Texas, you make me proud! I love my vintage Texas recipe box filled with fabulous recipes like Dutch Apple Cake, three different recipes for Devil’s Food Cake, Never Fail Ice Box Rolls, and Boston Cream Pie. This Red Devils Food Cake (from Charis) is so easy and takes basic ingredients you will likely have on hand. If you don’t have buttermilk, use lemon juice to sour your milk. You can bake this in two 8-inch or two 9-inch cake pans, a large sheet pan, or pretty much whatever you have on hand. A few notes: you’ll add the boiling water and think “what a freaking hot mess” when you look at your bowl of batter. Stir, stir, and stir again. The water will be incorporated and you’ll be left with a great, classic chocolate cake batter that rises well and tastes delicious.
The recipe didn’t say how long to bake – but I guessed at 30-35 minutes and it worked out just fine, resulting in well baked cakes with a nice amount of spring to them. For the love of baking, however, please grease your pans with generous amount of butter and flour or lay parchment on the the bottom because they have serious potential to stick if you do not. Stuck cakes make me frustrated….
I originally intended to frost this cake with a chocolate icing from an old Hershey’s cookbook that has been well used and loved in my family. I royally screwed it up. It called for melting sugar in boiling water and cooking to the soft ball (candy) stage, then pouring this mixture into whipped egg whites and mixing until cool, folding in cocoa powder at the very end. Sounds amazing. Complete disaster. My icing never got firm enough and was like chocolate soup. Round two was a whipped butter and powdered sugar chocolate icing mixed with a bit of heavy cream which worked, thank God, because I was by this point I’d been baking all day and needed some chocolate cake right now. In the end I’d run out of daylight for shooting so apologies for the flash photography of the finished product. But no apologies for the huge wedge of cake I managed to eat as a reward for being in the kitchen and fighting with icing for the better part of the afternoon.
May your cake be wonderful and your icing be firm ~ Enjoy!
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup boiling water
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
- Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well.
- Add vanilla and buttermilk. Stir until incorporated into batter.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir well.
- Last: add boiling water to batter. Stir well.
- Grease and flour cake pan(s). Divide batter equally into pans (if using two). Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on rack.
- Frost once fully cooled.