Devil’s Food Cake

Devil’s food cake is usually associated with a rich, dark chocolate layer cake but I thought I’d use the recipe to make cupcakes. Green and Black’s Organic cocoa powder which gives the sponge a rich, chocolately kick and compliments the thick, sweet buttercream icing. For more of a party cake effect, I made delicate chocolate roses using chocolate silk in the style of Mich Turner’s ‘Little Venice Cake Company’. A real showstopper!

So here’s how (makes 12):

Devil’s Food Cake Mix

  • 100g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  •  a pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

  • 250g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 25ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate roses I used shop-bought chocolate silk but alternatively you can make your own chocolate plastique.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 170C (150C fan)
  2. Sift flour and mix sugar, baking powder, salt and butter together
  3. Pour half the milk into well combined
  4. Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk in a separate bowl and pour into flour mixture
  5. Blend until smooth and spoon into cupcake cases until two thirds full
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until skewer comes out clean then place on cooling rack

For the icing…

  1. Sift icing sugar and mix in butter
  2. Slowly pour in milk and vanilla until smooth
  3. Use a piping bag to decorate or alternatively a large knife

For the chocolate roses…

These look fiddly but I can assure you they are quite easy once you’ve had a bit of practice with the chocolate silk.

  1. Take a handful of chocolate silk and work it in your hands until it warms up and becomes more malleable
  2. Roll it into a sausage shape on the work surface and cut into 6 x 1.5 cm cylinders
  3. Flatten one edge of the cyclinder in a semi-circle shape leaving the other edge thicker
  4. Take one disc and roll into a swiss roll shape. This will form the middle of the rose bud.
  5. Take another two discs and mould them around the edge of the central cylinder
  6. Take the remaining discs and mould them around the outside of the central rose bud
  7. Finally cut the extra chocolate silk at the bottom to make the rose buds flat and decorate your cupcakes!

For more complicated cake decorations why not have a look at Mich’s wonderful book ‘Fantastic Party Cakes’ – the ‘real Bentley of cake makers’.

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