Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Leaves

Sep 5th


We are back in our paradise, Macatawa Michigan. So it is only fitting that I make this beautiful Chocolate cake to celebrate our return. There is nothing better than homemade Devil’s Food cake and a cold glass of milk. The key to making this cake so moist is beets. Now don’t freak out on me here. I hate beets! You honestly can’t taste them and they turn the cake a beautiful deep dark color and add a moistness and depth of flavor unlike any I’ve ever had before. The frosting is a Chocolate Fudge frosting with chocolate leaves. It may sound like a lot of work but they are relatively simple to make. I have a lemon tree in our back yard and those are the leaves that I used last time. However here in Michigan there are no lemon trees so I just used a heavy-veined leaf. You can use dark chocolate, white chocolate, or any of the colored chocolates available from candymaking stores. I just used a really good dark chocolate from the grocery store. So if you want to celebrate something really special or are just having a major chocolate craving this is the cake for you!

Absolutely Divine Devil’s Food Cake:

This recipe is from the book, The Dessert Lover’s Cookbook by Marlene Sorosky.


3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 can (8-1/4 ounces) julienne beets

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2-1/2 cups firmly packed golden brown sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup buttermilk


Fudge Frosting:

2 cups whipping cream

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 tsp vanilla


Chocolate Leaves:

1 lb dark chocolate melted in microwave

Spread melted chocolate on underside of clean leaf. Refrigerate until firm. Gently pull back on leaf, separating it from the chocolate as little as possible. Refrigerate chocolate leaves until ready to use.



Baking Pan:

Two 9 x 1-1/2-inch or 9 x 2-inch round layer-cake pans



Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of pans. Dust with flour and shake out excess. Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot water. Set aside to cool slightly. Drain beet juice into small bowl. Place beets on cutting board and chop into very small pieces. Add to beet juice and set aside.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with and electric mixer on high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping sides occasionally. Reduce speed to low and beat in melted chocolate.

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium-size bowl. With mixer on low speed, alternately beat flour in fourths and buttermilk in thirds into chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add beets and juice and mix on medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. The batter will be thin and you will see pieces of beets.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 prepared pans. Bake in the 350 oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and top of cake springs back when lightly pressed with fingertips. Do not overbake or cake will be dry. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes and then invert onto racks.


Heat cream in a medium-size saucepan just until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate and vanilla, stirring until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted. Transfer mixture to a plastic or glass bowl. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes until mixture is as thick as pudding, about 50 to 60 minutes. At this point frosting will begin to set up very quickly. Leave in refrigerator and stir every 5 minutes until frosting is as thick as fudge, about 15 more minutes.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer top-side down on serving platter. Spread with a third of the frosting and top with second layer, bottom-side up. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Next add chocolate leaves and refrigerate.

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