Baker Bettie

Devil’s Food Cake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache

Devils Food Cake with Ganache Frosting and topped with fresh raspberries

I recently learned the word: tchotchke. I was talking to my mother-in-law and she said, “I hear you like tchotchkes!” I immediately assumed it must be some kind of dessert. Then she told me what they were and I guess I do, in a way, like tchotchkes, but only ones with meaning or purpose so I’m not sure you can really call them that.

Our living room is decorated with vintage camera’s displayed from my father’s camera collection, and much of my kitchen decor is either props that I use for the blog or pieces that my mother or father made when they worked in his family’s ceramic shop. Like my adorable ceramic canisters with strawberries and daisies on them. Or my “Smith Castle” cookie jar shaped like a castle.

So after I confirmed that I do in fact like “tchotchkes” especially kitchen related ones, Mr. BB’s family added two to our collection!

The first being a ceramic bowl with “The Hoffmans” painted on it and the second being this adorable copper cake carrier. It was our brother-in-law’s grandmother’s. I love it! It looks so adorable sitting among my other kitchen tchotchkes, and it’s functional too! I didn’t have a container to store a cake in before and now I do. It’s so cute! I love it!

Lifting the lid off a cake carrier to show a Devils Food Cake with Ganache Frosting

Mr. BB’s birthday was last weekend and I shared this photo on instagram of how I secretly celebrate his birthday without him realizing it. He’s weird about birthday’s. Doesn’t like people to make a fuss over him. So I made this cake “for the blog.” But really it was for him. Don’t tell him! Shhhh!

We snacked on it a little bit each day all week and it was sooo good. Intensely chocolate, not too sweet, super moist, and oh that creamy ganache! Let me tell you what. It is just so darn good. And his birthday was celebrated all week without him even knowing it. Mwaahahahaha!

Remember that Ganache 101 post from last week? If not. You should check it out. Ganache is so easy to make and it has so many uses. I used the 1:1 ratio ganache, with a little bit of butter stirred in for richness, for the icing on this cake. I am obsessed with how velvety smooth the mouthfeel is and it isn’t sickeningly sweet like most frostings. Definitely rich, but not too sweet.

In case you missed it. I also used my ganache knowledge to make one of the most “feels fancy but is stupidly easy to make” desserts. Chocolate Truffles! You can check those out here too!

Slices cut up of the Devils Food Cake with Ganache Frosting and topped with fresh raspberries

A slice of Devils Food Cake with Ganache Frosting and topped with fresh raspberries

Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 1-8" Double Layer Cake
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 lb bittersweet chocolate (about 60%), finely chopped or chocolate chips
  • 2 cups (16 oz) heavy cream
  • large pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 TBSP (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (to help keep cake moist)


For the Ganache
  1. At 8 hours before serving and preferably the day before: Put the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a medium bowl with a large pinch of kosher salt. Bring the cream to a simmer, almost boiling, in a saucepan over medium-high heat (don't walk away from the stove while doing this as your cream will quickly boil over).
  2. Pour the hot cream directly over the chocolate and let it sit without stirring for 5 minutes. This will melt the chocolate and allow the cream to cool slightly making and emulsion easier. Put a whisk in the center of the chocolate cream mixture and begin whisking in a small, tight circular motion until fully combined.
  3. Add the 2 TBSP butter and stir until it is fully incorporated. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ganache and set aside at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.
For the Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter two 8x2-inch round cake pans and grease and flour the pans, tapping out any excess flour. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color- about 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add about 1/4 of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add about 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until incorporated. Continue to alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk, mixing until incorporated after each addition and stopping to scrape the bowl and beater as necessary. Fold the mayonnaise into the batter.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake on the center wrack on a 350°F oven for about 40 to 45 minutes- until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean and the sides of the cake have begun to pull away from the pan slightly. Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans. Cool the cakes completely before assembling.
To Assemble
  1. With a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally (try to do this more evenly than I did!). Put one of the layers, cut side up, on a cake plate and place strips of wax or parchment paper under the cake to keep the plate clean while icing.
  2. Top the cake with about 1/3 cup of the ganache, spreading it evenly over the top. Add another cake layer, cut side up, top with ganache, and repeat until the last layer is in place.
  3. Spread a thin layer of ganache over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes to seal in any crumbs (this is called a crumb coat). Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides. Remove the paper from under the cake.

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13 comments on “Devil’s Food Cake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache”

  1. 1-Bahahaa I love you! And I just learned that THAT is how you spell tchotchkes! lol
    2-Michael is weird about his bday too-good for you on sneaking in the celebration
    4-This cake. You know I love it. YOU KNOW IT! The decadence! The ganache! mmmmmm

    • Kayle,

      I had to google tchotchkes and it took me a couple of attempts for google to even understand what I was going for! Lol! And what is it about boys and their birthdays! Just let us celebrate you for pete’s sake! Thanks for following VRAI Magazine! You are the sweetest! And yes, THIS CAKE! You know I don’t even like cake and THIS CAKE! Enough said!

  2. ooh my chocolate cravings have definitely kicked in! that cake looks amazing…

  3. Gorgeous Devils Food Cake…
    I’m making this cake tomorrow gonna try out my new oven at last providing I can get kitchen tidy & cleaned first! Problem is, I can’t find anything at the moment, my cake tins have gone missing, so I will have to bake this in a deep tin & split in half…
    How long do you recommend that I bake it for please?
    Love this recipe, the last one I made turned out great, we loved it.
    The mayo keeps it lovely & moist, the ganache is wonderful, decadent adds that extra decadence that makes this cake special…
    Many of my family, friends & neighbors have requested it, that’s why I’m trying to get ahead & get a few made now then I’ll have supplied some.
    The first one’s ours though, gotta see how this oven performs as it’ll take a while to be familiar with it prior to Christmas Day cooking…
    Any advice will be welcome, many thanks,
    Odelle Smith. (U.K.)

    • Hi Odelle! It is difficult to know how long to bake it for as I’ve never made it in a large cake pan. I would say it will possibly need an hour or longer. I think check it after 40 minutes and guage how far along you are and then add time from there. You might also need to put a piece of foil loosely over the top towards the end of baking so that it doesn’t get too overcooked on top while the middle is still cooking. Best of luck! Let me know how it goes!

  4. Oooh i made something very similar a few months ago, and it was delicious! Loved seeing how you had a different take on it. I’m definitely making this! thanks for sharing!

  5. I tried it last night it came very yummy and delicious everybody liked this cake:-)

  6. can i leave out the mayonnaise?

  7. if I do use mayonnaise… should it be the tangy stuff?

  8. I do have a question. I made the Devils Food and it is heavenly. I did lower the amounts of Soda and Baking Powder due to using the Dutch Process Chocolate. Some Baking chemist did a bit about the Dutch Process Chocolate and how it doesn’t agree with the soda and Baking Powder. It worked out great for me though do you know anything or heard about that?

    • Hi Marcia,

      I’m so glad you liked the cake and this is a great question! It isn’t that Dutch Processed cocoa powder doesn’t agree with baking soda, it is more about the acidity of the cocoa powder. Because baking soda is alkaline, it needs an acidic component in the recipe to react with in order to do it’s job of leavening your baked good (make it rise). Natural cocoa powder is acidic and therefore can act as the counterpart to the baking soda to activate it. Dutch Processed cocoa powder has been neutralized and will not work to cause the reaction you are looking for with the baking soda. It is commonly preached that natural cocoa powder is used in conjunction with baking soda, while dutch processed cocoa powder is used in conjunction with baking powder because baking powder does not need an acidic component to react with. However, this cake has other acidic ingredients in it! Both the buttermilk and the dark brown sugar are acidic and will do the trick to activate the baking soda. I hope this helps!

  9. I want to make this cake for my father in law for his birthday. my only problem is that need brown sugar. Is there anyway I could substitute for a different kind of sugar substitute that is keto? Maybe monkfruit? 

    • Hi Chelsea! The sugar is pretty key to the texture of the cake. Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience using alternative sweeteners, so I would suggest possibly trying to find a recipe that was specifically developed to use one of those. You could try it with the monkfruit, but the sugar isn’t just to sweeten the cake. It also leavens and holds in moisture so I’m just not sure how another sweetener would work.

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