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Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cake

Mary Anne here. In honor of Father’s Day, I opted to plumb the pages of my catering archives and recreate a Devil’s Food Cake that was a favorite “special occasion confection” from gigs past. While both my dad and step-dad are no longer in this world, I humbly offer a culinary tribute to two equally vivacious dudes, whose appetites were as big as their respective personalities!

Feeling festive, I decided to crank up the chocolate factor by sprinkling a couple of tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips throughout the rich batter. The chips don’t melt completely, which leaves a minefield of soft chocolatey surprises and adds texture to this chocoholic’s dream cake. Bonus: if your pantry is well-stocked, this cake costs next to nothing.

Since I don’t have a dad to honor this Sunday, I delivered this sinful beauty to my favorite orthopedist – a devil to work with in the operating room, and a saint for having just helped me land a fabulous new job. When I brought it to his office, he – without pause – inhaled a slice like it was oxygen.

To all the dads out there, we wish you a very Happy Father’s Day filled with sweet treats that’ll put a devilish smile on your face and a buoyant bounce in your step! And for more recipes to help you fete the father in your life, check out our Father’s Day or Memorial Day menus.

Don’t forget to enter our Edgeware zester & grater giveaway!

Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cake
Serves 12

Note: I like to use buttermilk in this cake as it enhances the rich, deep chocolate flavor. You can freeze the leftover milk or whip up some of our coleslaw as part of your Dad’s day feast.

The un-frosted cake can be prepared the day before. Cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Prepare the icing according to the following instructions, and then bring the finished cake back to room temperature before serving.

For the cake:
½ cup hot, brewed coffee- stock
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder – stock
½ cup buttermilk – $2.49
1 Teaspoon vanilla – stock
2 cups all-purpose flour – stock
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened – stock
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed – stock
2 large eggs – stock
2 Tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips – stock

For the icing:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder – stock
1 stick unsalted butter, softened– stock
3 ½ cups Confectioner’s sugar – stock
¾ cup milk or cream – stock
1 Teaspoon vanilla – stock
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $2.49
Total Per Slice: $0.21

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray ( i.e. Pam) the bottom and sides of 2- 9” round cake pans. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit each round bottom and place in pans. Spray or butter the parchment and lightly flour the bottoms, knocking out the excess flour over the sink.

2. Prepare the cake. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot coffee and the ¾ cup of cocoa powder to form a paste. Add the buttermilk and vanilla, whisking well to combine. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with the brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Using the lowest setting on your mixer, add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa-coffee mixture. Beat until just combined. (I finish this part by hand, so that the cake is moist and not over beaten.)

6. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans and sprinkle the tops with the chocolate chips.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to the shaft. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife along the sides of the pans to loosen the edges. Invert onto the wire racks lined with foil. Remove the parchment paper.

7. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing. To prepare the icing: in a large bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and milk.

8. Add the cocoa and softened butter and using an electric mixer, beat until creamy.

9. Place one cake layer on a serving platter or cake plate. Spread a thick coating of icing over the top. Top with the second layer and spread the remaining icing over the top and sides. Using a small icing knife, create decorative swirls over the top of the cake. Garnish with additional chocolate chips or chocolate curls, if desired.