The Devil’s Favorite Devil’s Food Cake

Devil's Food Cake

Ancho chile pepper has a hint of cocoa flavor, making it an excellent partner for chocolate.

Great Pepper Cookbook Cover


Melissa’s The Great Pepper Cookbook written by Melissa’s Team. Published by and images by Oxmoor House 2014.

The Devil’s Favorite Devil’s Food Cake
Makes: Makes about 16 servings
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons espresso syrup or coffee extract or 2 teaspoons espresso coffee powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 fresh cayenne chile pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon salted water
  1. To make cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray; dust with flour. In a bowl, sift together sugar and next 4 ingredients (through salt); add milk, oil, espresso, and eggs. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed 1 minute, then on medium speed 2 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring ¾ cup water to a boil. Drizzle boiling water into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. To make ganache, in a small saucepan, bring cream just to a simmer. Remove from heat; stir in cayenne chile. Let sit at least 30 minutes; discard chile. Reheat cream to a simmer. Remove cream from heat; immediately add chocolate chips, stirring until just melted. Add butter; whisk until glossy and smooth. Let sit 30 minutes.
  4. Pour ganache evenly over cake (make sure top is completely covered). Chill in the refrigerator until ganache is firm, about 1 hour. Cut into 16 pieces. Serve.



5 Responses to The Devil’s Favorite Devil’s Food Cake

  1. Robert Schueller May 30, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Awesome chocolate-y recipe!

    • Dede Wilson May 30, 2014 at 10:10 am #

      Yes it is! Welcome to the community Robert!

  2. Kristen June 20, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    Is there baking powder or baking soda missing here? I just made it and the cake was dense and shrunken 🙁

    • Dede Wilson June 21, 2015 at 9:22 am #

      Hi Kristen, so sorry that was your experience. The recipe is presented as it was given to us by the authors. We will get in touch with them to see if there was a typo. Maybe use the cake to make a trifle? Cube it up and layer with some fresh berries, pastry cream and whipped cream and let sit to allow the cake to absorb moisture. You can read all about making trifles for more inspiration.

    • Dede Wilson June 26, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

      Kristen, we were able to speak with a representative of Melissa’s who said that the cake is correct as is. In his words, “That recipe was triple checked in our kitchen and at Oxmoor House… the recipe is correct as it is written. Yes…it is a dense cake (can tell by the photo too).No other ingredients were added.”

      Hope that answers your question.

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