I've been on some sort of Cake Hiatus. And I'm not sure why. It could be because the leftovers are a little harder to get rid of - mind you our doormen don't mind if there's a slice cut out. I think part of it was that sometimes people thought it was all just cake over here. I have been introduced a few times as 'This is Erin, and she makes amazing cakes!' Which is all well and good and I hugely appreciate that people think the cake is amazing, but I like to think that i'm a little more versatile than just being a cake person. Or even just a sweets person - I have a fairly strong pasta game too ;). So I guess I've just been making other things to prove a point that I can do it, even just to myself? What a weirdo. Or maybe it's because I fell down a giant pie rabbit hole - there's something so calming about making pie. And Bread. Sorry Cake.
The excitement of making cake slowly crept back up on me - I forgot how fun it was. And then when Stella's new book: Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts showed up in my mailbox, I knew it was time. I've been waiting for this book for what feels like the longest time ever, and it is even more amazing than I knew it was going to be. Stella is an absolute wizard, and a lady after my own heart - she treats baking as a science (because it is), heavily endorses the use of a scale (if you don't have any, buy some RIGHT NOW because it will change your baking forever), and includes things like cooked temperature for cakes, and little hacks you never knew you needed. I have followed her work since way way back when she had a blog, and her magic ways have made their way into the way I bake. Her recipes are solid, easy to follow, and reliable, and can easily be adapted to suit your liking - I just can't say enough good things about them.
Deciding what to make from the book first proved to be kind of difficult. Because I didn't grow up here, there's so many nostalgic childhood desserts in this book that I have never tried. Which I kind of like - it means that the first time I try them, they will likely be home made. However I kept turning back to the one bowl devil's food layer cake. It looked rich and fudgy, and had a milk chocolate frosting. I can never go past a double chocolate situation.
This cake is a dream - I almost went full on Bruce Bogtrotter on it. It all comes together in one pot, which is amazing. The layers bake lovely and flat, which makes assembly super easy. The frosting is a simple whipped ganache, which you make in the bowl of the stand mixer, leave to cool, then whip up all in the same bowl. (Best Idea ever?!? I think so). You need it in your life. Congrats Stella! This book is so, so beautiful, and I can't wait to slowly work my way through it! xx
A few wee notes:
- This recipe is made in three pans. While owning three pans the same size probably seems excessive to most people, trust me on this one when I say that they are insanely handy to have. Trying to cut a cake in half cleanly and evenly sucks. Baking the layers in individual pans sucks much less. You can also use the pans for all sorts of other things - cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, quiche, ice cream, etc. I have three of these and I love them to bits. They are super easy to wash, and things don't stick to them.
- Be careful when covering the ganache to cool - I was silly and didn't let it cool enough before putting it in to the fridge and a teeny bit of condensation dripped into it which made it the tiniest bit grainy, but still tasted amazing.
- The Ganache needs up to 6 hours to cool before you can whip it, or you can cool it in an ice bath.
- Buy this book because you need it.
I am doing a giveaway over on Instagram where you can win a copy of this book! Head on over to enter! Feel free to stop by Saveur and pop a vote in on your way past too! x
Made this recipe and love it?
If you made this recipe then I would LOVE for you to leave me a review below to let me know how you liked it! Also, please make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make it!
A note on salt and oven temperature
It is important to note the type of salt that is called for in a recipe. I use Diamond Crystal salt throughout my recipes - if you use a different sort of kosher salt or regular table salt you will need to adjust accordingly as some salt is 'saltier' than others. Morton's salt is twice as salty, so you will need half the quantity. Same goes for a regular table salt. I am working to get gram measurements throughout my recipes for salt but still getting there.
All oven temperatures are conventional unless otherwise stated. If you are baking on fan / convection, you will need to adjust the temperature. An oven thermometer is a great investment to ensure that your oven is the correct temperature.
Using the double / triple function in the recipe card
You will notice that there is a '1X' '2X' '3X' button in my recipe card. This can be used for doubling or tripling a recipe. However, please note that this only doubles the ingredient quantities in the ingredients list and NOT in the method. If there are quantities or pan sizes in the method of the recipe (for example weigh out 150g brown butter), you will need to scale this number manually. It will also not change the baking time in the recipe so you will need to adjust this yourself too. It is always a good idea to read through a recipe fully before doubling it just to check this. If you would like to scale this recipe or convert for another pan size, use my calculator!
Tools and equipment
For a list of my go-to tools and equipment, I have a post you can refer to here.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it is the most accurate way to bake. Cups are not only inaccurate but they vary in volume worldwide. There is no way for me to provide one cup measure that works for everyone. However, posting in weight fixes this issue. If you would like the recipe in cups you are welcome to convert it yourself via google, but please do not ask me to do it for you as I am not comfortable providing a recipe using a method that I have not tested. Baking with a scale is easy, accurate, and also makes cleanup super simple. Here is the scale that I use if you would like a recommendation! Here's to accurate baking!Print
One Bowl Devil's Food Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting
Devil's Food Cake
- 3 sticks (12oz) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups (12 oz) Black coffee or black tea
- 1 cup (3 oz) Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 ¼ cups (6 oz) finely chopped dark chocolate, approx 72% cocoa solids
- 2 cups gently packed (16oz) Light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 6 large eggs, cold
- 3 Tbsp (1 ½ oz) egg yolks (about 3 large eggs worth)
- 2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
Milk Chocolate Frosting
- 3 cups (24 oz) heavy cream
- 3 ¾ cups (20 oz) good quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper, and spray with baking spray. (If you don't have three pans, the batter can be kept at room temp for 90 mins)
- Combine butter and coffee in a 5 quart pot, and set over low heat. Once the butter is melted , remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa and chocolate, followed by the brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the eggs and yolks. Sift in the flour and baking soda. Whisk thoroughly to combine, then divide the mixture between the 3 pans (it should yield approx 23 ounces in each)
- Bake until the cakes are firm, about 30 minutes, or until they register 210˚f on a thermometer. A toothpick inserted in the centre will emerge with a few crumbs left on it. Cool until no trace of warmth remains, at least 90 minutes.
MILK CHOCOLATE FROSTING
- In a 3 quart stainless steel pot, warm the cream over medium heat. When bubbling hard around the edges, pour over chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk by hand until smooth, stir in the salt, and set aside until no longer steaming. Cover and refrigerate six hours, or until thick and cold (45˚f) about 6 hours. Alternatively you can cool in an ice bath, stirring frequently, for about an hour.
- Whip with a whisk attachment on medium high until the frosting is thick and silky. (75 to 120 seconds). Use immediately.
- Invert each pan onto a wire rack, and peel off the parchment. Trim the tops of the cake using a serrated knife. Place one layer cut side up on a serving plate or turntable. Cover with a cup of the frosting spreading evenly with the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Repeat with the second and third layers, cut side down. Finish the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting, and the decorations of your choice (I piped a little leftover on as blobs around the top of the cake, and then added some chocolate balls).
- The frosted cake will keep under a dome or pot for 24 hours. Once cut, wrap slices individually and store at room temp for up to 4 days.
Reprinted with Permission from Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts