Devil's Food White-Out Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Three layers of devilishly dark chocolate, created from three different chocolates, make a stunning cake. The layers are filled and frosted with a fluffy cooked marshmallow topping, and then the leftover fourth cake layer is crumbled and pressed into the sides of the frosting for a chocolate crumbly finish.
Recipe type: Dessert | Butter Layer Cake | Chocolate Cake
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk (preferably whole milk)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • ⅔ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Marshmallow Frosting:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8 inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the milk, water, and vanilla together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the granulated sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 5 minutes to add all of the sugar, then add the brown sugar, taking an additional 3 to 4 minutes, beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugars, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the melted bittersweet chocolate and mix until blended.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, gently fold the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter.
  8. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Marshmallow Frosting:
  1. In a small heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, cream of tartar, and water. Heat, stirring gently to prevent as much splashing as possible onto the sides of the saucepan, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting while egg whites are prepared.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-high with the sugar mixture and continue to cook the sugar mixture, without stirring, until it reaches a temperature of 242 degrees, a firm ball stage, using a candy or instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature. Remove from the heat. Immediately start pouring the hot sugar mixture, in a thin steady stream, into the beaten egg whites, while beating egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed. Continue beating until egg whites are cool and thick, about 5 minutes. Tip: To keep syrup from splattering onto the sides of the bowl, do not allow the syrup to fall directly on the beaters, pour between the beaters and sides of the bowl.
  1. Using a long kitchen knife split each cake into 2 horizontal layers.
  2. Place one of the layers on a cake plate. Using an offset spatula spread frosting about ½ inch thick over the layer. Repeat with the second layer. Place the last cake layer on top. Cover the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  3. Crumble the remaining cake layer and press the crumbs into the sides of the cake. Also sprinkle crumbs over the top of the cake or leave some of the top frosting exposed.
  4. Refrigerate cake about 1 hour before serving.
Source: Greenspan, Dorie, Baking, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, 2006
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two 8" Round Layers Pan Prep: Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Covered, Room Temperature

Help: Cake Hints and Tips, Chocolate Types

TheBakingPan Recommends: The BEST instant read thermometer I’ve used for cooking and baking; the ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is incredibly fast, ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapenaccurate, and well worth the investment. I use my Thermapen Thermometer for checking room temperature ingredients, tempering chocolate, baking bread, making pastry creams, sugar syrup, caramel, and candy, cooking meats and fish, and deep frying. Thermapen Thermometer available here.
Recipe by at