Devil’s Food Layer Cake

This traditional chocolate layer cake got its name from the slight red hue cast by the cocoa powder and its sinfully delicious flavor.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 30 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 12


  • 2 1⁄4 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 container (16 oz.) chocolate frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms of 2 layer cake pans (9 inches) with parchment paper. Lightly coat the sides of the pans with butter and cocoa.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Cream together the butter and brown sugar, using an electric mixer on a medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Adjust your mixer to a medium speed and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until thoroughly blended. Adjust your mixer to a low speed and alternate blending in the flour mixture and milk until lightly blended. Mix in the hot water just until smooth. The batter will be thin.
  • Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Cool at least 20 minutes on wire racks.
  • Frost the top of one layer and set the second layer on top. Finish by frosting the entire cake.