The origins of the term “devil’s food” to describe chocolate cake are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to identify. However, even a cursory investigation shows that devil’s food cake recipes started to appear at least as early as the 1920s. The recipes all vary slightly. There are versions with heaps of cinnamon, versions including a variety of nuts, and quite a few with mashed potatoes. In the end, however, devil’s food cake is really just a chocolate cake that’s more chocolaty than most. This cake is dense and moist without being heavy, and it’s full of a rich chocolate flavor imparted by the combination of dark chocolate, dark cocoa powder, and coffee.
It is in my nature to cover any and every chocolate cake in a thick chocolate frosting, but I rather love the contrasting flavor of this fluffy, white Angel frosting. It is worth noting that this recipe makes a great cupcake. If you are adapting it for cupcake use, be sure to reduce the baking time by 25 minutes, keep a watchful eye on the oven, and only fill the cup holders three-quarters of the way full.