Its suitably sinister name and Halloween hues are just the icing on this festive fall cake. This devil’s food has a divine decadence that distinguishes it from all the others. It’s extensions of richness include sour cream for added moisture, confectioner’s sugar for a velvety finish and the addition of whipped egg whites for a lightness that trickily prevents this treat from weighing too heavily on your conscience.
And it’s not just the name of said citrus that make it ideal for this Halloween post. Its crimson coloured juice also stains the buttercream a blushed shade of peach. On top of this, its flavour is less pungent than your regular navel: it’s softer and sweeter with a raspberry-like finish.
The ideal scenario for this cake is to bake it the night before you need it and to ice it the day of. Since cakes can stale quickly, simply add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to your batter before baking. This will help to keep it moist for an extra day or two if need be.
Red Cara Cara oranges are available at most supermarkets right now. If the flesh isn’t a deep pink or you can’t find a pink fleshed orange at all – just be resourceful! Sneakily add two drops of red food colouring and 1 yellow to get the same blush-like effect.
Devil’s Food Cake
It’s the unusually high amount of baking soda in devil’s food cake that gives it that deep mahogany colouring.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Make Ahead: Can be made 1 day before icing.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 cups unsalted butter (softened)
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 cups strong coffee (luke warm)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 5 cups cake/pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pre-Heat oven to 375 F
- In stand mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Move egg whites to separate bowl.
- To now empty stand mixer bowl, add butter and icing sugar.
- Cream together until fluffy and lightly coloured.
- Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, until incorporated before beating in vanilla and sour cream.
- To fine mesh sieve, over bowl add cocoa, pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Sift dry ingredients into bowl and press through to work out any clumps.
- With stand mixer on low-speed, alternate adding dry ingredients with coffee to butter mixture until combined.
- Using rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into batter.
- Divide batter between 2 round, greased cake pans.
- Bake @ 375 F for 5 minutes.
- Lower heat to 350 for the remaining 50 minutes.
- Allow cakes to cool completely in pans before removing.
- Using a serrated knife, carefully level cakes by cutting off any doming. Make sure both cakes end up being approximately the same height.
This high protein flour offers structure and lightness which allows heat to escape. This lets the cake rise and prevents doming.
Blood Orange Buttercream
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: n/a
Make Ahead: Keeps for 7 days
Double this recipe if you like to use a lot of icing to decorate and play around with.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon blood orange zest
- 1/3 cup blood orange juice
- Beat together butter and zest until creamy and lightly coloured.
- Add 1 cup icing sugar followed by 1 tbsp juice.
- Repeat until all is incorporated and butter cream is smooth and light.
- Keep in air tight container until ready to use.
- Spread thin layer of buttercream over sides and top of each cake.*
- Let set up in fridge for 10 minutes
- Meanwhile, cover cake stand with 4 squares of wax or parchment paper.
- Place bottom layer of cake on top of paper on cake stand.
- Spread with half of remaining buttercream.
- Allow to set up in fridge for 15 minutes.**
- Top with second layer of cake and spread with remaining buttercream.
- Carefully pull out pieces of paper from underneath iced cake to expose a clean cake stand.
- For a finishing touch, top with chopped dark chocolate.
*A thin layer of icing is termed a crumb coat. This helps to adhere any loose crumbs to your cake. Meaning, when you add your thick and final layer of buttercream, it will be just that: No Crumbs Allowed!
**Allowing the icing to set up in the fridge before proceeding helps it to set. This means the weight of the top layer won’t squish out the middle portion of icing.