Rich, but not too rich; sweet but not too sweet. This moist and tender gluten free devil’s food cake can easily be made into cupcakes or a layer cake.
What is devil’s food cake?
Devil’s food cake is similar to red velvet cake, but not quite the same. It’s one of the very best gluten free chocolate cakes, mostly because it’s just enough—but not too much of anything.
I decided to make this as a layer cake, since making a cake is easier than making cupcakes. This is a robust recipe that will make a full 24 cupcakes.
You can also make 48 mini cupcakes, if you’re making this recipe for a school birthday party, as I once did way back when. It will also make two reasonably-sized 8-inch round cakes that are perfect for layering.
But when it comes to all the leftover confections, cookies and cakes we always have at my house, cupcakes are much simpler to store. Just pop them in an airtight container, squeeze all of the air out and freeze.
Simple vanilla buttercream frosting
For a frosting recipe, I made the simplest vanilla buttercream ever. Here’s the recipe:
16 tablespoons (224 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups (460 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy (at least 2 minutes). Add the sugar and salt, and beat on medium speed until just absorbed.
Add the milk and vanilla and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. The frosting should hold its shape easily when scooped with a spoon. To adjust the consistency of the frosting, add more milk very, very sparingly and beat to combine.
For an extra special vanilla frosting, add the seeds of a half a vanilla bean before the final mixing. Nothing says “I love you a little extra” like those seeds!
Like this recipe?
Prep time:Cook time:Yield:2 8-inch cakes or 24 cupcakes
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
3/4 cup (60 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (327 g) packed light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups (10.6 fluid ounces) warm water
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, at room temperature
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans, or line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with liners, Set the pans aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and whisk again to combine, working out any lumps in the brown sugar. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the water, butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be soft and relatively thick. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared baking pans, or fill the wells of each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way with batter. Smooth the tops of the batter.
Place the baking pans at the same time, or the muffin tins one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven. If making cakes, bake for 15 minutes, rotate the pans and continue to bake until the tops spring back when pressed lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (about another 10 minutes). If making cupcakes, bake until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly (about 22 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Originally published on the blog in 2012. Recipe ingredients and method unchanged; instructions added for baking 2 round cakes; photos all new; video new.