Recipe: Devil's Food Cake by Prue Leith
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Recipe: Devil’s Food Cake by Prue Leith

Prue Leith may have stolen the recipe, but this cake is a winner

Inspired to get your baking hat on after watching Great British Bake Off? Learn from one of the show’s stars, Prue Leith. Here she shares her favorite chocolate cake recipe, a devilishly good dessert to whizz up over the festive season.

The Ultimate Devil’s Food Cake Recipe

‘This is simply the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. The recipe was given to me by Rebecca, who works behind the scenes for Bake Off. She’s a brilliant baker, and the original recipe is her mum’s. So, thank you, Rebecca’s mum. I love when recipes get passed along, spreading joy to the world.’


SERVES 12–16

For the chocolate frosting:

  • 200ml double cream
  • 350g butter
  • 450g dark chocolate, finely chopped

For the sponges:

  • 75g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 335g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g butter plus extra for greasing
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs

For the decoration:

  • 150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)


  1. For the frosting, pour the cream into a pan, add the butter and heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts. Bring to just below boiling point and remove from heat.
  2. Add the chocolate and whisk until smooth and glossy. Pour into a bowl and leave to set at room temperature, whisking occasionally.
  3. Heat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and grease and line three 20cm (8”) loose-bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.
  4. For the sponges, put the cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla paste and 375ml boiling water into a bowl, whisk until sugar has dissolved. Set aside. Sieve the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into another bowl.
  5. Cream the butter and caster sugar in a separate bowl until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing in a tablespoon of the flour mix after each egg.
  6. Add the rest of the flour, a third at a time, folding well. Fold in the cocoa mixture, then divide between the three tins and bake for 25-30 mins, until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out onto wire racks. For the decoration, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  8. Meanwhile, grease the underside of a baking tray with oil and pour the melted chocolate onto it. Leave to set, then drag a cheese plane over the surface to create curls. Keep these cool.
  9. Place a cooled sponge on a cake stand and spread with a quarter of the frosting. Place another sponge on top and spread with another quarter of the frosting. Place the remaining sponge on top, then spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, swirling with a palette knife. Arrange the chocolate curls on top of the cake.

Prue: My All-time Favourite Recipes by Prue Leith, Bluebird, £25

Recipe from Prue: My All-time Favourite Recipes by Prue Leith, Bluebird