This is the cake my husband chose for his birthday. It is a devil’s food cake with a marshmallow frosting. The whole cake is covered in a layer of cake crumbs.
Last month was my husband’s birthday. He spent some time flipping through my cookbooks to find the perfect cake to celebrate his special day. He ultimately decided on this cake from Dorie Greenspan – it happened to be the cover photo of her cookbook.
The look of this cake reminded me of a brown derby cake from my childhood. The only thing it was missing was the canned fruit. I made this cake a few days before my husband’s birthday since I would be pressed for time during the week. Even though I am working from home, my days have been busier than expected.
Not surprisingly, my husband decided to cut into his cake early. We enjoyed a slice a day early so we could quality control test it. The cake was… OK. The day I baked it, I did taste some of the leftover crumbs. And when I say crumbs, I mean crumbs. This cake produced crumbs like nobody’s business. I found crumbs on the kitchen counter several days later. However, the cake does hold together slightly better after hanging out in the refrigerator overnight.
The marshmallow filling/frosting was the best part. Sadly, the crumb-iness was too much for us to overcome, so we didn’t rate this cake as highly as we expected. After a day or two, my husband declared that he didn’t want any more of the cake. This devil’s food white-out cake was not worth the hype, but we are glad we tried it. If I make this again, I would use a different cake base (likely the Hershey’s one that I love so much) and top it with the same marshmallow frosting.
Husband’s rating: 3 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 3 out of 5
My rating: 3 out of 5
Devil's food white-out cake
- 1 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate melted and cooled
- ½ cup buttermilk or whole milk room temperature
- ½ cup boiling water
- 4 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate finely chopped (can substitute with ⅔ cup of mini chocolate chips)
Filling and frosting
- ½ cup egg whites from ~4 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Bake the cake
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Generously grease and line two 8-inch round baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for another 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time until smooth. Add the vanilla. The batter may appear curdled - that is OK. Turn the mixer to low and add in the melted chocolate.
- Alternatively add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until everything just comes together - do not over mix. The batter will resemble frosting.
- With the mixer on low, slowly stream in the boiling water. This will thin out the batter. Fold in the chopped chocolate/chocolate chips.
- Evenly distribute the batter into your prepared baking pans and bake in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan and allowing to fully cool on a wire rack.
Make the filling/frosting
- In the bowl of a spotlessly clean stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, add the egg whites. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, place the sugar, cream of tartar and water. Stir to combine. Turn on the stove to medium-high and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Watch it carefully. Once the mixture reaches 235° F, start beating your egg whites in the mixer. You'll want them to come to soft peaks. If they achieve firm peaks, turn the mixer down to low and wait for the syrup to continue heating. Allow the sugar syrup to reach 242° F.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches 242° F, very carefully stream it into the mixer. Turn the mixer to high and then add the vanilla extract. Your final frosting should be smooth, shiny and fluffy.
Assemble the cake
- Cut each cake layer in half horizontally. Put one layer off to the side and crumble it. Place one cake layer (preferably a "bottom" layer) on a cake stand or plate. Top with a layer of the marshmallow frosting. Then add a layer of cake on top. Add some frosting on top of that and then the third layer of cake.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Take the cake crumbles (from the 4th layer of cake) and apply it to the top and sides of the cake.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving. The cake is actually best a day after it's made.
- Slice and enjoy.