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4.87 from 15 votes

Homemade Chocolate Devil's Food Cake From Scratch

This intensely chocolaty Devil's Food Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is a totally indulgent dessert.  The cake is rich and moist with a tender crumb and it's a chocolate lover's dream.  Especially with my favorite chocolate buttercream frosting slathered generously between the layers and around the outside - no fancy piping or decorating skills required!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 740kcal
Author: Amy Nash



  • cup cocoa powder (35g)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup buttermilk (236mL)
  • ½ cup salted butter, softened (114g)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (200g)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour (281g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup salted butter, softened (227g)
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar (420g)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (50g)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4-5 Tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by cutting circles of parchment paper to line the bottoms, then lightly spray the insides of the pans with cooking spray.
  • Combine the cocoa powder and finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Once cooled, add the buttermilk to the chocolate mixture.
  • In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and oil together for 1 minute. Add the dark brown and granulated sugars and beat for another 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of this to the batter and mix on low speed just until combined. Pour in half of the chocolate-buttermilk mixture and mix again, just until combined, then repeat with the flour and the remaining chocolate-buttermilk mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions, until everything is incorporated.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Be sure not to overbake.
  • Transfer the cakes to wire racks and allow them to cool completely before assembling the cake with frosting.


  • In a large bowl, cream the butter for 2 minutes using an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix again at the lowest speed until combined.
  • Add the salt, vanilla, and milk or cream and increase the speed to medium, mixing until the chocolate buttercream is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. For a softer frosting, increase the milk or cream by small increments., half a tablespoon at a time. Makes enough to very generously frost a two-layer cake.



  • If you don't have cake flour on hand, just replace ¼ cup of the flour with ¼ cup of cornstarch instead.
  • Converting a cake recipe to other size pans is easier than you think! This recipe makes about 8 cups of batter, which is perfect for 2 dozen cupcakes, two 9-inch round cake pans, three 8-inch round cake pans, or four 6-inch round cake pans. It's also just right for a 9x13-inch baking dish if you want to keep things simple or use this recipe for a poke cake. Just keep in mind that baking times will likely change and you shouldn't fill your pans more than ⅔ full.
  • Freezing: This cake freezes well and will keep for 2-3 months if properly stored in the freezer. To freeze the whole cake, stick it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes until the frosting is completely set, then wrap the cake with plastic wrap directly on the frosting. It won't stick if the frosting is already frozen. To thaw, pull the cake out of the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. It usually takes about 6 hours to thaw a whole cake. Individual slices can be frozen in a similar fashion and won't take as long to thaw.


Calories: 740kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 74g | Vitamin A: 815IU | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg