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Spiced Devil’s Food Cake

Depression era recipe for classic Devil's Food cake with a touch of autumn spice. Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg give this gorgeous 3 layer cake an added punch. Fill and frost with any frosting you like.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 3 8-inch or 9-inch layers
Author Marye Audet-White


  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup boiling water


  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Grease and dust 3 high sided 8-inch pans with cocoa. Regular 9-inch pans can also be used.
  • Stir flour, spices, soda, and salt together.
  • Set aside.
  • Cream the butter, oilbrown sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  • Beat in the melted chocolate, beating for 2 minutes until well blended.
  • Add the flour in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour.
  • Beat well on lowest speed after each addition.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Finally, with the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the boiling water.
  • Blend well and spoon into pans - 2 cups in each pan.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check after 25 minutes the first time you bake this cake.