Devil’s Food Cake AKA the Best Chocolate Cake in the World

Sensationalist title, but it IS that good. This isn’t my recipe, although i have jiggled around the icing to my taste, but since it is probably the best chocolate cake you are ever likely to eat, I thought it was probably worth posting. The recipe originates from Green’s restaurant in San Francisco – surely one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the world, certainly that I have been to – and has become my go-to celebration cake. Since it was D’s birthday last week (just before Hallowe’en, hence the spooky embellishments!) it provided the perfect opportunity to wheel out this trusty favourite.

In short, this cake is rich, dark, decadent and deeply chocolatey. But it remains moist and delicate, and this chocolate icing makes is pretty special – resulting in the perfect chocolate cake. Even D, who is no fan of cake (can you believe it?), says it’s probably the finest cake he has ever tasted. High praise from a man who grew up with regular access to French patisserie. It can work as a cake to serve out as a slice on its own, but a great pudding with a side of dairy-free ice cream.

Devil’s Food Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free if use soya-free choc, vegetarian and vegan)


makes one 10 inch cake

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup, or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt

for the icing:

  • 1/2 cup/ 115g dairy-free spread
  • 2 tbsps oat milk
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 200g dairy-free dark chocolate

– Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Centigrade/ Gas mark 4

– Grease and line a loose bottomed cake-tin

– Whisk together the hot water and cocoa

– Mix in the oat milk, golden syrup, oil, vinegar and vanilla

– Stir in the sugar

– Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt

– Mix to form a very sloppy mix, with no lumps

– Pour into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour, or until a knife comes out clean.

– Cool in the tin, before removing and transferring to a wire rack.

– Meanwhile, melt together the icing ingredients and simmer for a few minutes until thick and glossy. Let cool.

– Cut the cake in half and spread on 1/3rd of the icing.

– Sandwich together the cake halves and evenly spread the rest of the icing over the top and sides.

– Decorate if desired and leave to set.


16 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks fantastic. I wonder how it would take to a gluten free all purpose flour blend?

  2. mmmarzipan says:

    Wow! Ticks sooo many boxes! Thank you!!!

  3. It does look like one fantastic cake!!! 🙂

  4. I’d love to try making it at home. Your Devil’s Food Cake AKA the Best Chocolate Cake in the World will be a great surprise to my little sister when she come home from Canada. I have no idea what recipe to introduce to her because she love baking and cooking. Thanks for this Devil-Angle recipe!

    1. lucylox says:

      i hope you make it – if she likes chocolate she’s sure to love this cake 🙂

  5. Esb says:

    Just wanted to check quantities – do you really mean tablespoons of vanilla, vinegar, baking powder and bicarbonate?

    I am new to the world of baking with multiple allergies and think the blog is fantastic!

    1. lucylox says:

      Aw thanks for your lovely comments 🙂
      Yes I do mean tablespoons – it seems like a lot, but for this cake it really works. Hope you enjoy, it’s one of our favourites!

  6. Sarah says:

    I just made this cake for my son’s birthday and also made it gluten-free so my niece could have some. The cake was great, you’d never know there were no eggs in it and it was super delicious and chocolately. But the icing was what made it for me. I think that icing was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. About a quarter of it mysteriously disappeared as it was cooling! I’m looking forward to trying it again using wheat flour. Thanks for posting this 🙂

    1. lucylox says:

      It really is an amazing cake isn’t it! So pleased you enjoyed 🙂

  7. alexandra says:

    Made this cake and it was spendid. Absolutely delicious. All your recipes are great so no surprise there.
    I would like to make it again for my son’s 2nd birthday but this time I was thinking of using the icing only for the filling and not on top too. Do you think it will be ok to cover it with white/ivory icing fondant? Like the ones from Dr. Oetker? To make it look like a birthday cake with some icing decoration..
    thank you again and again for the lovely recipes

  8. Luisa says:

    Hey, this looks and sounds utterly fantastic. Just wondering what you mean by “dairy-free spread” for the icing? I have no idea what that could be and hope somebody can help 🙂

    1. Luisa says:

      Okay, never mind, I think I figured it out – in another recipe on this site you specify a brand for a spread, so I’m guessing you mean margarine. I was just confused, because to me as a non-native spread could also refer to for example cream cheese, or (though unlikely in this context) jam, nut butter or even something savory. Now looking forward to trying this out! 🙂

      1. lucylox says:

        Hi Luisa, I’m so sorry I didn’t notice your first comment. Yes I do me dairy free margarine. I realised that spread was confusing and have been going through the process of updating the recipes but as there are 100s I’ve still got a king way to go! Sorry for the confusion. Hope you like the recipe as much as we do x

    2. lucylox says:

      It’s margarine 🙃

  9. michelle says:

    we cant do oat in this house but can do soya. would swapping the oat for soya work? would i need different quantities or like for like?

    1. lucylox says:

      It will work fine – just use the exact same quantities x

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