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4 Layer Devil's Food Cake slice on a white plate

Devil’s Food Cake

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Devil’s Food Cake is a rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. This 4 layer Devil’s Food Cake recipe was an enormous hit with my family. We were practically wrestling with each other for the last slice! It’s one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have ever made.

4 Layer Devil's Food Cake slice on a white plate

Devil’s Food Cake for an early Birthday Celebration!

I was planning to make beef tenderloin for yesterday’s Beef Checkoff post, so decided to invite Tom, our oldest, over for dinner, to celebrate his birthday 20 days early. A fabulous chocolate birthday cake was definitely in order.

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.

4 Layer Devil's Food Cake on a white serving plate overhead view

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 fits 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 is probably one of the best chocolate cake recipes I’ve made in years. 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.

A Couple of Things to Help Make an Amazing Devi’s Food Cake:

Devil's Food Cake

Devil's Food Cake

A terrific celebratory cake with 4 layers sandwiched with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 12 servings


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 350Β°. 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.


Cake recipe adapted from Hershey's.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 632 Total Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 16g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 101mg Sodium: 449mg Carbohydrates: 88g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 67g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 7g
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33 comments on “Devil’s Food Cake”

  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. *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 πŸ˜€

  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. 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. 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 πŸ˜‰

  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. πŸ™‚

    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. 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

  25. You and I are both thinking along the chocolate line, I love it πŸ˜€
    Beautiful cake!

    Happy Holidays!
    Choc Chip Uru

  26. 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! πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas, Liz!!

  27. Looks Lovely!! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!! All the Best! xo Ramona πŸ™‚

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

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

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

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

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

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