Old Fashioned Devil's Food Cake

These old fashioned devil's food cake recipes were quite popular in the early 1900s. Devil's food possesses a more intense chocolate flavor with less sweetness than the more standard chocolate cake.

These are excellent cakes for serving on special occasions or for treating yourself to some comfort food when only the deeply rich taste of chocolate will satisfy.

Old Fashioned Devil's Food Cake Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (1920s)

Devil's Food Cake On a Serving PlateEnjoy an Old Fashioned Devil's Food Cake
(Source: ©asimojet/Depositphotos.com)

Some food historians believe that the old fashioned recipes for Devil's Food Cakes and Philadelphia Red Cakes might have inspired what we know today as the red velvet cake recipe.

Below are some of the best old fashioned devil's food cake recipes so you can experiment, and taste-test the theory.

Devil's food batter got its reddish shade from the acid in sour milk reacting with the alkaline base in the old fashioned baking sodas.

However, the distinctive red color cannot be duplicated using today's commercial baking sodas, so you'll need to resort to adding red food coloring if a deeper red color desired.

Red Devil's Food Cake

Vintage Red Devils Food Cake IllustrationOld Time Red Devils Food Cake
(Source: ©Don Bell)

1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoonfuls butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup sour milk
1/2 cup boiling water
2 squares Baker's Unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift flour once, measure the correct amount, add baking powder, and salt, and sift three times. Add sugar gradually to melted butter, and cream together until light and fluffy.

Add eggs. Beat mixture vigorously. Add flour and sour milk alternately, a small amount at a time.

Pour the boiling water into the melted chocolate; mix quickly. Add baking soda to chocolate and stir until thick. Cool slightly before adding to cake batter. Mix thoroughly. Add vanilla.

Bake in two greased 9-inch layer pans in moderate oven (350°F) for 25 minutes. To make three 10-inch layers, double the recipe.

Put favorite white frosting between layers and top and sides of cake.

Mrs. Dougan's Devil's Food Cake

1 cup butter; 3 cups sugar; 4 eggs (whole); 1 cup sour milk; 1 cup cocoa, 1 cup hot water; 4 cups flour; 1 teaspoon soda.

Pour hot water over cocoa and soda and stir in last of all. Be careful that water is boiling. Flavor with vanilla. Bake layers in moderate oven (350°F). —Mrs. H. B. Dougan

Raisin Filling

Boil 1-1/2 cups sugar, very small amount of water beaten in the whites of 2 eggs, with ground raisins.

Mrs. O'Roke's Devil's Food Cake

1 cup sour cream; 1-1/2 cups sugar; 2 eggs; one-third cup hot water; enough flour; 1 teaspoon soda; 3 tablespoons cocoa; 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix and bake layers in moderate oven (350°F). —Mrs. Galen O'Roke, Oskaloosa, Kansas

Cocoa Filling

2 cups brown sugar; 1/2 cup sweet milk; 1 tablespoon cocoa; butter size of a walnut.

Mrs. Hackett's Devil's Food Cake

Devil's Food Cake With WalnutsDevil's Food Cake With Chopped Walnuts
(PD Source: Vintage Magazine Clipping)

1 cup butter; 1 cup brown sugar; 1 cup white sugar; 1 cup sweet milk; 1/2 cup molasses; 4 cups flour; 1/2 cup chocolate; 1/2 cup boiling water; 4 eggs; 1/2 teaspoon cream tartar; 1/2 teaspoon soda; 1 teaspoon each of allspice, cloves and cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg; 2 cups raisins; 1 cup citron; 1 cup English walnuts (or other nutmeats). Bake in moderate oven (350°F).

Ice with either white or caramel icing. This also makes a unique Christmas cake. —Mrs. John Hackett

Devil's Food Mocha Filling

This mocha filling is the perfect filling for old fashioned devil's food cake, and it's also serves as a great filling for chocolate layer cakes.

4 tablespoons butter; 1/2 cup powdered sugar; 1 tablespoon cocoa; 4 tablespoons coffee; cream butter, sugar and cocoa; then stir in the coffee little by little. —Mrs. W. E. Cain

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