Monday, October 31, 2011

RIP - Devil's Food White Out Cake (Dorie Greenspan)

If you want to mess with a devilishly good recipe for Halloween (or the upcoming holidays), this is such a delicious cake! Real chocolatey, devil's food cake and a fluffy, white, ghostly, marshmallow-like filling and frosting.  Topped with devils food cake crumbles, it will send shivers down your spine! We ate the entire cake at gourmet...may it rest in peace.  

I've have Dorie Greenspan's book Baking, From My Home to Yours for a few years and love it but I had never made the cake on the book's cover.  Luckily, I was assigned the recipe to make and bring to our gourmet group this past Saturday night.  I'm so glad I did, it will be a repeat here!   

This would be beautiful for Valentine's Day also with some candy hearts or red flower decorations!

Devil's Food White-Out Cake
Adapted from Baking, From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
and Shared on NPR
Printable Recipe

Makes makes 12 servings

For the cake

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the filling and frosting

1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

TO MAKE THE CAKE: Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. At this point, the batter will be thick, like frosting. Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Don't worry if the tops have a few small cracks. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

When you are ready to fill and frost the cake, inspect the layers. If the cakes have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. With the same knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Set 3 layers aside and crumble the fourth layer; set the crumbs aside.

TO MAKE THE FILLING AND FROSTING: Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.

When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable — don't try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting. Although you could keep it in the fridge in a pinch, it's really better to use it right now.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Put a bottom layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a long metal icing spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting. Top with a second layer, cut side up, and frost it. Finish with the third layer, cut side down, and frost the sides and top of the cake. Don't worry about smoothing the frosting — it should be swirly. Now, cover the entire cake with the chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the filling with your fingers.

Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour before serving. (If it's more convenient, you can chill the cake for 8 hours or more; cover it loosely and keep it away from foods with strong odors.)

SERVING: I think the cake is best at room temperature or just cool, but many people prefer it cold (the texture of the cake becomes fudgier after it has been refrigerated). No matter the temperature, the cake is so pretty it should be cut at the table, so bring it out on a platter and cut it into generous wedges using a serrated knife and a sawing motion.

STORING: The frosted cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days; let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, or longer if you have the time.


  1. Luscious - perfect for Halloween! xo

  2. The cake looks awesome...I always want to try this frosting...but too chicken. Yours look fabulous, light and fluffy.
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead and Happy Halloween Susan :-)

  3. Goodness! This recipe is yanking on my sweet tooth! Beautiful!

  4. Your cake is beautiful Susan! I still haven't tried a cooked icing, gotta make one soon! Happy Halloween and... I can relate to your witch:@)

  5. Susan -- I could go for a piece or 2 right now with a BIG mug of coffee! This looks wonderful and the crumbs on the outside is brilliant!


  6. looks delicious Susan!A warm hug...

  7. Looks delicious, Susan!
    Happy Halloween...

  8. Susan look delicious and fantastic my daugther look and adore it!! gloria
    Happy Halloween

  9. That is a fluffy looking cake and it is a beauty. I have baked many of Dorie's recipe but I never made that one. I do have to change that situation.

  10. Oh my, this cake has been on my list to make. It just went to the top of the list!

  11. Boo-tiful Susan, perfectly delightful for Halloween and the holidays to come. Don't you just love Dorie's recipes? You know to make it look so pretty too. Happy Halloween!

  12. Hey, when did you get Barb to pose for pictures?? LOL!
    That cake looks heavenly. A heavenly Devil's food! Happy Halloween!

  13. This is such a fun idea and completely appropriate for the holiday. I can see why the cake got devoured!

  14. The marshmallow icing looks delicious! It would be fabulous for Christmas Eve, maybe with crushed peppermint sprinkled over the icing.

  15. I love how you made the filling - from hot sugar and egg whites to amazing marshmallow! I'm so trying this at some point, because it's like a little miracle :)

  16. WoW, what a beautiful cake...I'll take a slice to go please! LOL! Have a great week! Hugs

  17. Beautiful and sounds so delicious.

  18. I love all of Dorie Greenspan's recipes ..she is truly a talented food writer and cookbook innovator. This cake looks devilishly good! :) Happy Halloween!

  19. I've wanted to make this cake ever since I bought the book! Yours looks gorgeous. :)

  20. It turned out beautiful...mine a tad lop-sided! Love the

  21. Just read your comments...I'm surprised Carol didn't recognize herself!! ;)

  22. What a superb presentation;love that frosting and filling. This would be the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers.

  23. That cake looks incredible. I think for the first time in my life I'm going to call a witch "adorable". Love her. :)

  24. The cake looks Deeelicious! I just happen to be a chocoholic so then works fine for me. It looks pretty , too.

  25. I love that fluffy white frosting! A perfect cake for a moment of indulgence.

  26. The cake looks delicious! I love the combination of white frosting and chocolate crumbs!

  27. You cake and witch are just perfect for now..Did you name your witch?

    You should..I have yearned for a witch recently..

    I would love Glenda.
    I need her:)

    But the character in your witch's face is amazingly photogenic..Like your cake:)
    I love that book.
    I offered one to a dear young friend I love it so:)

  28. Your cake is lovely! Beautifully done! Happy looking witch! Hope you had a good Halloween!

  29. My parents used to buy the Entenmann's Devil's Food Cake all the time and it was good...which means this must be about 500,000 times better! It certainly looks fabulous!

  30. I'm back too late to do this for Halloween but I'm seeing it with a winter scene (little deer and fir trees) on top for the Christmas season. We love devil's food cake!


  31. Perfect, Susan. Devil's food on Halloween...I love it! The frosting's a little like 7 minute...our favorite!

  32. You have made a devil cake look like angel ;-)) Beautiful!

  33. Its an awesome cake...!!!!
    Super tempting....drooling over it :)

  34. That is one great looking cake! Love it.


    P.S. Love your new witches too.

  35. This was one of the first Dorie recipe I made when I began TWD. It was for my husbands birthday.

    Yours looks very pretty on the pedestal plate!

  36. The cake sounds delicious. I buy cooking magazines often because of the front cover and yet don't make whatever it is. Glad you your assigned the recipe.

  37. Can't go wrong with a big, fluffy chocolate cake. The black/white combo is especially fitting for Halloween season, but could surely be eaten all year, no? :)

  38. It is beautiful, Susan, and I know it's delicious. The cover made me buy that book!
    I am sure your guests were thrilled with it, and everything you serve them!

  39. Sounds devilishly good for any time of year! I love the way you decorated it. Any chocolate cake is a good chocolate cake!

  40. This sounds amazing!! I love how you decorated it with the cake crumble- it looks so cool! Hope you had an awesome halloween!

  41. Lift off issue...LOL. I can relate to that! What a beautiful cake, Susan. Rich chocolate layers with boiled frosting have always been a favorite in my house.

  42. This is absolutely fetish-worthy and I've been inspired to include it in my Friday Food Fetish blog. If you have any objections, please let me know

  43. Here it is, once again. Another wonderful recipe from another wonderful cookbook, that I haven't even opened yet.

    Looks like I'm hopeless, and hungry.

    The cake looks as devilish as it sounds! And eating it could have the same effect on me, as it did on your little witch. So I think I'll make it, seeing as the witch is pretty cute.

  44. If that cake were in my hope id be saying rip as well, because i would have ate everything in one sitting. I love cakes and that one looks great. Richard

  45. Thank you all for your very kind comments! After indulging in the cake, I'm having some lift off issues too :)

  46. What a great recipe for Halloween! I'll bet it was devilishly delicious!

  47. Sounds like quite alot of work - but so worth it - it looks divine!

  48. Sounds simply delicious and a lovely photo - perfect anytime of year I think!
    Mary x

  49. I just printed out the recipe and added it to my binder. This cake is so reminiscent of my childhood...can't wait to try it. Thanks!!

  50. What a beautiful cake. I'll bet it was perfect for Halloween. Perfect and delicious

  51. Irresistibile questa torta, deliziosa la glassa bianca.
    Ciao Daniela.

  52. hi susan...I had a fondant au chocolat this afternoon for lunch...and your cake now reminds me that I could now easily do with a slice for dinner too. your cake looks truly devilishly good...why is it that we are so attracted to the sinfully good things in life..hehe! I hope you ha a good Halloween. We don't celbrate Halloween in France, so it paases by us without even knowing about it. But it is fun for me to see all my cross Atlantic friends playing around creatively at you eye catching cake!

  53. Oh my, this is my kind of cake!! I need to make this one or have someone make it for my birthday...YUM!!!


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