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Devil’s Food Cake With Chocolate French Buttercream

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This cake is a real show stopper! Three layers of devil’s food cake enveloped in the creamiest chocolate buttercream frosting. Perfect for birthday celebrations and special occasions!

slice of 3 layer devils food cake with chocolate french buttercream.

Three layers of chocolate cake wrapped in a luscious and rich chocolate frosting.  You may think it is the work of angels, but apparently it is the Devil’s food. 

Either way, it tastes heavenly and you should give yourself some grace and make one! It would be a perfect birthday cake or way to end a dinner party.

It’s Cake Slice time again!!  You knew it was bound to happen, didn’t you?

A big tall chocolaty layer cake wrapped in a creamy chocolate frosting was coming.  It was just a matter of time!  I almost talked myself out of it.

In fact, I did talk myself out of it at least two or three times.  Who needs a three layer devils food cake?

I mean it is a TON of butter, and it was just Christmas… We survived 12 days of cookies, but how far do we want to push it.

Maybe you should just make one of the smaller cakes.  Doesn’t a lemon cake sound lovely?

But in the end, I had to do it.  I mean it really wasn’t much of a choice.  I knew K.C. was making his fish and shrimp chowder for New Year’s Eve, so I figured I would take advantage of the group and make them eat cake too.

They really have it rough.  I don’t know how they manage.

So I made sure the cake was highly visible before dinner so everyone knew to save some room.  The next day we had dinner with the in-law’s and luckily they don’t mind helping eat half eaten cake.  So really this beast didn’t stick around long.

Three layer devil's food cake with light tan chocolate french buttercream frosting, one slice on a plate and the remaining cake in the background.

 This cake is actually the cover shot for the book we are baking out of, World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey.  His cakes are all so beautiful.

He topped his with chocolate shavings and it is gorgeous.  I thought about it, but ended up just dressing my cake up with a few mini chocolate chips.  It was a lot easier and seemed appropriate.

I have been enjoying playing with the french style buttercreams in this book.  I haven’t made frosting like this before and I have to say I enjoy it.

They come out silky, rich and buttery and aren’t too sweet.  I really like using granulated sugar rather than powdered sugar too.  

I actually used a higher cocoa content chocolate than he called for in the frosting and somehow my frosting still ended up lighter in color than what it seems his is, but not one person complained.

In fact, my grandpa went up for a second piece.  And that is really saying something when we are talking three layers of cake and frosting!

little dude standing on a stool and spreading frosting over the first layer of cake.

The cake came together easily enough and really so did the frosting.  It does take a few extra minutes to get the sugar up to temperature and separate the eggs.

But it was nothing I couldn’t do with the help of my three year old sous chef.  He is really getting to know his way around making cake and frosting.

If he could read I could probably farm out the whole process to him.  Then I could just kick back and eat bonbons and take all of the credit.  Maybe in a year or two!

looking down on round cake with chocolate french buttercream and mini chocolate chips on top.

In the meantime we’ll spend the time together in the kitchen.  It is fun quality time afterall.  And if six inch tall chocolate cakes happen to result, all the better!

If you like chocolate cakes you may also like:

My depression chocolate cake is one of our all time favorites.  It is super easy to put together and doesn’t require much forethought and no fancy equipment.

German chocolate cake is another classic.  My great-grandma’s recipe uses the same base we know and love, but hers has a broiled coconut topping on top that makes it special.

If you are in the mood for a super easy and tasty bundt, try my chocolate cherry fudge bundt cake. It comes together in no time and is a showstopper anyway!

For a smaller one layer cake, try chocolate mayonnnaise cake.  It sounds strange, but tastes amazing!

What is your favorite kind of chocolate cake? Let me know in the comments below!

slice of 3 layer devils food cake with chocolate french buttercream.

Devil’s Food Cake With Chocolate French Buttercream

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
Three layers of chocolate cake wrapped in a luscious and rich chocolate frosting. You may think it is the work of angels, but apparently it is the Devil’s food. Either way, it tastes heavenly and you should give yourself some grace and make one! It would be a perfect birthday cake or way to end a dinner party.
5 from 5 ratings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


Devils Food Cake

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1⅓ cup butter softened
  • 2⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Chocolate French Buttercream

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups butter cubed and chilled
  • ¾ oz semisweet chocolate Roger recommends 70% cocoa solids minimum
Makes: 9inch round



  • Preheat your oven to 325°F and prepare 3 9 inch round cake pans. I always use the spray with the flour in it, but you can use whatever method works best for you.
  • Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl and stir in the boiling water until it is smooth. Allow to cool slightly and then stir in the milk.
    ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa, ½ cup boiling water, ¾ cup whole milk
  • In your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the mixer bowl after each addition.
    1⅓ cup butter, 2⅓ cups granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, 4 eggs
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add the cocoa batter, mixing again until just combined. Then mix in the remaining flour mixture.
    3⅓ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto wire racks. Cool completely before making the frosting.


  • Put the egg yolks in your mixer bowl.
    6 egg yolks
  • In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar and water over medium to medium-high heat until it reaches 244°F.
    1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup water
  • Start beating the egg yolks on medium-low. When the sugar reaches 248°F remove it from the heat.
  • Turn the mixer up to medium and slowly (and CAREFULLY!) drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the egg yolks.
  • Add in the chilled butter cubes one at a time until it is all incorporated.
    2 cups butter
  • Melt the chocolate until just smooth and allow to cool for a minute or two. Beat into the frosting until completely incorporated, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
    ¾ oz semisweet chocolate
  • Assemble cake as desired and serve with coffee…. yum!


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 443kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 5gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 317mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Jessica Jarrell

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

This cake looks so pretty Carlee! Almost (but not quite) too pretty to eat! And I like to eat cake year round as well. I don't care if it is right after Christmas, I want my cake! 😃


Thursday 2nd of February 2017

I love cake year round too and having the excuse to bake one at least once a month has been fun!

All That's Left Are The Crumbs

Saturday 28th of January 2017

Cutest little sous chef! Your cake looks so good and makes me want to reach through the screen and grab a slice.


Sunday 29th of January 2017

Thank you! We really love to bake together, even if we are a bit messy. I wish I could share!

Love Bakes Good Cakes

Friday 27th of January 2017

One of my favorite cakes! I wish I had a slice ... or two!


Saturday 28th of January 2017

Thank you, Jamie! I wish I could share!!


Friday 27th of January 2017

By the way you have the cutest sous chef ever!


Saturday 28th of January 2017

I do have a pretty good one, don't I?! Thanks, Nikki!


Friday 27th of January 2017

I always love a new addition to this series. The cakes are all so beautiful. Your three layer chocolate cake is mouth-watering. I've never made buttercream frosting like this, I'm going to have to try it, it sounds and looks fabulous.


Saturday 28th of January 2017

It makes the frosting so creamy and rich and not so sweet. It is a fun change, though I am certainly not prejudicial against any version... I love all frosting! ;-)