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My dad recently celebrated his birthday. I wanted to bake him a cake. That’s the simple explanation for this creation, which came from the Colonial Williamsburg cookbook once owned by my mother.

I did some research and it appears that no one really knows why one version of chocolate cake goes by the name “Devil’s Food.” I believe that it has something to do with the inclusion of chocolate-that devil master! But my dad loved it… and that was the point.

I was in a hurry and used store-bought frosting but I think it would really be great with real whipped cream in place of frosting. In any case, it is delicious. Here’s the recipe:

• 1 ½ cups milk, divided
• 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
• 1 ½ cups sugar, divided
• ½ cup butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 eggs
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• 2 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two cake pans. Heat one cup of milk, the chocolate, and ½ cup sugar in double boiler or heavy saucepan, stirring constantly until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Cream butter and remaining sugar in large bowl or electric mixer. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well.

Beat in cooled chocolate mixture. Sift salt with flour and add alternately with remaining milk, then beat the whole mixture 2 minutes at medium speed. Meanwhile, dissolve baking soda in three tablespoons of boiling water. Add the baking soda and beat one minutes longer. Pour into pans.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests done.

That’s it! Enjoy!