chocolate cake. Some say that since devils food cake has baking soda it causes the cake to have a more intense chocolate taste.

Make cake has a little dome. How can I remove it? If the cake forms a small dome you can shave it off using a serrated knife.

Can I add dark chocolate to this recipe? Sure, but it’s certainly not needed. 2-4 oz ounces of finely chopped dark chocolate works well.

Can I freeze this cake? Yes, you can freeze this cake. I’d suggest slicing the cake and wrapping each slice in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped cakes in a freezer-safe food storage container and bring them to room temperature when ready to serve. You can also flash-freeze the cake slices if you’re worried about the frosting sticking.

Tips for Making This Devils Food Cake

What I love about this devil’s food cake recipe is that it’s so easy and forgiving, but here are a few tips to ensure your cake turns out incredible.

  1. Use the best ingredients. This cake is very basic so using your favorite, high-quality ingredients will give you a superior flavor!
  2. Sift. Be sure to sift your cocoa powder to remove any lumps.
  3. Don’t go low-fat. This cake isn’t devilish for nothing! Using full-fat ingredients will create a rich and delicious cake.
  4. Use coffee. Don’t skip the coffee in this recipe. It really makes for an incredible devil’s food cake! Simply prepare a cup of regular plain coffee. That’s it! You can even use instant coffee.
  5. Be careful not to overbake. OVerbaking will result in a dry cake. When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with moist crumbs clinging to it, remove the cake from the oven.
  6. Frost immediately. Once the cakes have cooled completely, frost them immediately to retain the moisture.
  7. Store it. Store this Devil’s Food Cake on the counter in an airtight cake container for up to a week

Want another sinfully chocolate dessert? Try this “ That Matilda Cake”  Chocolate Cake Recipe!

homemade chocolate cake recipe

moist devils food cake recipe white frosting

Get the Recipe: The BEST Devils Food Cake

4.52 from 207 ratings
A light and fluffy devil's food cake! Easy recipe!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup prepared hot coffee
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 4 cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and lightly flour (2) 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  • Stir in coffee, oil, and buttermilk and mix just until combined.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pans.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes. (may need more or less time)
  • Let cakes cool in pans until pans are cool enough to touch, and then remove cakes and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • While cakes are cooling, prepare frosting by creaming the butter with a mixer in a medium bowl.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar until the mixture is thick and combined.
  • Mix in heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract.
  • Mix on medium speed, for 2-3 minutes or until frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Frost cooled cakes using an offset spatula.
  • Store cakes in an airtight cake container.



Be sure to grease AND flour cake pans to prevent sticking.
I use to use cake flour with this recipe, but now I prefer all-purpose for more stability.
Cuisine: American, southern
Course: cake
Author: divas can cook
Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.