Devils Food Cupcakes being topped with frosting swirls
Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake
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Prep: 20 min
Bake: 35 min
Yield: 18-24 cupcakes or 1 cake
This is a basic chocolate devil’s food cake recipe that can be made as cupcakes (pictured), a layer cake or a sheet cake and frosted with any sort of chocolate or buttercream frosting – or simply top it with freshly made whipped cream.
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted Swans Down® Cake Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot, freshly brewed coffee (we used French Market® Coffee)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉ . Grease and line 2 cupcake pans (the batter is enough for 18-24 standard cupcakes). Alternatively, you can use 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, or an 18×13-inch sheet pan lined with parchment, but note that baking time varies with pans used.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add oil and coffee; whisk until combined. Add buttermilk and whisk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined. (Batter will be thin.)
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 18 to 25 minutes for cupcakes (Note: times will vary depending on pans used. See Kitchen Tip below for cake pan baking times) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Remove from oven and cool in the pan on a rack for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely before frosting.
    This cake recipe can be used with cupcake pans for 18 to 24 cupcakes (bake for 18 to 20 minutes), or 3 (9-inch) round cake pans (bake for 25 to 30 minutes), or 1 (18×13-inch) sheet pan (bake for 20 to 25 minutes).
  • Lisa says:

    Is there a substitution for the coffee? I realize many will not understand this but I honestly do not like the taste of coffee.

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Lisa, We understand not everyone is a coffee consumer. If you are a Devil’s Food Cake lover note that many of the recipes will call for coffee. While coffee and cocoa have similar flavors and on their own they both can be bitter, but when used together they compliment each other very well. Coffee is added to chocolate cakes to boost the chocolate flavor without having a “coffee” taste. Now you can substitue the coffee with hot water, but you may notice that the rich Devil’s Food flavor you are accustomed to may not be there. Happy baking!

  • Allison says:

    I made this according to the instructions & gave it to my neighbors. They have already requested a second helping! It was amazing!! I actually used the chocolate buttercream recipe on the back of the Swans Down box & it was such a nice compliment. Incredible recipe!

  • Allison A. says:

    Can avocado oil be used instead of vegetable oil with the same results?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Allison, You can use avocado oil in place of vegetable oil in baking and should receive the same results. Happy baking.

  • I love chocolate says:

    Best chocolate cake recipe EVER! I even made it dairy free by using vegan butter and oat milk with lemon juice for the buttermilk. I made a three layer cake and topped with mocha frosting. Absolutely incredible flavor and texture

    • Swans Down says:

      Thank you for the awesome review! We love receiving such positive feedback. Your version sounds delicious. @swansdowncakeflour Happy baking!

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