A few weeks ago I started making chocolate cakes on the weekends to practice making a cake for my birthday. I started with a devil’s food cake made with cocoa, from my Joy of Cooking cookbook.
This was the first chocolate cake I’ve had any trouble making. It was easy to prepare, but I agonized over which size pan to use. I didn’t have two 9-inch round layer pans, but I did have a 10-inch fluted tube pan. However, I didn’t have a cake keeper to store a round cake in—so I had to use a 9×11-inch rectangular pan.
The finished cake sank in the middle. But I iced it with my favorite homemade chocolate glaze and it tasted good.
The funny thing was, it tasted even better the second day—and the third. I mean, on the first day, I thought it tasted okay, and on the third, I thought it was awesome. I wasn’t expecting that.
So this might be a good cake to make ahead of an event, letting it sit for a day. I just wish I’d baked it in a different pan. My mother-in-law gave me an old cake keeper and two round pans, so I’m set for next time.
Cocoa Devil’s Food Cake from Joy of Cooking
One 9-inch plain tube cake, 10-inch tube cake, or two 9-inch round layers
Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch plain tube pan, a 10-inch fluted tube pan, or two 9×2-inch round cake pans, or line the bottoms of the round pans with wax or parchment paper.
Whisk together in a medium bowl:
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Whisk together in a separate bowl:
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
½ cup nonalkalized cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
Beat in a large bowl until creamy, about 30 seconds:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Gradually add and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes:
1 cup sugar
Beat in one at a time:
2 large eggs
On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 2 parts, beating until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Scrape the batter into the pan(s) and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes in round pans, 45 to 55 minutes in a tube pan. Cool and remove from the pan. Fill and spread with white or chocolate icing.