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Devil's Food Cake on Page 99 of Rose's Heavenly Cakes

Nov 11, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose


This is one of the most delicious chocolate cakes in the book but I found it a bit too tender so I have gone back to my original way of mixing layer cake batter (please see below). I also thought it would be of interest to know that the acidity of the brown sugar, crème fraîche, and unsweetened chocolate fully activates the baking soda leaving no characteristic slightly soapy taste.

I am bolding the headings and changes and suggest that you print out this page and insert it in the book.

Mix the Chocolates and Water In a medium bowl, whisk the chocolate, cocoa, and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. To speed cooling, place it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.

Mix the Liquid Ingredients In another bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, crème fraîche, vanilla, and half the cooled chocolate mixture, just until lightly combined.

Make The Batter In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining chocolate mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Starting on medium-low speed, with the mixer off between additions, add the egg mixture in two parts. Beat on medium speed for 45 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure.The batter will be slightly fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface evenly with a small off set spatula. Each will be almost half full (23 ounces/650 grams).


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Julie Tan
08/29/2013 02:57 PM

Hi Julie,
We ask are you using bleached cake flour or bleached all-purpose flour?
Are you using cake strips?
Have you tried making the recipe in the stated 9 by 2 inch round pans?
Your problem is most likely the using the smaller pans that are designed to hold 20% less batter. The cracking can easily be from you needing to bake the cakes longer to compensate for the extra depth of batter.

We ask these questions because one should always make the recipe exactly as stated by the author, since that is what the author developed through her/his own testing. If you do not have 9 inch pans, then we suggest that you make cupcakes with the extra 20% of batter after properly filling your smaller pans.
Rose & Woody


Hi Rose

I followed this recipe step by step but I used two eight inches round pan instead. The cake cracked all over the top and only rise just less than 1 inch. I expected it to rise more than 1 inch but somehow not. Please advise


Thank you so much for your prompt reply.
I will check Errata/corrections right away!!
Thanks once again!!


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Ritu
08/27/2013 01:33 PM

Hi Ritu,
The recipe's ingredients are correct. We have not experienced any splitting of the cake's top. If you have a question about a recipe that may have been revised or corrected, you can always check the Errata/Corrections. There are only a few for Rose's Heavenly Cakes. In most cases, when we specify extra egg yolks or whites, it is to obtain the correct texture, height, and doming for the cake.
You can use two 8 by 8 by 2 inch pans as their volumes are almost the same as the 9 by 2 inch round pans.
Rose & Woody


Regarding Devils food cake
Please correct me if i am wrong,that the two yolks mentioned in the book -Heavenly cakes, are to be omitted as discussed here.
The cakes split from the top resulting in a disaster!

Secondly,please help me in converting the recipe.I wish to use a square 8 in pan.


Hi Toran,
The above revision is for the Devils Food cake recipe in Rose's Heavenly Cakes, which we both looked at our books and different printings to confirm the two yolks are stated after the whole eggs. The Cake Bible version just uses whole eggs, which you can experiment with the above revision. We have not tried it.


Toran Fiddes
Toran Fiddes
04/23/2012 07:46 PM

The list of ingredients for the Devil's food cake includes 2 eggs. However, the instructions call for whisking together the eggs, yolks, creme fraiche, etc. Whence the yolks?


I did this a few days ago for New Year's Eve using the corrections (my copy already has the corrections printed) and it was still too tender. The recipe calls for the cake to be unmolded then reinverted again and with the second layer, the cake fell and crumbled into pieces because it was do sift and tender. I had to re-do thesecond layer by the baking only half a recipe and this time, I didn't reinvert it after unmolding. I just let it cool until it was firm enough to handle.


What good luck to discover this update before making this cake a second time! Rose and Woody's suggestions insured a moist, delicious birthday cake for a chocahholic friend. A smaller cake using #2 6x2" pans and half the recipe yielded wonderful results.


Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Zachary
01/21/2011 10:56 AM

Hi Zachary,
From my testing with the new method I had these measurements:
650 grams Weight of batter for 1 pan
32 minutes Baking time
1-1/4 inches Side height after cooling
1-1/2 inches Center height after cooling

I have made the cake at least three more times with similar results, the center sometimes a bit higher.
I used Rumford baking powder. Your oven seems correct as you are within the 30-40 minutes that we specify for baking times. When cone, it should still be attached to the sides of the pan or just barely pulling away before you remove it from the oven.
Hopefully these numbers will help.
Enjoy, Woody


Glad I saw this update and was wondering if it would fix a problem I've had with this cake.
After I take it out of the oven it shrinks quite a bit (height and width) and I end up with a 1" tall layer which is flat across the top. Any thoughts as to why this might be or how tall the Devils Food layer should be when cool?
I use a scale (recently certified for accuracy) for all ingredients save for the baking powder (Rumsford) which I use Pourfect spoons for. Could I be undermixing the batter or could the oven be too hot? The cake has been done at about 37 minutes.


Thanks, Rose. You are so helpful.


yes exactly though many pple are happy with the tenderness of the crumb. you should get clean slices but it does break apart easily.


I just made the Devil's Food Cake for New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, I didn't see the changes to the recipe until now since I'm looking for reasons why I may have done something wrong. I followed the directions exactly in the book except I baked the cake layers for 28 minutes since that was when the tester came out clean. I had a problem with the cake being extremely crumbly. Is that what you mean by "too tender" or is my problem something else? The cake tasted good, but did not result in a pretty slice of cake.

By the way, I cannot stop reading your "bibles" - over and over and over!


Hi, I made the cake using the method you mentioned in your blog. I did not feel there was too much difference in the texture though ... both versions were good, and still very tender. But this could be because I did not have the cakes side by side for comparison.

I know the RHC has advised against baking in 3 inch high pans as the texture will suffer. For this particular cake though, I feel it worked very well and was well received. I am going to try out baking them in 2 inch high pans and 3 inch high pans for a party. I think placed side by side, it is easier to compare. Will share at that point if there is any difference as well as the feedback from the tasters.


I am so excited to try this new variation! I have made the book version in the past and we had no complaints, but I'm curious to taste the difference.


christine, i can't wait to hear what you think!


Christine S.
Christine S.
11/11/2009 11:55 AM

Rose, I'm so glad you mentioned what the correct comparison would be. I love to do chocolate cake taste-tests! I haven't yet made the Deep Chocolate Passion, but now I am inspired to try it and see how it compares against the Devil's Food.


thanks OSF--fixed!
christine, the best comparison is really to the base cake for the german choc. cake but with the milk choc. ganache syrup from the deep choc. passion. it really rounds out the chocolate flavor and keeps it extra moist.


Christine S.
Christine S.
11/11/2009 10:54 AM

Thank you for this update. I made the cake as it is written in the book, and I perceived no problems with it at all. In fact, it is probably the best chocolate butter cake I have ever made (and I am a 10-year devotee of the butter cakes from Cake Bible). I adore the fact that it contains both sour cream and brown sugar -- two of my favorite ingredients for cakes! Just for the record, I like it better than the German Chocolate Cake on p. 137.


11/11/2009 10:49 AM

Thanks very much for this! I love this cake for its moist velvety and tender texture, but my husband prefers the German Chocolate cake as he found the Devil's Food cake a tad too tender, as you mentioned. It melts in the mouth.

So I am very excited by your blog entry. I am going to try it out when I get back from work tomorrow!

By the way, the last 2 sentences of the blog entry is a repetition of the earlier paragraph. You may wish to edit it.

Thanks again, Rose!



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