Devil’s Food Cake

This rich, quadruple layered Devil’s Food Cake was an enormous hit with my family. We were practically wrestling each other for the last slice!

Devil's Food Cake for Festivus

Devil’s Food Cake for an early Birthday Celebration!

I was planning to make a beef tenderloin for yesterday’s Beef Checkoff post, so decided to invite Tom, our oldest, over for dinner and celebrate his birthday 20 days early. A fabulous cake was definitely in order. Chocolate of course. And being the wise guy that he is, Tom posted a photo of said cake to Instagram with this comment: My birthday cake 20 days early because my parents are bad at calendars. Or maybe it’s for Pearl Harbor day, I dunnoThe best response:  You can be bad at calendars when you’re that fabulous at baking. Tom does have nice friends. But there was definitely a rational reason for the premature b-day bash. We will be boarding an early flight (yawn) to LA on the morning of his birthday…and most likely eating Christmas leftovers on the day before, so if he wanted a day all about him, this was the best I could do! I don’t think he had a single complaint.

Devil's Food Cake

What Exactly IS Devil’s Food?

According to The Food Lover’s Companion, it’s a dark, dense baked chocolate item. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the airy, white angel food cakeThis cake sure fit the bill! I baked up two layers, sliced them in half, then topped each with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting. I normally can leave sweets alone…but this cake was probably one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve made. Even Katie ate her fair share.When the whole family loves one dish, especially one dessert, it’s noteworthy. This cake needs a pedestal…it’s earned it.

Devil's Food Cake

Serves 12 servings     adjust servings

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

A terrific celebratory cake with 4 layers sandwiched with chocolate buttercream frosting. Cake recipe adapted from Hershey's.


    For the cake

    • 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk

    For the frosting

    • 1/2 cup shortening
    • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • 3-4 tablespoons milk


    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.
    2. In a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture, beating just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans.
    3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Then slice each piece in half horizontally if you plan to make a 4 layer cake.
    4. When cake is cool, make frosting in stand mixer. Cream butter and shortening with paddle attachment till well combined. Add cocoa and vanilla and mix. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, then add 3 tablespoons of milk and beat till light and fluffy. Add up to another tablespoon of milk if needed. Use immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator.


    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size
    Amount Per ServingAs Served
    Calories 626kcal Calories from fat 262
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat 29g45%
    Saturated Fat 15g75%
    Transfat 2g
    Cholesterol 89mg30%
    Sodium 287mg12%
    Carbohydrate 91g30%
    Dietary Fiber 3g12%
    Sugars 70g
    Protein 6g

    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

    Total FatLess than65g
    Sat FatLess than25g
    CholesterolLess than300mg
    SodiumLess than2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate300g
    Dietary Fiber25g
    Did you make this recipe?
    Leave review!



    1. This cake looks so deliciously good and with 4 layers of buttercream frosting. I hope you were the winner of the wrestling match to get the last slice , after all you were the bakery chef.

    2. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

      *Sigh… This devil’s food cake looks heavenly:@) Merry Christmas Week Liz-enjoy!
      PS-Now that the birds have officially been plucked all I can say is “Go Pack!!!”.

    3. Such a fab looking cake! I would be more than happy to have this cake for my birthday. 20 days early or late!!! Merry Christmas Liz to you and your family 😀

    4. Nothing like celebrating birthdays early – especially as no doubt, it will be celebrated again on the day, and after …. especially if it’s with this wicked cake. Looks wonderful!
      Enjoy the birthday celebrations en famille and wishing you and the family a deliciously cosy Christmas. Cheers x

    5. Agree with the others…heavenly indeed. Drool!

    6. What a great cake recipe! It is just gorgeous. Have a wonderful holiday season!

    7. This cake looks fabulous! Chocolate cake is one of my favorite desserts.

    8. This cake is just gorgeous, Liz!! Love all those rich and decadent layers!

    9. Liz, this cake is so devilicious and Tom is so hilarious. Happy early birthday to him! I’ll be sure to celebrate his birthday with a slice (or more) of this cake.

    10. A total classic done so beautifully. Wow if Katie like did it must be amazing.

    11. What an incredible cake, Liz! The layers are absolute perfection!

    12. That is a really nice response! and a very happy birthday to your son.
      The cake looks amazing!

    13. Oh, oh my What a wonderful looking cake! I do hope that you managed to get that last piece. I know I would have trampled all in my way to get to it.

    14. Impressive cake Liz, Wow! 4 layers.

    15. Jessica @ Sweet Menu says:

      Sometimes you just cant go past a big ole’ piece of chocolate cake. This looks wonderful! Love all the layers!

    16. A gorgeous cake, Liz… wishing you and your happy holidays xox

    17. Your Devil’s Food Cake does indeed look and sound Divine, Liz! And you’re traveling to LA?! Please do give a ring! I presume you’ve got a busy schedule but would love to see you! Maybe coffee? Can’t promise the same quality cake as your chocolate wonder tho’ =)

    18. Mary Hirsch says:

      Your kids are funny, I must say. I salute Katie for hanging in there with those brothers. The cake looks delicious (they are still talking about mine at the front office – nothing wrong with a packaged mix, heh?) and, yes, would have looked even better on a pedestal. Have a fabulous time in New Zealand. Long flight. Sleep!

    19. Who can resist the devil 😉

    20. I have just finished work for the holidays and am waiting at the airport for my flight. I could really, really use a slice of this decadent cake right now.

    21. That looks absolutely delicious!!

    22. Tom cracks me up! I LOVE a 20 day birthday celebration. 🙂

      Kudos for a cake that everyone devours and Merry Christmas. Travel safely!

    23. I need to try this with carob powder. It looks scrumptious!

    24. It looks rich and beautiful!

    25. Hotly Spiced says:

      What a great birthday cake. I hope you have a fantastic holiday and enjoy getting away from the cold for a few weeks. Safe travels and a Merry Christmas to you, Liz and all your family xx

    26. You and I are both thinking along the chocolate line, I love it 😀
      Beautiful cake!

      Happy Holidays!
      Choc Chip Uru

    27. Liz!! you had me at quadruple layered Devil’s Food Cake!!! whoa!!! Looks so good!! and totally makes sense why you had to celebrate early. . and wow, what a great response!: You can be bad at calendars when you’re that fabulous at baking. That’s so awesome! 🙂 Merry Christmas, Liz!!

    28. Looks Lovely!! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!! All the Best! xo Ramona 🙂

    29. Lizzy, your cake looks lovely. I love Devil’s Food Cake. Merry Christmas to you and yours 🙂 And have a very happy, healthy, joyous New Year. Sending holiday hugs your way~ xoxoxoxo

    30. your kids are soooo lucky!!! This cake is extra chocolatey and delish!!!

    31. I am still dying over this cake. Love!

    32. Happy Birthday, Tom and an early cake is way better than a late cake, especially when it looks like this.

    33. Oh my goodness, this looks delicious! I’m definitely making this! thanks for sharing!

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