Red Rooster Devil's Food Cake

By Marcus Samuelsson |

At Red Rooster in Harlem, we serve a different flavored cake every day. One of our favorites is the Devil’s Food Cake, which reminds me of our southern roots. We use this deep chocolate base with a variety of fillings and toppings. Here it is paired simply with a classic buttercream.

Prep Details

Servings: 15-20

Total time: 1 hour


For the Cake

2 cups cake flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 cup hot coffee

1 cup canola oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

For the Buttercream Frosting

1 cup egg whites

2 ¼ cups granulated sugar

1 Tbsp corn syrup

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

2 Tbsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer.  Turn paddle on & mix dry ingredients for 1 minute.

Add coffee, oil and buttermilk into the mixer - mix until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix for another 2 minutes.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake for 30 minutes.

Let the cakes cool in pans until warm and then remove from pans and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

While cakes are cooling, prepare buttercream frosting.

Whisk egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon salt and sugar in a double boiler over simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water below it. Salt & sugar should dissolve and egg whites should be warm to touch when ready.

Pour egg white mixture into the bowl of the mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until it's white and doubled in size.

Remove whisk and put on paddle attachment. Turn mixer onto a medium speed. Then add soft butter approximately 2 tablespoons at a time. When butter incorporates into egg whites add another two tablespoons of butter until done.
When done with butter, let it rest for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add the vanilla and beat 30 seconds until smooth. Frost your cake. Enjoy!