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Devil's food cake recipe

Devil's food cake recipe

191 ratings

This Devil’s food cake really lives up to its name – not only is it devilishly chocolatey and indulgent, but it also makes a great Halloween cake with its red devil horns and tail. If not baking for Halloween, simply leave off the decorations and serve as a wonderfully rich chocolate cake for any special occasion. See method

  • Serves 16
  • 45 mins to prepare and 40 mins to cook, plus cooling
  • 587 calories / serving
  • Freezable


For the ganache:

  • 270ml double cream
  • 70g butter, cubed
  • 3½ tbsp clear honey
  • 270g dark chocolate, chopped

For the cake:

  • 200g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100ml soured cream
  • 335g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt

To decorate (optional):

  • 250g ready to roll coloured red icing
If you don't have sour cream, use crème fraîche or yogurt

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    34g 48%
  • Saturates

    20g 99%
  • Sugars

    49g 54%
  • Salt

    0.4g 7%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 67.8g Protein 6g Fibre 1.5g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm sandwich cake tins with baking paper. Make the ganache by putting the double cream into a large pan over a medium heat. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  2. Add the butter, honey and chocolate and leave for 2 mins to melt, then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken, then store in the fridge until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, put the cocoa powder for the cakes into a bowl and whisk in 275ml boiling water until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, both sugars and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Stir the soured cream into the cooled cocoa powder mixture. Mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in another bowl. Fold a third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, followed by a third of the cocoa mixture, continuing until everything is combined as a smooth batter.
  5. Divide the batter between the 3 tins and smooth the surface of each. Bake for 25-30 mins or until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins in the tins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  6. To assemble, remove the ganache from the fridge – it should be thick enough to spread over the cakes, but if too stiff, stir briefly to loosen. Put one cake on a serving plate and spread over a quarter of the ganache. Top with the second cake and another quarter of the ganache. Finish with the third cake and spread the remaining ganache over the top and down the sides of the chocolate cake.
  7. To decorate for Halloween, take a pack of ready-to-roll red icing and divide in half. Cut one piece in half again and shape into 2 pointy devil horns. Push into the top of the cake to secure in place. Take a third of the remaining icing and form into a triangle. Roll the rest into a long rope shape and wrap around from the back of the cake to the front for the tail, pressing into the sides of the cake to secure. Add the triangle for the end of the tail, then cut into slices to serve.

Tip: If not decorating for Halloween, use a palette knife to swirl the ganache icing around the top and sides to create a textured pattern. You could also add chocolate curls or shavings to decorate, if you like.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines (cakes only)

Make the cakes as above, then cool completely. Wrap well in baking paper and clingfilm and freeze. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Halloween recipes

As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.

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