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Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake

Prep Time:

20 mins.

Cook Time:

35 mins.


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).