Hello, Baker!

Every good baker knows that you have to experiment with many different recipes, be willing to tweak ingredients here and there, and be open minded to new ideas when it comes to finding “the one”. That basic cake that you can proudly call the best, the one that we all dream to someday discover, fall in love with, and live happily ever after. For me, those dreams have yet to come true and I ultimately blame it on the fact that I rarely ever focus on vanilla or chocolate cake.

I’ve had many baking experiments in my life and it wasn’t until recently that I realized I haven’t actually made a real attempt to find my go to vanilla or chocolate cake recipe. I’ve definitely had over a dozen experiments with peanut butter cookies (still with no real breakthrough), but never any with cake and I find that surprising. I’m always too eager to jump into a recipe that requires something more unique, more out of the ordinary, and more complex than plain vanilla or chocolate. Maybe it’s simply because I always want to amaze people with something they aren’t used to or maybe I just enjoy a less common flavor, but either way I surely need to find my “one” and David Lebovitz’s recipe for devil’s food cake is a step in that direction.

I love David Lebovtiz, I truly do. His creations are terrific and his books (especially The Perfect Scoop) are a true inspiration. When I discovered that he had a recipe for devil’s food cake I knew I had to try it and boy was I glad that I did. This cake (and even the batter) tastes absolutely sinful and it remains nice and moist for quite some time.

After finding the cake my next mission was to figure out exactly what kind of cupcakes I wanted to make with it. Perhaps I could have another go at the peanut butter cupcakes or keep things simple for once and compliment it with a cream cheese frosting. I did my usual precupcake baking research and came across a recipe for devil’s food cake with raspberry jam buttercream and raspberry truffles at the always sensational Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and at first site I instantly knew this was the recipe I wanted to make!

Devil’s food cupcakes, filled with raspberry jam, covered in a creamy raspberry jam buttercream, and topped with a chocolate filled raspberry for decoration!

Devil’s Food Cupcake

(Recipe from David Lebovitz)

  • 9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 cups cake flour (Not self-rising. All-purpose flour works too.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee (or water)
  • 1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift together cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. (If using a standing electric mixer, stop the mixer as necessary to scrape down the sides to be sure everything is getting mixed in.)
  4. Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour into lined cupcake pans, about 3/4 of the way full, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Raspberry Jam Buttercream

(Recipe from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar (Any more than 6 was too much for me.)
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  1. Place butter and jam in a mixing bowl or an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream until well incorporated, about 2 mintues.
  2. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency. If frosting gets too thick you can add a little milk to thin it out.

Raspberry Truffles

(Recipe from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)

  • 2 pints fresh raspberries, cleaned and dried
  • 5 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  1. Place chocolate and raspberry jam in a heat proof bowl.
  2. Bring cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate and jam and let sit for about 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk together chocolate mixture. If it is still a little lumpy, put in microwave for a few seconds and whisk again.
  4. Put ganache into a piping bag and pipe chocolate into fresh raspberries, then let sit in fridge for about 15 minutes.


  1. Using the cone method, cut out the center of each cupcake and fill with raspberry jam.
  2. Replace the topĀ  and pipe on raspberry buttercream frosting.
  3. Top each cupcake with a raspberry truffle and enjoy!

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  1. Wendy on January 26, 2009 1:53 pm

    Oh my. Your cupcakes look absolutely amazing. And you can’t go wrong with raspberries and chocolate.

  2. Chuck on January 28, 2009 10:03 pm

    Cupcakes have become so popular these day. I see cupcake stores popping up all over the place. But, I don’t know … they never seem to be as good as homemade. Yours look delicious!

  3. Rebecca on January 28, 2009 10:29 pm

    Wendy – Thank you!

    Chuck – Thanks! My area surprisingly has almost no bakeries and when I recently discovered a cupcake bakeshop I was ecstatic! Sadly, their choices were extremely generic and flavorless. I could have made better with a box mix.

  4. Amanda on January 29, 2009 12:39 am

    They look so colorful! They are a welcome sight in this dead winter.

  5. Alicia on January 29, 2009 2:13 pm

    these looks so good! nicely put together. The combination sounds so good..i loooove raspberry jam.

  6. Sandra on January 29, 2009 4:50 pm

    Gorgeous looking – I’m ready to bake them! How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

  7. Naama on January 29, 2009 6:06 pm

    I could only wish that I could have one right now… These look simply divine, so colorful and lively! Just beautiful!

  8. KW on January 30, 2009 4:57 pm

    Is there really no vanilla in these? Does the coffee flavor replace it?

  9. amelia on January 31, 2009 9:31 am

    I totally know what you mean about the perfect recipe for chocolate cakes! I found Martha’s chocolate cupcake recipe to be truly perfect, but unfortunately it doesn’t translate so well into whole cakes, so I’m still on the look out for a tall fluffy chocolate cake recipe =D I’m also looking for a good buttercream recipe, and the one u have here looks pretty good! Good luck on your search =)

  10. ingrid on February 2, 2009 11:08 pm

    Those are fabulous looking cupcakes! I think they’d be perfect as a Valentine’s treat.

  11. Rebecca on February 3, 2009 10:22 pm

    Sandra: I honestly don’t remember how many this makes. I want to say at least a dozen.

    KW: No vanilla at all! I believe that the coffee is supposed to help enhance the flavor in the cake. However, my sense of smell/taste is rather dull so I couldn’t honestly tell you if it did.

    Amelia: Ah yes it’s so frustrating and now that you’ve mentioned Martha’s recipe I almost want to try it. LOL! I’m more a cupcake lover than whole cakes so maybe I’ll try it!

  12. Sandra on February 3, 2009 11:33 pm

    I forgot to ask, what brand of cocoa powder did you use – more specifically, dutched or natural?
    Thank you!

  13. Rebecca on February 4, 2009 1:30 am

    Sandra: I believe I used Scharffen Berger natural cocoa powder for those cupcakes.

  14. Lucas James Becker on February 8, 2009 4:14 pm

    I loved this recipe!
    Last night I went to a party wearing a devil cloth and I`m in love with red.

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  18. Wendy on March 26, 2011 8:10 pm

    My daughter made these cupcakes today and they were the best cupcakes I ever had in my life!!!! I am over 50

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