Fudgy Black and White Devil’s Food Cake

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Four layers of rich chocolate cake filled with vanilla buttercream and covered in a luscious whipped chocolate buttercream.

Fudgy Black and White Devil’s Food Cake - the best ever birthday cake

Not only is my mom an incredible baker, but she also happens to love cake.  Actually, love is probably an understatement and I’m not sure that “cake” accurately describes it.  Birthday cake is her favorite food group and the buttercream is clearly the most important part.  Growing up, whenever we had birthday parties, my friends just knew to give my mom their extra frosting.  I actually chose ice cream pies and cookie cakes over birthday cake for quite some time, but eventually I learned that you can actually have both.

So given her passion for all things layer cake, it always amps up the pressure to make the “perfect” dessert for her birthday.  Given my mom’s reaction to this cake last weekend (she might have said that it was the “best one ever”), I think I finally nailed it.  Now the question is, will I make this cake every year or will I try to top it from now on?  Good thing I have some time to figure that out!

This cake really is the perfect birthday cake.  The chocolate cake layers are so fudgy that they are even delicious without frosting (a couple of years ago we had a chocolate cake taste test and couldn’t get over how well this cake could stand alone).  However, this is a birthday cake, and buttercream is very, very important.  So I sliced the 2 cake layers in half horizontally to give room for double the filling, a delicious basic vanilla buttercream.  Then I covered the entire cake in whipped chocolate buttercream.  Let me tell you, this cake is amazing and rich.  Even for me, who can eat dessert like a champ, a thin slice is enough.  (That concept makes me wonder if I’m feeling okay.)  Save this for your next special occasion, it will not disappoint.

Fudgy Black and White Devil’s Food Cake
 
Four layers of rich chocolate cake filled with vanilla buttercream and covered in a luscious whipped chocolate buttercream.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 43g (~1/3 cup) good quality dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1g (1 teaspoon) instant espresso powder
  • 112g dark chocolate (I used 72%), roughly chopped
  • 240 milliliters (1 cup) boiling water
  • 10 milliliters (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
  • 227g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 232g (~1 cup, tightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 210g (~1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 150g (~3 large) eggs, at room temperature
  • 246g (~2¼ cups) cake flour
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 4g (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 240 milliliters (1 cup) buttermilk
  • Vanilla Buttercream (see below)
  • Whipped Chocolate Buttercream (see below)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and flour two  9-inch round pans and line bottoms with parchment paper
  3. In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder and chocolate; pour boiling water over mixture and whisk together until melted and smooth; stir in vanilla; set aside to cool
  4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter until light and creamy; add sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, mixing at medium speed between each
  5. Sift cake flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside
  6. Whisk buttermilk into cooled chocolate mixture
  7. Add about ⅓ of the flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix on low speed just until combined; add half of chocolate mixture and mix on low again, just until combined; scrape the sides of the mixing bowl and repeat with ⅓ of flour mixture remaining chocolate mixture; remove bowl from mixer and fold in remaining dry ingredients; be careful not to overmix the batter
  8. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cakes
  9. Set cake layers aside to cool for 10 minutes then carefully remove each layer from pans; run a knife around the edge of each layer for easier removal
  10. Once cake layers are completely cooled, use a serrated knife to carefully cut each layer in half horizontally, creating 4 cake layers; set aside and make buttercreams
Notes
Cake barely adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey
Store cake in refrigerator and serve at room temperature; best eaten within three days

 
Vanilla Buttercream Filling
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 187g (13 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 200g (1 3/5 cups) powdered sugar
  • 22 milliliters (1½ tablespoons) milk, any type
  • 7 milliliters (1/2 tablespoon) vanilla extract
  • 1g (1/8) teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for eight minutes or until pale and creamy
  2. Add half of powdered sugar, mix on low for 30 seconds
  3. Add remaining powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and salt; mix on low for one minute and then  increase speed to medium and beat for six minutes or until very light and fluffy
  4. Use a flat metal spatula to frost the first layer of cake; top with second layer and repeat; top with third layer and repeat; top with fourth layer of cake and set aside to make chocolate buttercream
Notes
Source: Sweetapolita

 
Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 227g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 250g (2 cups) powdered sugar
  • 7 milliliters (1/2 tablespoon) vanilla extract
  • 1g (1/8 teaspoon) salt
  • 125g dark chocolate (I used 72%), melted and slightly cooled
  • 60 milliliters (1/4 cup) heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar on low speed for one minute
  2. Add vanilla and salt; beat on low just for thirty seconds or well until combined
  3. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed for about two minutes or until smooth; scrape the sides of the bowl with a a rubber spatula
  4. Add whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed for one minute
  5. Use a flat metal spatula to frost the top and outside of cake; serve immediately or chill in refrigerator and bring to room temperature about an hour before serving
Notes
Source:  Sweetapolita

Fudgy Black and White Devil’s Food Cake - the best ever birthday cake

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16 Responses to “Fudgy Black and White Devil’s Food Cake”

  1. Kathryn March 31, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    Wowzer! This cake is a total stunner and such a perfect birthday cake. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to pretend it’s my birthday next weekend just so that I have an excuse to make this ; )

  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 31, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Oh my!! This cake is stunning. Love it!

  3. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic March 31, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    I like how you and your mom think! This does sound like an amazing celebration cake. Happy birthday to your mom!

  4. tina | undomesticbride March 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    That cake looks amazing!

  5. Joanne Bruno April 1, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    DROOLING. It seriously looks AMAZING. Your mom is one lucky lady!!

  6. Erin | The Law Student's Wife April 2, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Double the filling = double the fun and a must for bdays! This is such a special celebration cake!

  7. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) April 2, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    That is so awesome that your mom bakes! (Mine likes to bake box mixes and that’s about it lol)–and this is definitely the ULTIMATE birthday cake! That chocolate cake looks out of this woooorld!

  8. Jersey Girl Cooks April 4, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    Delicious cake! Happy birthday to your mom. I just read the last post about your sister and hope things are looking up for her. Happy weekend!

  9. Jenny @ BAKE April 6, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    This cake looks absolutely amazing!! you have one lucky Mum!

  10. Valerie April 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Now this is a Birthday cake! Wow. Your mom is super-lucky!
    (I’ll have two slices, please!) :D

  11. Monica April 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    Gorgeous cake! You’re right – it would be a perfect birthday cake, particularly for chocoholics like myself. : )

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