Moist Devil's Food Cake

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins

A good devils food cake, moist and flavorful -- Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Adjust oven rack to upper- and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease three 8-inch pans, line bottom of each pan with parchment paper round, grease agin and flour.
  3. Combine chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth.
  4. Sift together flours, baking soda, and salt onto large bowl and set aside.
  5. Place butter in bowl of standing mixer and beat at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
  6. Add brown sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  7. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl.
  8. Increase speed to medium-high and add eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition.
  9. Reduce speed to medium; add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, about 10 seconds.
  10. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl.
  11. With mixer on low, add about one third of flour mixture, followed by about one half of chocolate mixture.
  12. Repeat, ending with flour mixture; beat until just combined, about 15 seconds.
  13. Do not overbeat.
  14. Remove bowl from mixer; scrape bottom and sides of bowl and mix gently to be certain all ingredients are combined.
  15. Divide batter evenly among cake pans, smooth batter to edges of pan with angled spatula.
  16. If baking three 8-inch cakes, place two pans on lower-middle rack and one on upper-middle rack.
  17. Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes for 8-inch cakes.
  18. Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes.
  19. Run knife around pan perimeter to loosen.
  20. Invert cakes onto large plate; peel off parchment, and reinvert onto lightly greased rack.
  21. Cool completely before frosting.
Most Helpful

I am NOT a baker, let me get that straight first. I was afraid of this recipe because of all the ingredients and steps - but i have a stand mixer and i had all of the ingredients except 1 - sour cream. I needed a killer devils food cake and forged ahead. Am I glad I did, like i said i did not have sour cream, but had buttermilk, so i substituted 3/4c buttermilk fort he sour cream. My friends wanted coconut and walnuts in the cake so i added a cup of each to the batter. I know baking is an exact science, but i jumped in with both feet and if it didn't work out, I had a box cake for a backup plan.

NO BACK-up plan needed, the cake came out moist, chocolatety and deeply rich. I cooked it in a bundt pan and used a really simple glaze made with chocolate chips, butter, vanilla extract and light corn syrup. EXCELLENT and everyone actually thinks i can bake! No longer am i just known for jerk chicken and mac n cheese.

meigot2b November 24, 2011

If I could give this cake more than 5 stars, I would. I made this cake for my grandfathers birthday, and he was thrilled with it! It has just the right flavor and texture. It isnt too sweet, and it isnt too chocolatey. It is just perfect! I made it in a bundt pan, b/c I dont have three 8-inch pans. I came out beautiful! A smaller bundt cake, but it is very delicious! Thanks for the recipe! I will be making this time and time again!

love4culinary May 14, 2004