Heaven and Hell Cake With Peanut Butter Ganache

"A post by Claire inspired me to go off in search of this recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but will do so immediately!"
photo by TheRedneckHippie photo by TheRedneckHippie
photo by TheRedneckHippie
photo by TheRedneckHippie photo by TheRedneckHippie
Ready In:
1hr 50mins




  • ANGEL FOOD CAKE: Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cut a circle of parchment paper or wax paper to fit the bottom of a 9" cake pan.
  • Do not grease the pan or paper.
  • Sift together the flour and powdered sugar and set aside.
  • Place the egg whites in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer.
  • Beat slowly while adding the salt and cream of tartar and continue beating for 1 minute or until soft peaks form.
  • Increase speed to medium, add sugar into whites by tablespoons until all is incorporated, then beat about 1-1/2 minutes longer.
  • When egg whites have stiff peaks, add vanilla and almond extract.
  • Remove bowl from mixer and sprinkle half of the powdered sugar-flour mixture and fold in again, using a minimum number of strokes so the egg whites do not deflate.
  • Gently spoon the mixture into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Do not over bake or the cake will sink in the center.
  • DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Oil and flour a round 9-inch cake pan.
  • Sift the cocoa powder into the mixing bowl, then drizzle in the coffee while whisking to make a smooth paste.
  • Set aside.
  • (Might be more liquid than paste) Combine shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Alternately add the cocoa-coffee mixture and the flour mixture to the sugar-egg mixture and continue beating until incorporated.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Test for doneness.
  • PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and creamy.
  • Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, then the peanut butter.
  • If mixture looks lumpy, add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.
  • Continue beating until thoroughly incorporated and fluffy.
  • Transfer mixture to another bowl and set aside.
  • Place heavy cream in the electric mixer bowl and whip until stiff.
  • Carefully, but thoroughly, combine both mixtures; set aside.
  • GANACHE (FROSTING): In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil and stir in the chocolate.
  • Remove from heat, cover pan and let the chocolate melt.
  • Whisk to combine thoroughly then let cool to room temperature.
  • ASSEMBLING HEAVEN AND HELL CAKE: When both cakes have cooled, carefully slice them in half horizontally with a long, serrated knife so that you now have four layers.
  • Place one layer of the devil's food cake on a cake plate and spoon 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse on the top.
  • Place a layer of the angel food on top of the mousse and spread with another 1/3 of the peanut butter.
  • Continue layering until you have four layers of cake and three layers of mousse.
  • Whisk the ganache and spread with a spatula over the top and sides to frost generously.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
  • Serve chilled; slice with a warm, wet knife.
  • Recipe Tip: slice thinly!
  • It's rich!

Questions & Replies

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  1. yooper
    Good God...what a glorious ending to last night's Sunday dinner! I think my guests and I truly died and gone to heaven (and hell and back!) after one bite of this decadent concoction! Mirjam, if you haven't made this yet, please do so immediately! It's fantastic!
  2. TheRedneckHippie
    Fabulous! A lot of work, but so worth it. It was EVER so good! ~*~ I got the layers backwards - starting with Angel Food on the bottom - and it kind of squashed that bottom layer, but not too badly. I did cover it with a thin layer of marshmallow fondant and it held up well considering. I think if I'd have put the Devil's Food on the bottom as the recipe calls for, it wouldn't have squashed so much. (See pictures - mine's the one with the cocoa brown fondant draped on it with white lettering.)
  3. Snicklefritzie
    Ooh lala! This is so very good. I made it today for Valentine's, baked in little heart-shaped pans. Then while the ganache was still wet, I sprinkled on little red and pink non pariels. TO DIE FOR!! I used dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate for the ganache and it was sublime. Everything worked wonderful with this recipe. Thanks Mirj!
  4. svv17
    Very good and rich. And heavy. This is NOT a photo of my cake.The angel food cake turned out to be smaller width than the devil's food cake though baked in same pan. The devil's food cake took 40 minutes to bake. Be sure to chop your chocolate very small or it won't completely melt. My Artisan Kitchen Aid mixer couldn't handle the volume of mousse. Had to transfer to a larger bowl and use the electric hand mixer. We sliced narrow pieces but it still turned out to be a lot of cake per person. +1000 calories. Wow! Next time I wil make 2 cakes of 4 layers instead of 1 8 layer cake. The cake certainly impressed!
  5. Feisty
    "Heaven and Hell Cake� was created by Stephan Pyles at the Star Canyon restaurant in Dallas, in 1994. It’s now served at at his own Stephan Pyles restaurant in Dallas, and the dessert carries a trademark. Had it this past weekend at his restaurant, and it is fabulous. I have followed Stephan Pyles for a number of years now, and have all of his cookbooks. The man is a phenomenon.


  1. Snicklefritzie
    Ooh lala! This is so very good. I made it today for Valentine's, baked in little heart-shaped pans. Then while the ganache was still wet, I sprinkled on little red and pink non pariels. TO DIE FOR!! I used dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate for the ganache and it was sublime. Everything worked wonderful with this recipe. Thanks Mirj!


<p><strong><span style=color: #ff0000;>Come and visit me on my blog:&nbsp; </span></strong></p> <p><a href=http://www.miriyummy.wordpress.com><strong><span style=color: #ff0000;>www.miriyummy.wordpress.com</span></strong></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>October 2011: It's been 10 years since I came into Zaar one day at the recommendation of someone on another website. If you ask my husband (or my coworkers), I haven't logged out since! <br /><br /><a href=http://www.TickerFactory.com/><br /><img src=http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/d/4;15;0/st/20011021/e/I Joined Zaar%21/dt/6/k/f656/event.png border=0 alt= /></a> <br /><br />So what's happened in the ten years since I became addicted to Zaar? Well, I've been happily married, happily divorced, and happily married once again. (Wanna see wedding pictures? 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