devil's food cake

Happy National Devil’s Food Cake Day!               Image courtesy of

A few subtle recipe changes make rich, chocolaty Devil’s food cake different from others.

Did you know that May 19 is National Devil’s Food Cake day?  What better way to honor this classic American cake than with its very own day!  Devil’s food cake is reportedly named as such because it is so dark and rich that it’s a sinful treat.  This favorite has been making appearances on birthdays and special occasions for over a hundred years.  The first recipe for Devil’s food cake was printed in 1902 in a cookbook called Mrs. Rorer’s New Cook Book by Sarah Tyson Rorer.  It quickly became a favorite and ten years later recipes are popping up in cookbooks all around the country.

The recipe for Devil’s food cake has changed somewhat over the years.  Today the recipe differs from other chocolate cakes in that it uses unsweetened cocoa powder rather than baker’s chocolate bars or other melted chocolate.  The cake usually includes coffee as a way to enhance the cocoa’s flavor, as well as add moisture and richness.  Often the coffee is added to the cake batter when hot, while other recipes may just use hot water.  Devil’s food cake is typically covered in chocolate frosting.  Red velvet cake is a close relative of Devil’s food and in some old recipes the names are used interchangeably.