homemade devil dog, ding dong or hostess cake

There is a certain kind of cake so ubiquitous in grocery store checkout lanes, beneath lottery-stickered counters in bodegas and beckoning to office workers in a 3 p.m. slump through vending machine window and so lodged in American nostalgia that I am always surprised that more people don’t make it at home. I’m talking about a Ding Dong. Or a King Don. Or a Ring Ding. Confused yet? You’re not alone.

chocolate cake puddles

But it doesn’t end there. This combination of a chocolate cake and a marshmallow filling makes other appearances in junk food lore, such as the infamous Hostess Cupcake, Yodels, Little Debbie Devil Squares and Devil Dogs. And today, I’m going to tell you how to make (almost) all of these at home.

chocolate cake mosaic

My pining for a homemade Devil Dog Cake started when I saw a recipe for one in the February issue of Gourmet. However, I had several concerns about this cake, the first being that, as everyone knows, Devil Dog filling is on the inside not top of two chocolate bun-shaped cakes and also that–all too much like an unfortunate quality of their namesake–reviewers seemed to find this cake on the dry side.

whisking frosting

Having already found a recipe for the dreamiest, easiest and most moist chocolate layering cake in the entire world, I saw precisely no reason not to use that. I also have found a fantastic recipe for a marshmallow frosting, also known as Seven Minute Frosting, which the Gourmet recipe used a variant of.

marshmallow frosting

Frankly, all that’s left is assembly. My plan had been to make a filled cake in the style of a giant Hostess cupcake, King Don, Ring Ding or Ding Dong. And although it sounds like I am speaking in tongues (especially if you read that last sentence quickly) what they all have in common is marshmallow-filled center and a shiny chocolate coating, plus or minus a signature seven-loop white swirl (which I remember as a Jeopardy clue decades ago and have been incapable of forgetting since).

palettepipingbluecarried away again

However, things didn’t exactly go as planned when I (stupidly) left the crazy-moist cake in the cake pans overnight and they managed to soak through the waxed paper underneath and suction themselves to the nonstick cake pans to the point that no amount of tapping, nudging or praying would allow them to pop out onto the cake plate. Until, of course, I was certain it would never come out, roughly went to flip it back right-side-up and one half of it crashed and landed in three pieces on the cake plate, and not even centered. At once, my Hostess/King/Ding/Dong became a roughly pasted back together Chocolate Layer Cake with Marshmallow Filling and Frosting, as I had many gaping cracks that needed filling. However (!) don’t let this stop you from following in my intended steps, with Hostess, Ding Dong, King Dong, King Don, Devil Square, Devil Dog and other options detailed below.

Seriously, you will never be tempted by their cellophane-wrapped namesakes again.

whoops!never happened

One year ago: Red Split Lentils with Cabbage, Indian Spiced Cauliflower with Potatoes, Cucumber Scallion Raita

Chocolate Cake Layers

3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms of 2 10-inch* round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

* Note: This cake will overflow if baked in 9-inch cake pans. If you only have 9-inch pans, you might want to 2/3 the cake recipe instead, as following: 2 ounces chocolate, 1 cup coffee, 2 cups sugar, 1 2/3 cup flour, 1 cup cocoa, 1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, etc. and reduce the baking time by at least ten minutes.

Marshmallow, or Seven Minute Frosting

2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.

Ganache Frosting
(Used in the first and second options below)

1/2 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter

Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency). I found that stirring this over a bowl of ice water did a great job of cooling it off quickly and evenly.

Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Chilling the cake will harden the chocolate coating.

Make Your Own Hostess Cupcake, Ding Dong, Ring Ding, King Don Cake: Bake two cake layers as directed. Halve one layer horizontally into two thin layers. Place the first one on a cake plate. Take the second cake and cut a large hole out of the center, about 6-inches across — you won’t be using this. As carefully as possible, place this on top of the halved cake layer on the stand. Fill the entire cut-out area with frosting, leaving a half cup aside if you wish to pipe the signature loops or a message across the top. Lay the second halved layer on top of this, sealing the filling in. Spread the ganache coating over top and sides of cake. Once ganache is firm and chilled (the fridge does a great job of this, quickly), you can decorate it with a piping bag or a makeshift one, a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off.

Make Your Own Little Debbie Devil Square Cake: Proceed as above, but bake the two layers in square cake pans.

Make Your Own Devil Dog Cake: Bake two cake layers, in an oblong or long rectangular pan (you can round the edges after you bake it) if you have. Use the frosting only between the cake layers.

Make Your Own Chocolate Layer Cake with Marshmallow Frosting and Filling, as you’ve seen in these pictures: Double the frosting recipe and use it as filling and coating on a two-layer round chocolate cake. Set about one cup aside if you wish to tint it and pipe decorations on the cake, either it with a piping bag or a makeshift one, a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off.

And while we’re at it, because it is in a similar vein–Make Your Own Devils Food White Out Cake in the style of the stunning one on the cover of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking, From My Home to Yours: Halve each cake layer horizontally, creating four thin layers. Break one into small crumbs; set crumbs aside. Using a double recipe of the marshmallow frosting, spread some between each cake layer, stacking as you go, and then cover the exterior in the remainder. Press the crumbled cake crumbs into the sides of the iced cake, and just over the top of the cake in a one-inch ring.

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330 comments on homemade devil dog, ding dong or hostess cake

  1. Wow, that is an impressively rescued cracked cake!! Nice job on glueing it all back together!!

    It’s been so long since I’ve had a ding-dong or equivalent. I can actually pin point how long ago it was – 6 years ago, my last year of undergrad, and I was a hungry vegetarian without time for a decent lunch. I snagged a hostess-something from the vending machine. I ate it, then looked at the ingredients, and realized it was made with beef lard. Ewwww!

    But from what I do recall of that moment, it reminds me a red velvet cake, minus the red… AKA ‘Wacky Cake’. I wonder if that classic vinegar – baking soda eggless recipe would work?

  2. My God this looks amazing! It’s enough to tempt me into baking a layer cake again for absolutely no reason. Now tell me, do you have a recipe for sno-balls?

  3. Jennifer in Texas

    Your cake looks so good. I have one of those twinkie cake pans do you think I can make some chocolate twinkies with your cake recipe?

  4. LyB

    That last option with the cake crumbs on top of the frosting sounds like it would look so original! I love the idea of making homemade Little Debbie cakes. Do you call them little Deb’s? ;)

  5. RA

    I love the Hostess cupcake idea! We only have Tastykake around here, which is kind of an affront to my New England taste buds. I just don’t get the intentional misspelling, or what the big deal is about Butterscotch Krimpets.


  6. Girl you’re walking tall now with your fancy clothes
    You got fancy things going up your nose
    You get fancy gifts from expensive men
    You’re a dog on a leash like a pig in a pen!

    1 week! No Sleep til Brooklyn!

  7. Vic Tuals

    Deb, as I try to get my aortic functions restarted after reading this, I’m just wondering: for those of us who don’t own 10″ pans and are reluctant to invest in something which we’ll rarely use, what’s your thoughts on baking this in three 8″ pans (thereby making it taller and hence even more sinful)?

  8. deb

    Jessica — Since I did that myself, I figured it would be helpful! Besides, 9-inch pans are so much more standard than 10-inch, which with limited space, I have no desire to buy.

    Vic — Yes, with three 8-inch pans and the full recipe, I am certain it will work nicely. Oh, and please save me some. The cake went quickly.

  9. I’m sure the cake tastes great and the frosting covered everything perfectly. I have heard that when cakes cool too long in the pan, you can dip the pan in hot water to warm up the fat that has solidified in the pan. The cakes should then pop right out.

    Thanks for the great recipe and photos!

  10. i am not a cake eater, but when i was little and into my teens, i loved a frozen ding dong. they are so much better frozen, just like oreos, twix, you know everything is better frozen.
    I have not had one in years and years (it makes me sound so darn old), I’ll have to give this a try and put a piece in the freezer.

    1. Jennifer

      SK is my go to for cakes. My daughter asked for a ding dong cake for her bday and I knew where to come. Baking the cakes went normally. However, turning the cakes from the pan and trying to cut them ( all when cooled as per the recipe) created a huge crumbly mess. I’m sure it’ll taste yummy. I think next time I’ll use a different cake recipe for the base with the frosting and ganache from this recipe.

  11. anna

    i was the lucky recipient of this cake and GOD DAMN. it is even better than it looks, if you can imagine that. i’ve been eating the leftovers for breakfast all week. deb, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  12. Am I the only person who has never heard of any of these cakes? Ding dong, hostess or otherwise?! I’m thinking it is maybe an American thing? Anyway, who cares? It looks terrific (even with the cracks – beautifully salvaged, by the way) and I fully intend to get fully aquainted with it by making one myself. Just divine – wish I had a slice right here now! Thank you for the recipe.

  13. deb

    Whoops! That’s my total bad, re: the stand mixer. I used a different recipe this time. It involved boiling syrup to 245 degrees and slowly drizzling it into the egg whites. It worked great, but seeing as it was very hot/dangerous method, took way more than 7 minutes and had the same results as a class 7-minute frosting, I opted to give you all my former recipe. Hope that clears it up! (If anyone is particularly eager for this recipe, I can type it up tonight, however, really, this works just as well and with less drama.)

  14. My cakes always cracked… until I discovered the secret of flouring the pan. Which I’m sure you did; sometimes they STILL mess up, especially if they’re thin layers. That looks delicious, though! My mother always refuses to ice a chocolate cake with white icing, but it looks so beautiful. I’m going to try it.

  15. Dancer who eats

    Cooking = drama! I can spend hours talking about my most recently gastronomical tales….. Deb, you are an awesome cook and everyones loves you for your human side. Whether or not you arrived at the final destination, I bet it was yummilicious.

  16. are you kidding me? oh my goodness. that first picture is just too delicious looking for words. i don’t like any of those hostess/ding dong/whatever scary packaged things, but you have me drooling right now!

  17. Jessica

    My mom has been making a cake similar to this one for years; it’s called a Black Magic cake. The recipe she uses comes from the 1972 Pennsylvania State Grange Cookbook, which has to be the weirdest yet most useful cookbook I’ve ever owned. Pennsylvania Dutch recipes (there are nine different recipes for Sauerkraut Salad!) are nestled in there with the kind of stuff prevalent in the 1950-1970 time frame- Jello salads, Spam entrees, etc. Truly, though, a lot of the baking recipes in there are ones that I use all the time, including the Black Magic cake.

    By the way… normally I use the same fluffy white icing you used here, but one time I made it with a peanut butter icing as a special request. My only problem with doing that: peanut butter icing is ugly on top of a cake. Now that I’m thinking about it, isn’t there a version of a Ring Ding that’s rectangular and peanut butter filled? I think they’re called Funny Bones. So, if you’re a fan, you could just use your favorite peanut butter icing with the Ring Ding instructions instead.

  18. Nan

    This is one of my favorite cakes – my mom used to make it for us years ago. And hers were always “glued” back together, too. I make one for my son where I ice the cake then stick Hostess Twinkies all around the sides and Hostess Cupcakes, that have been split in half, on top…it’s his birthday cake that he requests every year – and probably always will until he hits 30 and starts packing on the pounds.

  19. deb

    Oh no, I never get upset. No crying. No cursing. No being in a pissy mood for at least two hours after a mess occurs, and according to Alex, exactly one hour longer than it is Acceptable to mourn a baking disaster. ;)

  20. It’s my birthday tomorrow, and I sure would be happy if you would mail this cake to me. Plus, I love frosting. The more the better. Actually, if you had a frosting cake, I’d accept that too.

    Seriously though, this cake has me drooling. The other thought I’ve had is how much I like Kit-Kats, and how awesome would it be to have a Kit-Kat Cake? All the creamy chocolate with thin wafers, covered in chocolate?

    I know. You’re drooling. As am I… Kit-Katless on my birthday.

  21. Irene

    I was drooling over the pictures and your post, that is until I got to the actual recipe and discovered to my horror it had (yuck!!!) coffee in it! Since I am one of “those” people who cannot abhor the taste of coffee and will actually spit something out (discreetly, of course, if I’m not alone) even if it has the teeniest, tiniest taste of it in any food, what would you suggest I substitute in its place, since the amount seems to be so large? Water? Applesauce? Chocolate milk? Normally, if it was a smaller amount or powdered stuff, I could leave it out altogether. I have birthday event for a 10 yr. old I’d like to bake this for coming up very very soon, and chocolate and marshmallows are 2 of his favorite things to eat.

  22. Kim

    Looks so good, despite the mishap. I am a coconut cake fan, but you might have a convert. I think I will give you cake a go, my husband
    might start talking to me again if I make this for him. Thanks!!!

  23. You may mourn a baking disaster as long as you need to recover. I’ll let you cry on my shoulder, while I eat the spoils.

    I’m glad you live far away from me. I’d never get into my wedding dress if I got invited to all the events you bring food too. Hell, I’d never get through a door again.

  24. My dad used to pack me ding dongs in my lunch when I was little. I loved peeling off the silver foil. I probably wouldn’t like it as much now, because I’d be able to taste the unnatural ingredients. They’re just so labor intensive! With ding dongs, you have to inject the cream filling. Then you have to dip the whole thing in chocolate. Speaking of snack cakes, I also love Little Debbie’s chocolate-covered rice krispy caramel cookie.

  25. Funny, I make this cake on request and everytime I think of my Daddy. He used to try and hide ding dongs from me in the back of the freezer. I ALWAYS found them. Your cake is beautiful. Feels good when you can save a cake huh? NuJoi is right, if the cake has cooled in the pan for too long you can put it over a very low flame or place the bottom in some warm water for a few seconds to warm up the fats that have solidified and then when you flip it over give the bottom a good spanking and it will come right out! I love your blog by the way :)

  26. I am a devoted, dyed-in-the-wool devil dog girl! I grew up on all the Drake’s Cakes, but the dogs were (are) my favorites. Ding Dongs don’t even come close. Of course, now that Hostess has acquired Drake’s, who knows how Devil Dogs will fare.

    I love that cake recipe. It looks like it would make a great birthday cake for some lucky person. Hmm. Mine is coming up. I wonder who I can bribe to make it for me. Oh, who am I kidding. I always have to make my own. ;)

  27. lana

    I just made this cake… did 2/3 of the batter in 9″ pans and then made the rest into mini cupcakes. I realized then that I don’t have an handheld mixer and I’ll be using this as an excuse to buy one tomorrow. So the rounds are cooling and I’m devouring cupcakes. Those little ones are dangerous!

  28. whitney

    Deb, I do the same thing when I have cooking disasters– hell, even non-disasters that just don’t come out the way I thought/hoped they would. My boyfriend doesn’t understand why I get so pissed when the thing is still edible but it just makes me mad to “waste” food on something that isn’t as good as it could/should be.

  29. Yeah~ I lurve 7 minute frosting but it seems to have fallen out of vogue. Why is that? Would you halp me start a coup in food blogland?
    I’m thinking this recipe is going to make the most perfect ding dong cupcake. Many many thanks!

  30. Casalea

    Finally, the devil dog of my youth in an adult form.
    Though I do love the 7 minute frosting, don’t you think the fillings and frostings of the ding dongs, king kongs, etc were more of a buttercream?
    Adding butter to the 7 minute frosting would turn it into a luscious swiss meringue style buttercream–a luscious adult version of the crisco buttercreams found in the originals.

    1. JenP

      I think you’re right! I’m *sure* the originals were a shortening-cream, not a 7-minute frosting like *every* “copycat” hostess recipe on the internet uses. So a Swiss or Italian buttercream should be perfect, I’m going to try it!

  31. SantaDad

    I guess you don’t remember when I suggested that the wedding cake be a gigantic pyramid built with Yankee Doodles (the cupcake version of Devil Dogs), glued together and covered with marshmallow icing. And Drake’s is so considerate; They don’t even put paper on their Yankee Doodles, so they’re ready to go.

  32. I have heard and read so much about 7 minute frosting but have never tried it myself; I made a different kind of frosting we call “marshmallow” here in Brazil. It’s pretty good, but yours is faster, so I’ll try it next time. :)

  33. Izzy

    This is seriously the most amazing food blog site I’ve ever encountered. The articles are entertaining and informative, and the recipes I’ve tried have been very successful (please try the Red Velvet Cake – it was a HUGE success for me). Thanks so much for your valuable entries!

  34. Silvia de Castillo

    Totally agree with Izzy……. this is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST food blog. I have not tried all recipes , but those I have were a huge success. Thank you very much and keep amazing us.

  35. Meridee Marsh

    Oh people, please check out the website for Pimp That Snack at http://www.pimpthat Or just google something such as big kat kat cake. They made one about 3 feet long. It had to be put in the fridge slanted just to fit. They make everything gigantimundo! Cupcakes, candy bars, giant hamburgers, you name it and someone has overdone it. Enjoy.

  36. Neesha

    I have to say the first time I made that cake it separated into three parts too which made stacking it quite a challenge. I had to urge people to start eating it because it was sinking every second. it’s good cake though. and i should really try it again.

  37. melissa

    I actually baked the Devil Dog Cake from 2/08 Gourmet Magazine for a dinner party recently. It was a huge hit. I doubled the frosting and piled a huge mound on the top. And I substituted some of the water in the cake with strong black coffee. The cake was delicious, moist and dense — I think I underbaked it a tad. I was inspired to make some variations, but you’ve done it for me. Thank you!

  38. This disgusts me. Not because it doesn’t look good, but because I know that if I make it I will eat the whole thing in one sitting and fee disgusting. I really want some of this right now though. Good idea to make it with oil instead of butter, I have a feeling it comes out moister that way?

    Now I just need to clean up my drool.

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  39. You know, a couple of years ago my dad’s gf gave me one of those gimmicky cake pans for filled cakes… I look guiltily at it occasionally because I have never used it. I am wondering if it would work to make a giant hostess cupcake with using this recipe…

  40. Lynne

    Deb – been reading for a while, but finally just had to comment! My neighbor challenged me a while back to make a “giant Ding Dong”, so I took up the challenge. Made a whipped cream filling, and frosted it with a (cheap & easy…NOT gourmet by any stretch!) fudge recipe. tastes JUST like a ding dong! Was very surprised to see this on your site, but then, really shouldn’t have been! (I’m sure your true-from-scratch recipe is way better than mine though.

  41. Diane

    Great save! Try using baking parchment (available at most grocery stores) to line your cake pans. (The wax on waxed paper will melt to your pan and stick when it cools.) I always use parchment and cool the cakes completely in the pan, once cool, the cakes can be covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to frost them. Other hints: Cover your cakes with a cotton/linen dish towel as they are cooling. My grandmother and mother always did that and everyone would rave over the moistness of their cakes. Works every time whether it’s a ‘scratch’ cake or a box mix. Professionals use a special grease on their cake pans. If you bake a lot it’s very easy to mix up a batch… 1-1/4 cups vegetable shortening, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup all purpose flour. I keep mine in the frig and use it for anything that calls for greasing and/or flouring the pan, i.e. cakes, muffins, cookies.
    Your cake and pictures are impressive! I have been baking for 40+ years, worked in a bakery for several years, taught cake decorating for 15 years and I am still ‘creating cakes’ for birthdays, weddings, etc. You have a great blog, I will be checking back often!

  42. Claire

    This is probably the 5th or 6th recipe I have tried of yours, and they have all turned out WAY better than expected from a novice cook like myself. I have come to really trust everything you make and recommend as good. :) I did cheat on this one and use a duncan hines devil food cake mix… I wouldn’t have had time to do a whole cake from scratch. But this was a HUGE hit at a church function and was gone super fast. I didn’t even get a piece (although I “tasted” it with the extra circle of cake i cut out. Yum) The only problem I had, is that i think i burned the sugar/corn syrup in the ganache icing a bit because it had these weird little lumps in it. Next time I will stir more frequently.
    Thanks sooo much for all the delicious recipes and good advice! :)

  43. dana

    I don’t live in the USA and therefore we don’t have semi-sweet chocolate. Would bitter sweet be a good alternative? What about soy milk instead of the buttermilk?

  44. deb

    Bittersweet chocolate can absolutely be used. I have never cooked with soy milk so cannot attest to whether it would work. However, its qualities are very different from buttermilk so I would probably warn against it unless you’ve swapped them successfully in the past. Good luck!

  45. deb

    You could probably just use hot water, but coffee works magic with chocolate, bringing out its flavor without making the cake taste like coffee in any way. If caffeine is a concern, you could always use decaf.

  46. ok, i just notice that yours uses coffee too. That one doesnt have any chopped chocolate in it, just cocoa. Everything else is the same, just the proportions are different.

  47. Karina

    Dana: I also don’t live in the US and don’t have buttermilk available, but at least for the scones I make every Sunday that call for buttermilk I use a substitute and they come out great. Just squeeze about a tablespoon of lemon juice into a measuring cup, add enough milk to complete one cup and let stand for ten minutes. I do this before I start measuring anything else and by the time I’m ready to mix it in, it’s ready. I don`t know how this would turn out in this cake recipe, though, but think it would turn out ok. Guess you’ll just have to try and see! Let us know… Oh, and Deb, my mouth is watering as much as everyone elses… One time I had a similar cake break and I decided to serve a Chocolate Parfait: I just crumbled it all up and mixed it with some whipped cream. It tasted great!

  48. Lisa

    Deb. I love your site. I found your site through a friend and now you are apart of my daily blog reads. I have made a couple of your things and they are amazing.. Thank you. However, I was on a plane from Orlando back to California (Where I am from) when I was reading Real Simple and saw your site in there. Great job and congrat. Can’t wait to see what you are going to make in 2008.

  49. nora

    great recipe! i made some fake hostess cupcakes this weekend. i hardly ever cook and i mostly bake from a box, but your instructions made it quite easy. they turned out to be incredibly tasty and a big hit! plus, now i know what buttermilk is! thanks.


  50. Michelle

    I want to make something similar to the ding dong. Does the chocolate ganache harden up like the chacolate shell on the real thing, or is it kind of soft and creamy like the frosting on Hostess cupcakes? I need it to be hard since it will be eaten by hand. Any suggestions??

  51. jwg

    That looks really good, but we need to discuss Blackout Cake.White Out pales in comparison. Vanilla Frosting is just wrong. You need something like chocolate pudding so the whole thing is chocolate. The iconic cake was made by Entenmann’s here on Long Island, but I haven’t seen one in a while. Now if you had that recipe I would bow down in awe.

  52. So, I used these recipes to try to make homemade ding dongs and I posted about it, but I’ve never used Flickr and can’t seem to figure out how I’m supposed to add it to your new photo group. So, there you go. I’m having a brain cramp and can’t seem to get it right, but I wanted to tell you thanks for the recipes and that we loved them.

  53. liberrian

    This recipe is exactly what i’ve been looking for–a rich, moist cake with the perfect texture. Thanks!
    p.s. I didn’t have 10″ pans so I discovered that this recipe is perfect for one 9″ double layer cake plus a dozen cupcakes. I made it on Easter so I used the 7-minute frosting and topped the cake with Peeps.

  54. I’ve made both the frosted and the ganache versions in the last 2 weeks. The ganache version was by far, hands down, the favorite.
    Both were extremely delicious, but the ganache one was just divine.

  55. Cerin

    I just made this for my friend’s birthday as a three layer 9″ cake, cutting the middle of the middle layer out for a frosting center- and rave reviews! The ganache was just enough to cover everything but in hindsight it could probably have used more seven minute frosting.

    I also tried out your suggestion of cutting a corner off a sandwich bag to pipe icing- genius!

  56. Beeje

    Made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday – he’s a Ring Ding addict so this was a fun change from his usual birthday carrot cake. I made the batter as published and poured it into a 2-quart Pyrex measuing cup. Since I only have 9″ cake pans I measure out about 21 ounces into each, and then filled 8 cupcake tins. The cakes were done after 50 minutes, and the cupcakes took about 27 minutes. They all rose beautifully and very evenly – no doming. The cake was so moist that I was worried it would crumble apart when slicing the layer in half. Instead I used a Tupperware “Midget” container (maybe shot-glass size or so) and made indents all around one layer, not cutting all the way through. I then piped the icing into these divets and then covered the whole layer with more icing. Added top layer, chilled for a bit to set the crumbs and then added the ganache. It was just barely enough ganache to cover the whole thing, none left for the cupcakes. I had enough filling to decorate the top, and it looked terrific although I forgot to take a photo before we dug in. Delicious and OH SO RICH!!! Thanks for publishing this recipe, it’s a keeper and a fun change of pace.

  57. gloria

    I had a receipt for devil dog cookies and lost it. The best I remember it did not have eggs. My daughter-in law is going to divorce me if I don’t make them for her.The cake will be to crumblie to use as cookies. Please help

    Gloria in Texas

  58. jen

    I made this over the weekend for my stepson’s birthday and it was the best chocolate cake I have ever had. And the kid liked it too! This cake blows devil dogs out of the water and I will surely make it again and again. The frosting was divine and also my new favorite. Two comments in response to others posted here: the coffee doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee in any way, shape or form: it only elevates the chocolate flavor. Second, just like Deb’s, my cakes cooked beautifully but adhered completely to the pans. I am so thankful that someone posted the suggestion to put the cake pans in a pan of hot water to loosen – all it took was maybe 5 seconds each and the cakes slid right out. Perfect!

  59. Jen

    Made this yesterday – absolutely fab!

    For those not into the coffee part I just did 1C of boiling water and it’s still made a fantastic cake.

  60. OMG these cakes just came out of the oven and they are amazing. Actually, my cat nibbled a little bit of the top off one, and we’ve decided that we’re going to ignore the potential cat spit and just frost over the nibbled part. I’m glad to have read the hot water advice for getting them out of the pans, they do look kind of sticky!

  61. tricia

    the 7 minute frosting recipe is horrible. I tried it three times in a row, and it never fluffed up. ive made this frosting using a different recipe many times before, and wanted this recipe to work, but it just didnt. is there an ingredient missing on the posting? again, horrible and liquidy after several atempts

  62. deb

    The recipe is correct. Egg whites clear of yolks in a clean bowl with clean electric beaters should easily whip in 7 minutes at high speed… hard to say from here what went wrong.

  63. Aladyinredpolish

    INTERNATIONAL READERS !!!So, Ive been wanting to make this cake for awhile and I finally did. WOW! The cake part is absolutely amazing. The moistest cake I have ever tasted and I am a big time cake eater :) I made the marshmellow frosting to go with it. I followed the recipe for the cake but make 2 batches of cupcakes (25-35 min depending on your oven or each batch) and 1 round 8″ pie pan cake ( about 45-50 min). I did not double the batch of frosting because i didnt have two layers of the pie pan cake, but I did fill each cupcake with frosting and frost the tops of them and the cake.

    This was an outstanding cake recipe, the frosting was perfect as well. For International readers: this info might help you…since we cant always get the correct ingredients…
    -corn syrup: boil 1 1/4 cup sugar + 3/4 cup water until becomes syrupy. Measure out the amount you need for this recipe, after it cools a bit.
    -buttermilk:for each cup of milk add one teaspoon of lemon juice and let sit for 10 min, measure according to the recipe.
    -I used dutch process cocoa, turned out fantastic anyway.
    -Vanilla extract: Use slightly more for the Dr. Oetker vanilla ,(found in most countries) for the same effect, since it is not pure, or to US standards.
    -If you do not have a coffee brewer or percolater, boil water in your tea pot or pot and use instant coffee, as I did. It turned out fantastic.

    Even though this all worked out to be amazing and delicious, when I go home in the summer for a visit, I will try it with the orginal ingredients to see if the taste is the same or if it is better. All in all, I will come back to this website for more recipes because as you can see… Im throughly impressed! Thank you SK!

  64. Terry

    I am making this for my husband and kids for valentines day!

    RA: Tastykakes are the best. I was born in the Trenton / Philly area but have been in New England for most if my life. My Dad would send to the company for butterscotch krimpets. My sister and I would turn our noses up at any brand of snack cake.

  65. shirley

    Question abt the frosting… maybe Im not reading it right… are you suppose to throw everything in the metal bowl and place it in a ‘double boiler’ and beat away OR are you suppose to whip up the egg whites FIRST then place it on the ‘double boiler’ and throw in the rest of the ingredients? …. sighs just writing this post Im confusing myself…

  66. deb

    You put everything in together. The cooking over the double boiler ensures you’re not frosting the cake with raw egg whites, the rest of the beating (off the double boiler) helps it get fluffy and shinier.

  67. Yandi in TX

    Deb, your cake looks deliciously beautiful, and from the posts above, I can tell it tastes beautiful as well. For my daughter’s 5th birthday, I plan on carving out a sculpture cake of Disney’s new character, Bolt (a-la Ace of Cakes!). Do you think this cake will be too soft – and/or would putting it in the fridgie to firm up for carving ruin the moistness? I’m hoping to start practicing soon, so I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

  68. absinthe

    For Tricia @113: Did you use pasteurized eggs? They don’t whip up well at all and are not recommended for any kind of meringue-y items. Just a thought.

  69. jody

    deb: first of all, i love your site. you are my first go-to when i need a new recipe. i’m planning on making this cake for my daughters birthday party this weekend. (i can’t wait) i love your cute decorations on the cake. did you use the 7 minute frosting, instead of the ganache on the outside of the cake? thanks for all the great recipes!!!!

  70. annie

    It’s rainy and cold and I want a birthday cake, now! (My birthday is in August)
    I’m making this fantastic cake today, which is now my new birthday! (’til August, when I’ll want another one!)

  71. Ken in New England

    Found your recipe Saturday and made it for Easter just like the picture…WHAT A CAKE!!! Everyone loved it (especially me cause I refuse to spend 1.60 on a Ring Ding but love them). Thanks you so much for sharing. By the way, that is one big cake!

  72. JC


    My cake is in the refrigerator as we speak, the crumb coat is setting up. I made 3 batches of Seven Minute Frosting, and the third will go on in about an hour.

    How do you store Seven Minute Frosting? Should it be in the refrigerator? Can I leave it out on the counter? I have a piping bag full of it tinted blue that I’m not sure I’m going to need until tomorrow morning.

    Someone? Anyone?!

    1. deb

      You can leave it out on the counter. It’s just egg whites, so it’s pretty stable. I’d say at least for a day — keep the bowl covered, however. It crusts easily.

  73. kalinNYC

    hi deb – this cake looks amazing and i’m going to make it for a friend who loves ding dongs. can you tell me on what speed to beat the eggs (for about three mins) if i’m using a stand mixers? on what speed should i add the liquids?
    i can’t wait to make this cake – i just hope to make as perfect as yours looks! thanks for the recipe – please help if you can

  74. deb

    I can’t say I have ever noted what speed I use, but there’s no reason to do it especially fast, what with the risk of splashing and the fact that you’re not trying to get a lot of air into it, as you would with egg whites and the frosting, for example.

  75. kalinNYC

    thanks so much – i’ll try it on medium for the eggs and liquids with the paddle attachment (flat beater) – i hope this works and i’ll definitely let you know how it comes out tonight. let me know if you suggest otherwise.

  76. kainNYC

    deb – the cake was gone within an hour, and i’ve received three marriage proposals thus far. amazing! thank you so much for your help

  77. elmcake

    Hi! Looking for a great, reliable chocolate cupcake recipe. Do you think this cake would work for cupcakes??

  78. i made the 7 minute frosting for my sister’s birthday last week. I am not sure what happened. the frosting seems fine when i was making it but by the time i got my cakes to stack, filled and ready for frosting, it doesn’t stand up anymore. I used it anyway and my writing slowly spread like a ink blot over the cake. the frosting itself did not stay in shape, as piped… i wonder if it is because i live near a body of water and it has been cloudy? just not a good day for marshmallows huh? we ate it anyway but somehow the fluffiness is just lost… =(

  79. Callie


    I am totally loving your web-site and am definitely excited to find more recipes. However, this one totally caught my eye and I’m planning to try it tonight. In Cincinnati, there’s a bakery that makes chocolate cake called Devil Dogs. They are slabs of chocolate cake, with a marshmallowy frosting across the top and the whole thing is covered twice in chocolate. Very decadent. I want to make something similar and this recipe is beyond perfect, it seems!

    My question for you is this: I want to make the cake in a 9 x 13 so I can cut it into rectangles. Do you think I should follow the cake recipe as it states above, or try the 2/3 version?


  80. Callie

    Update: :) I made the devil dogs in the 9×13 pan. There was just ever so slightly too much batter, but they turned out PERFECTLY. I brought them to work, and seriously, my co-worker’s were like vultures waiting to get one.

    Thank you sooo much for this recipe, I can’t wait to try other ones by you!

  81. I can’t believe that I have not seen your site before! This devil dog cake looks delicious and I’m going to print this out and make it over the weekend. I love your photo of the marshmallow frosting. It captures the whipped texture of it perfectly. I just want to lick the beaters!

    And wow, do you ever generate the comments from people! You are quite the popular blog. I’m definitely going to be checking in frequently.


  82. Sam

    I work at a law firm and we are currently prepping for a big trial and needless to say everyone is overworked and totally stressed. My solution for stress , err, everything, is chocolate. When I saw this recipe I thought it would be the perfect treat to lift spirits in the office. WOW was I right! This recipe is fantastic and that is by far the best choclate cake recipe I have tried yet (and I have tried lots!).

    I only made one change to the recipe and that was form. I decided to make mine into cupcakes, rather than a full cake. They turned out so cute, looking just like the traditional hostess cupcakes but tasting far better!

    They have been a huge hit – most were gone before 10am. Nothing like cake for breakfast.


  83. Erin R.

    Holy god! This picture is on the Harmons grocery store cooking class website! I knew I recognized that incredibly poofy frosting. Mmm, now I’m tempted to sign up for the cake class. (grin)

  84. Lauren

    Full recipe made about a billion (40+) cupcakes, perfect for a large birthday dinner! They took about 27 minutes to bake. We filled and frosted like the Hostess cupcakes, and piped on the birthday girl’s name (anna) with the marshmallow icing to look like the signature 7 loop swirl! Delicious.

  85. Morna

    I love the look of this cake, just about to go and bake it for my boyfriend’s birthday. I was wondering though, would i be able to subtitute the hot brewed coffee in the cake mixture for just boiling water? (my boyfriend hates coffee). I f not, what alternative could I use?
    Thanks so much x

  86. Sam

    Sorry to be going back to an old recipe – do you think this could be frosted the night before and kept a room temperature?


  87. hiyam

    I made the cake (nine inch size) and it came out great; the problem was there wasn’t enough icing and I needed to make a second batch. I made and iced the cake the night before and left it out and it was moist the next day. I refrigerated left-overs but found that they got hard in the fridge.

  88. jp

    I made this cake for own birthday (three 8-inch layers) and it was an utter hit. Everyone who tasted it – even those who professed not to be chocolate cake fans (I didn’t know such a thing existed) really enjoyed it. It was moist, deeply chocolatey, and the frosting was fluffy and not-too-sweet. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  89. Hannah

    Shame on me for not heeding your warning to use 9 inch pans! Overflow, indeed. Aside from this minor setback, the cake was scrumptious. I even earned the high praises of my younger sister who’s as picky an eater as they come.

  90. I used this cake recipe for a dinner party the other night (I covered it with a chocolate buttercream), and it was fantastic.

    Now, I want to make the Ding Dong cake for another dinner party happening this coming Saturday. My question is: can I make the entire cake one evening in advance (ganache, filling, and all)? Will it jeopardize the incredibly moistness of this cake? Also, do I refrigerate the cake overnight?

    Thanks so much — and thanks for a site that I’m completely addicted to!

  91. This cake is fabulous – and the frosting is my all time favorite! I’d love to make a chocolate version of the frosting for using on vanilla cake. Do you have any suggestions on how to do that?

  92. Jaclyn

    Made this yesterday for my anniversary. It was the first layer cake I have ever made. It turned out great! It took me most of the afternoon, but I think that was mostly because I only have a hand mixer and since it was my first time I was very careful. I did mess up one thing – I thought I had two 10 inch pans, but it turns out one was 9 inch. So my cake was slightly tiered. It didn’t look as pretty as yours – but it still tasted delicious!

    I don’t like using corn syrup in my recipes, so I substituted honey. This changed the flavor and texture (I’m assuming) slightly. It was very sweet and sticky. It worked though! And it really tasted like melted marshmallows.

    The chocolate was absolutely to die for. So rich and moist. I think I may use it for my tiered wedding cake – but use a different frosting. I was a little worried about it being too moist and falling apart, but I think the right frosting and proper support will hold it together just fine.

  93. allison

    shamelessly made my own birthday cake and chose this recipe to do was AMAZING (just like every other recipe i have made from this site)..thanks! :)

  94. Mel

    I’m making these on Friday for a birthday. I’m so excited!
    I will be using the 2/3 recipe, and was wondering how much salt I should use? Wasn’t sure what 2/3 of 1 1/4 tsp would be and I didn’t want to make them too salty!

    Thanks :)

  95. Analise

    Another question about the frosting:
    This looks very similar to the Seven-Minute Frosting (adapted from Joy of Cooking) that you used for your Lemon Layer Cake, with the exception of the cream of tartar. Do they achieve the same result? This one looks infinitely simpler, but I want to have successful frothy frosting! Please advise…

    1. deb

      Analise — Same result from both frostings. They’re literally different techniques to get to the same place. (I believe I took to this method, because it is easier, as you noted, after making it the first way for years.) The chocolate cake is soft, quite soft, and you will almost certainly find it easier to work with if you cut it when it is frozen or half-frozen.

  96. Deb…. Do you think you could “Toast” It like a marshmallow.. or do you have any marshmallow frosting recipes that you COULD achieve a toasted top with perhaps a kitchen torch ??

    1. deb

      Lisamarie — I haven’t done it before but I have heard of people gently, gently bruleeing this frosting. I’d try it on one cupcake or a tester first…

  97. My middle son is obsessed with ding dongs. He went to a party a few weeks ago and tried his first ding dong. I have a hard time buying them (even though I grew up on them). This cake could be the perfect solution to his ding dong craving. I will let you know how they turn out! thanks!

  98. Dancer who eats

    This cake was awesome. I made three cakes for a recent birthday x 3 celebration. Ina’s lemon yogurt cake, your pink lady cake and this one. I made this with a chocolate buttercream frosting and it was the best chocolate cake I have ever had. Thank you so much!

  99. I’m from the UK. I have never heard of ding dongs or devil’s wotsits. Seven minutes of what? All I know is I want to eat that cake this instant.

  100. Analise

    Just wanted to say thanks for all your detailed tips and attentive question-answering! Made the cake in two 9″ springform pans and double-frosted as shown above; it was a HUGE hit!! I will definitely make this again.

  101. Heather

    I would love a recipe for Little Debbie Coconut Rounds. I can’t get over the fact that they’re no longer in production and have been craving them for years! Please help!

  102. Jocelyn

    Can I frost cupcakes with this frosting and serve it the next day? or does it have to be eaten the day it’s made?

  103. New-to-baking

    This looks delicious! Was wondering how many cupcakes would this recipe make? And how long do I bake them for?

  104. Katherine

    I made this cake into little cupcakes tonight and they are so cute! I actually cut out little holes in the cupcakes with my potato peeler piped the 7 minute frosting right in and then frosted over with the ganache and it worked really well! I did notice the frosting does crust pretty quickly, but i just mixed it up and it worked perfectly! Then I put little pink and blue dots and flowers on the top and they all are great! Thanks so much!

  105. deniz

    Thank you. I used Hersey’s special dark cocoa. everything just come out perfect! I mean no problem really.. Thanks.

  106. Bee

    I’d like to re-ask Mel’s question (comment 160): “Mel April 28, 2010 I’m making these on Friday for a birthday. I’m so excited! I will be using the 2/3 recipe, and was wondering how much salt I should use? Wasn’t sure what 2/3 of 1 1/4 tsp would be and I didn’t want to make them too salty! Thanks :)”

    I just made these as cupcakes, realizing as I shut the oven door, that the 2/3rds recipe has no salt listed. They came out well. Not superfloofed up, and maybe I would have been able to stretch the batter a bit farther if? Eh, I still got 26 out of it. They will still be appreciated :)

  107. Maria

    Thanks for another winner! I used your suggestions to make a Hostess cupcake cake, three 8″ layers with a wee bit of whittling around the sides to suggest “cupcake-ness”, and it was huge success. Cute and delicious! Even better, my 3-year-old could help!

  108. cupkate

    I made the cake in cupcake form for co-workers and they went NUTS over them. I frosted with cream cheese buttercream frosting. yum! Also, I didn’t have enough white sugar for the cake so I did 2 cups of white & 1 cup of light brown sugar (packed). I swear they were even moister than the first time I made them. Hooray for happy accidents. :)

  109. Miss Rose

    Hi Deb.

    Just wondering how long this cake will keep in the fridge un-iced. Was wanting to make it on a Sunday for a birthday on Wednesday.


    1. deb

      If I make a cake more than a day in advance, I freeze it (triple-wrapped in plastic) until I am ready to ice it. It’s the best way to avoid moisture loss. It will defrost after an hour or two at room temperature and you can frost it still cold.

  110. SS

    HI! i love your site and regularly make your recipes..thanks for great recipes and ideas. I have a question. I was thinking about doing the double layer frosting like in your chocolate peanut butter cake (with the ganache over PB frosting) (aug, 11, 2008) -it always looks amazing and gets rave reviews- do you think the ganache would work over the marshmallow frosting, or will the ganache seep into the frosting, and will it be able to spread over it nicely like in the peanut butter cake? hope you can help! thanks

    1. deb

      Good question, although I’m not sure exactly what will happen. I wouldn’t worry about the ganache becoming transparent (unless it is too warm and runny; you can avoid this by pouring it when it is as cool as you can let it get without it solidifying) but I am a little worried about the softness of marshmallow frosting… that maybe the ganache will drag some down with it, or soften it too much if it is still warm. It might be worth trying a tiny batch and seeing what happens. If you don’t want to bother, it will definitely help to have the marshmallow frosting cold from the fridge (like I suggest with the PB cake’s frosting) so it is as “set” as it can be.

  111. Lauren

    Made this for my mom’s birthday over the weekend. LOVED the cake, super moist and chocolatey, and the 2/3 measurements were perfect for 9 inch pans. Didn’t love the 7 minute frosting though – it was super slippery (I transported the cake and the top layer kept slipping off) and sticky. What are your thoughts on a whipped cream frosting substitute?

  112. Ginny

    Hi Deb. I have volunteered to make my sister’s wedding cake (and perhaps set in motion my ultimate undoing, but we shall see). She is allergic to dairy products, so I was thinking, rather naively, I suspect, about using a 7 minute frosting recipe. Any thoughts on this? I have a feeling it won’t hold up well but I’m not sure what else to use aside from something shortening based. Or fondant, which still needs a creamy base coat. Anyway, I’d love your expert advice if you have a minute (ha – or seven).

  113. jojo

    I just made a version of Brooklyn’s Baked Pumpkin Whoopi Pies as one of the Thanksgiving dessert selections (yum!).

    To continue with this new-found kick, I want to make smore’s whoopie pies and am looking for a marshmallow-y, seven minute frosting-ish filling.

    My dilemma? I’m afraid these frostings don’t having enough stability to hold up as a filling.
    I really don’t want to add shortening , nor do I wish to use an HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) laden fluff.

    Any suggestions?

    Any suggestions?

  114. LJ


    I was planning to try your 7 minute icing recipe for my sister’s birthday cake and i noticed that this recipe is different from the one you adapted from “Joy of Cooking” so I was wondering which one would you recommend? I’m not very good at adjusting things so I usually follow what’s on the recipe. Your help will be appreciated. Thanks!

  115. Faye

    Hello! I am an amateur cook and planning on having a party in about a month or so. After seeing this recipe I was wondering if, by any chance it the batter would work for cupcakes instead. I assume it would but just want to know if you think so too and any tips you have on it for making it in that format. Thanks!

  116. Callie

    @Faye-This is my all time favorite chocolate cake recipe… I’ve made more layered cakes for birthday’s than I can count with this recipe. I’ve also made lots of cupcakes with it, and it works perfectly! If you make the full recipe, it does make a lot of cupcakes, well more than your typical 24! But they are lusciously moist and delicious, you will love them. :)

  117. Nicole Tengwall

    I just made this cake and the icing did not set up for me at all. I followed the recipe for the 7 min frosting exactly but it stayed soupy even well after 7 min of beating on high and then I tried cooling it a bit thinking that might stiffen it up. I used real egg whites out of the egg with NO yolk in them. Guess I’ll have to turn to using Italian Meringue Buttercream–that ALWAYS works for me :)

  118. kristinc

    Made this cake in two 9″ layers and clapped them together with the 7-minute frosting between them and on top of them. It was fantastic. I had a lunch guest, so I’d warned her “I’m trying this frosting I’ve never done before and it may be hilarious” but I followed the directions and whaddaya know, frosting. I don’t know about Devil Dogs, but I miss Suzy Q’s smething terrible and it really did taste a lot like them.

  119. LittleDeb

    Well, I just pulled the cakes out of the oven…OH MY! This recipe made: 4-6″ rounds and 11 cupcakes. So to Faye (a few comments above) they make lovely cupcakes, just don’t fill much more than half full. They are a nice domed cake, not too puffy. I’m about to whip up the frosting but couldn’t wait to taste the cake (the joy of cupcakes) and am so delighted. This may just be my new go-to chocolate cake recipe. Thanks!

  120. Jenn

    AmandaC: Chocolate should almost always be served with Port! Prosecco or Muscat will be way too light for this baby.
    I just made the cupcake version of this cake for my friend’s birthday today. It is beautiful with the ganache and swirls on top, and from all my tastes along the way, will be the star of dinner. Thanks!

  121. Made this last night and it tasted JUST LIKE A DEVIL DOG! It brought back wonderful memories from my childhood. It also got rave reviews at my dinner party. I had a little trouble with the cake sticking to the wax paper. I thought that I had certainly buttered it enough, but the frosting hid everything, so it was no problem. I’ll definitely make this again. I used decaf coffee because I made the cake for my boys’ birthday, and the coffee was undetectable in the cake. Thanks for the great recipe. I’ll definitely make this again.

  122. Katherine

    My husband and I made this last night after several days of contemplating our need for a good chocolate cake. He finished making it last night after I went to bed and this morning I brought a healthy slice of it to work. He only had time to make the 7 minute icing, which was pretty good…but the cake is absolutely fantastic! I had made a cake from this website last September for my son’s first b-day so I knew I would like to try another–this is DEFINITELY a keeper!

  123. Eliza

    I made the cake with just the 7 min icing… it was awesome, even though I ran out of cocoa powder (so I just used 1 cup). Oh, and I used regular choc chips too. Still a great cake… I imagine it would be phenomenal with better ingredients. Thanks!

  124. Sharon

    Just made this cake with 7 min filling and chocolate ganache glaze for my son’s b-day party, and it was AMAZING! The best birthday cake I have ever had. Thank you Deb for another fabulous recipe.

  125. Lindy

    I made this for a kinda unorthodox german chocolate cake. if you eat it warm, its like pudding. but amazing. im in love. with warm pudding cake. and cold amazing cake.

  126. Artemis

    Saw this on your (absolutely delightful) recipe list and thought it read ‘homemade devil dong’. Just saying.

  127. rani

    hey deb,

    i love your website! every recipe i’ve tried has been great! i have been looking for a marshmallow recipe and found the 7 minute epicurious one, and wasn’t sure but as soon as i saw u adapted it, urs is the one i’m gonna do! i just wanted to ask you, do u think this frosting can stand up to a blowtorch? i want to make like a s’mores cake…have a devils food recipe and a ganache, just need a marshmallow frosting i can torch :) thanks! also, do u think it can be refredgerated after? or serve right after torching?

  128. Alice

    Hi Deb, I was wondering if you’ve tried this recipe by using a jelly roll pan and making it actually look like a ding dong. I saw your heavenly chocolate cake roll recipe and was wondering if this cake recipe is too delicate to roll. Thoughts? Would you use the 9″ cake pan batter amount or the 10″?

    1. deb

      Alice — It’s definitely best to use a cake intended as a roll cake for a roll cake. Most cakes will be too crumbly or have too much flour. It’s a very different style of cake that rolls.

  129. Hi Deb – I’ve got a dozen cupcakes of this cake cooling now for my son’s second birthday. Do you know a rough estimate of how much frosting this yields? I’m wondering if it’s enough for 12 cupcakes plus some piping.

  130. Erin

    used this cake recipe for “hostess” cream-filled cupcakes and it was amazing! was enough for 24 cupcakes AND a small 2 layer sq cake. used above ganache recipe, but with bittersweet and it rocked. dipping the cupcake tops in the still pourable state of icing was easy and gave them a very even, smooth look. BEST chocolate cake recipe–will never, ever look for another! thanks!

  131. Sharmila

    Made this for a birthday party this weekend and wanted to mention a few things for anyone else looking to bake it too:
    1) I used the entire recipe and ended up making three relatively thin 9″ layers (I’m paranoid about over-filling cake pans).
    2) My oven runs a tad hot, but my layers were still done between 35 and 45 minutes. If you suspect your layers are on the thin side or your oven is on the hot side, you might want to start checking at around this point.
    3) Although the recipe says not to use Dutched cocoa, I couldn’t find any alternatives (natural can be difficult to find outside the US) and used it anyways (the brand I used was Frys). I didn’t notice any issues with how they baked up or tasted.
    4) Everyone who tried the cake loved it! Thanks Deb!

  132. Amy

    So I’ve probably made at least a half dozen of your recipes and they are always FABULOUS (A favorite of my family is your chewy oatmeal raisin cookies). Made this for my dad who has a serious soft spot for chocolate cake with vanilla frosting… he said that it was the BEST CAKE he’d ever had (and he’s not easy to please)! Thanks again!

  133. Erin

    So amazing cake! I had no trouble with the cake (two 9″ cakes following Deb’s reduced measurements) or the icing, even though it was my first time making that kind of icing. It fluffed gorgeously and I found it super easy to ice. But I made it for a cake walk, and I saw the cake 3 hours later, and it looked like the icing had started to melt a bit. Does anybody have any guesses why? Did I not beat it enough? Or was it because it was a warm day (70s, but it felt quite warm in the sun) and kept outside for the walk?

    (I had tons of left over icing, so I made little meringues with it!)

  134. I absolutely love this cake. It’s been my go to chocolate cake since I discovered it a few years ago. My favorite way to make it is with the white 7-Minute Frosting on the outside and the Ganache in the middle. My husband, who doesn’t normally like peanut butter, prefers a Peanut Butter Frosting.
    No matter how what toppings you prefer, it’s a great basic chocolate cake with the right amount of chocolate flavor. Thank you, Deb!

  135. mimi

    again i’m trying to figure out how, if the icing doesn’t keep, it came up for consideration for the wedding cake…! does the frosted cake freeze?

    what about the version where the frosting is the filling in the center of the cake and the ganache is the outer icing (your first option). Can that be filled ahead since the icing is covered and won’t crust or will it start to settle into the cake? Or is making any version of this cake ahead of time a bad idea?

    1. deb

      mimi — It came up for consideration and was rejected when I realized it crusted. It does keep, but it gets a slightly dry exterior, like a meringue, after some time (while still being fluffy and soft inside). The crusting is not the end of the world, minor at best. Just not good enough for a wedding cake.

  136. Mish

    I just made this cake for the second time! Mine isn’t as lovely looking as yours though. I cannot for the life of me get the frosting on without it being totally full of crumbs, but nobody in my house seems to care. I made the cake with coconut milk, so it was totally dairy free (I have lactose issues). Thank you so much, we are in LOVE with this cake!

  137. Jen

    Hello! I love your site! I actually recently made the 7-layer cookies and–save for minor technical difficulties–they were delicious! Anyway, I’m about to make peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes and I wanted to use this 7 minutes frosting recipe. 2 things:
    1-Would the addition of peppermint extract totally ruin how it comes together?
    2-Do you think the frosting will survive on the cupcakes, if covered, until around 11am tomorrow?

    Thanks so much!!

    1. deb

      1. No, I don’t think so. But use much, much less than you would vanilla because it’s super-strong.
      2. Yes.
      3. Watch the main page — I’ve got peppermint chocolate awesomeness coming soon, to help your fix.

  138. Dianne Jan 22 2012

    Just finished this cake for my daughter’s birthday today…did my own twist…used 3 9 inch pans…had just a tad of run-off from one pan. did double the white frosting goodness to put between the 3 layers and top and sides. Then made the yummy Chocolate Ganache and once it cooled to room temp poured it over the white frosted cake (which I had set in the fridge)and let it drip down the sides. was able to then spread it gently all around. Added some store bought colored frosting for the Happy Birthday and flowers and we now cannot wait til dinner!! My daughter is a huge fan of your site…she is 33 today. It was a toss up between this one and the one with the peanut butter and chocolate frosting. Thanks for the goodness!!! Gonna post a pix on Facebook and credit this site for the recipe. :)

  139. Olivia

    Hi Deb
    Have you made this recipe into cupcakes? I was curious if any part of the recipe needed to be altered or if you have any suggestions otherwise.

    Thank you!

  140. Nadine

    Hi Deb…..ur recipe and pics looks very inspiring. I’m eager to try it. For the Marshmellow/Seven Minute Frosting and the Ganache Frosting, is it confectioners sugar or regular sugar? Thank you : )

  141. Amy the Cake Decorator

    Parchment paper circle to cover the bottom of your pan and Wilton Cake Release smeared on the sides of the pan with a paper towel will have you turning out a perfect cake without burnt flour taste on your chocolate cakes. Cake Release is available in the wedding/cake decorating aisle in Wal Mart or at any big craft store that sells cake supplies. Happy baking, everyone!

  142. Jen

    So excited to make this for my son’s birthday cake this weekend, BUT…a few quick questions:
    1) I am making a volcano-shaped cake, which has a bundt pan cake base. Could I use this recipe in a bundt pan, by chance?
    2) Just to be clear (I read through your comments), this can be frozen and shaped pretty easily?
    3) Will the frosting still be good if I add food coloring to make it brown? (to cover the volcano. I will then use ganache glaze as well as a little red/orange-tinted frosting glaze to drizzle down the sides)

  143. Jen

    Aack! Sorry, two more questions:

    1) Could I frost this the night before, if it is to be served around Noon the next day, or is the day-of use a must?
    2) Do I need to do anything to adapt this recipe for high altitudes?

    Thanks again!

  144. melissa

    hi deb !!! how are you?
    can i ask you which cocoa could i use for this cake that is not dutch ?
    love ur blog

    1. deb

      I don’t have a preferred brand of non-Dutched cocoa.

      Jen — You can frost it the day before, it will be fine, but this kind of frosting tends to very lightly crust and it may seem dry on the outside (but fine inside). All baking needs to be adapted for high altitudes, but I cannot advise on this (I live at sea level!). There are many websites that can guide you. I am not sure if it works in a bundt, I haven’t tried it, but I know that with some cakes, putting them in budnts can be tricky due to how high they are. (I’d search this comment section to see if anyone else has made it as a bundt.) Freezing the cake helps make it easier to move and shape. Food coloring should be fine. Good luck!

  145. Yael

    Holy cow! I’m making this right now for my son’s 1st birthday on Sunday with the assistance of my lovely 3 1/2 year old. We lost track of the buttermilk and I just hope there is the right amount in there. Either way, the cake batter is amazing. It had to go into the oven so I wouldn’t eat it! Can’t wait for it to finish baking. And move on to the next phase of decorating :) Thanks for another amazing recipe.

  146. Yael

    Sorry, quick question, how far in advance do you recommend frosting/icing this cake. If I plan on serving it on Sunday am I setting myself up for a stale cake and crunchy frosting? When is too soon?

    1. deb

      Hi Yael — Within 24 hours before should be fine. It won’t be dried out if longer, but it sometimes get a very, very thin meringue-type crust after longer. Like, paper-thin. It doesn’t really bother anyone.

  147. Yael

    Thanks so much for the recipe and guidance. It smells divine! I can’t wait to cut into it for the ring-ding effect and eat the middle!

  148. Sophie

    i only have dark corn syrup on hand right now… is it okay to substitute this in for the light in the marshmallow frosting?

    1. deb

      Hi Sophie — I haven’t worked with it enough that I can say without testing. Have you used it interchangeably successfully in other recipes? Do you think the color would be a concern?

  149. Sophie

    I have used corn syrup (dark) once for a recipe that I don’t remember and so I just had it on hand. The color was definitely a problem. Because of this I started over. However, when I tasted the original I found it way too sweet for my liking, so in the second batch I took it out completely and decreased the amount of sugar.
    The cake itself was heavenly!!

  150. Rebecca

    I used dark corn syrup for the icing (since that’s all I had) and it turned out great. It was quite dark in color when I started cooking it, but after the seven minutes it was just slightly off white and tasted just the same as other seven minute frostings I’ve made.

  151. Wow! Seriously yum!! I’ve never been a fan of ganache, but I loved this. I’ll definitely be making it again (and again). Love the 7 minute frosting filling. Very good and very easy. Thank you.

  152. Channie

    This is an outstanding recipe! Very easy and delicious. My search for a moist chocolate cake is over and all the other recipes can be tossed! Love it! Thank you for sharing.

  153. Grace

    Hi Deb,
    Love your blog. I had to make this since, (scary confession) i love devil dogs. The pictures looked great, i couldn’t resist. Sadly, the texture was great but the flavor was not. My cake came out very bitter (probably my fault). I made sure to use natural cocoa, but it just didn’t come out the way i had hoped it would :(
    Any idea why this happened?
    P.S. since you have tested all the recipes, i was wondering what some of your favorite dessert recipes are on the site

  154. nandinee

    Thank you so much for this recipe… I think I just turned into the designated Birthday Cake maker for all of my friends because of it! (which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing)

  155. Deborah

    Dear Deb! I am writing from Venezuela! I love your blog!! But I’m a little frustrated that there are things that we don’t have in this country to make these delicious recipes, for example, corn syrup, heavy cream, sour cream, vegetable shortening. Pleaseee are there simpler things, I can use as a substitute for each ingredient?? I beg you!! Thank you very much! And keep on cooking more amazing things!! Deborah

    1. deb

      Hi Deborah — Feel free to leave a comment on any recipe where you cannot get an ingredient. Either I will have a suggestion or another reader always will. Corn syrup can usually (not always, but usually) be replaced with golden syrup, honey or another invert sweetener. Heavy cream is akin to double cream. Sour cream is like a cross between yogurt and creme fraiche. Vegetable shortening can be replaced with butter or lard, depending on the recipe.

  156. Andrea

    I made the “ring ding” version of this for a get together with some friends. I made the full recipe using 9″ pans and made six cupcakes with the extra batter. I had enough frosting of each kind to make not only the cake (basically a giant ring ding) but I turned the cup cakes into little ones. The cake was amazing, but I have to say the little ones were even better because they had a similar proportion to the real thing…and they were even better the next day (they didn’t last any longer than that). I will definitely be making it again…I’ve already gotten two requests. The best part of the extra batter is having some leftovers to come home to after bringing the cake to a friend’s house. Seriously, best thing I’ve ever made. Thank you!

  157. Megan

    Made this for one of four Thanksgiving desserts yesterday. Not only was it fun to make, it was delicious. I used the 2/3 recipe in 9″ pans and it was perfect. The cake was so moist and light but not too light. I did the hostess cupcake option, and even though I didn’t have light corn syrup (I used agave and upped the liquid), it turned out very yummy. I will definitely keep this recipe for future chocolate cakes.

  158. SamanthaJess

    First of all: this is quite possibly the best cake that I have ever made, ever. Do not hesitate, make it now. I made the hostess cupcake version a all of my brothers-in-law loved it as did the 20 other guests.

    Second: I also made the lemon layer cake the day before this one which also uses the seven-minute frosting but with a few variations. I have to say that version on this recipe came out much better than the other.

  159. SamanthaJess

    One additional note: I use the full recipe and 3-9″ pans. I filled one in the “regular way” and then half-filled the other 2. This prevented the “overflow” of which we were warned and also meant that I did not need to do any cake-layer cutting. I am calling that an overall win.

  160. SamanthaJess

    Here I am again! I made these into cupcakes to take into work and a word to the wise: this recipe makes 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes (24), 2 dozen mini cupcakes, and enough batter to fill 2-4 ramekins. If you are planning on making these into cupcakes, have many trays on hand or 2/3 the recipe.

  161. Theya

    Hi! Im a first time baker and i tried making this cake last weekend. However, my cake kinda turned out to be more of a big brownie but it still tasted great. I was wondering if you have an idea what i may have done wrong :)

  162. Theya

    Hi! It was a little dry, and it had a crunchy crust. The consistency was nowhere near cakey. The frosting saved the cake! I was thinking maybe i mixed the batter too long or something went wrong with my buttermilk substitute (i used milk + lemon juice). Or maybe i just didnt know what i was doing since i was my first time :) Thanks!

  163. Theya

    Hi! Happy New Year! I think I know what went wrong. I tried the recipe again last weekend, and I figured that i may have put in more chocolate than I should have before and actually shook my buttermilk substitute. And im not sure about how the eggs should look like before adding the other ingredients. The cake was a bit moist, but not as moist as it should be (I think). It still was more of a brownie, a bit dense, and wasn’t cakey… But I’m working on it. I’ll get there! :)

  164. Carrie

    I made the giant “ding dong” for Christmas dessert. The cake is the best chocolate cake recipie I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately, it’s so moist that when I tried to cut one of the layers in half, it broke apart. Just like you did, I smooshed it back together. I cut a hole in the center and filled it with that fabulous frosting. Then, while trying to place on the top layer, that part fell to pieces. Once again I squished it all together. My family kept telling me to give up. I knew that when I was done, it would be the ugliest cake I have ever made, but also the most delicious. Yes, it was a mess, but every bite was eaten and raved about. Next time I’ll do individual cake or just use the frosting for the layers and on top of the cake. Ugly or not, it was SUPER YUMMY!!

  165. Meg

    To those wondering how to accomplish seven minute frosting without a hand-mixer, I bravely followed the instructions and whisked by hand with a metal whisk for seven minutes. Then, I put the white, foamy frosting-to-be in my electric stand mixer for about three minutes and it puffed up into perfect frosting! It’s definitely doable, you just have to give your upper arm a work out.

  166. Best, and best-looking, chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten! I made as cupcakes (I actually got 3 dozen), using 1/3 cup high end chocolate chips for the 3oz chocolate, and did a double batch of the marshmallow frosting by hand since I don’t have a mixer. My forearms now look like Popeyes, but it wasn’t that bad; had a cup of frosting left over. I wonder if I baked the leftover frosting if I’d get meringues.

  167. Gina Igel

    Your chocolate cake recipe is EXACTLY the same as my favorite chocolate cake recipe found on called, “Double Chocolate Layer Cake.” You are correct, it is the best chocolate cake recipe! Just make sure that if it’s given to children, parents are aware of the coffee. My best friend and sister-in-law were ready to lock me in a room with their children, after feeding them cupcakes made with this recipe, until they had worked the sugar and caffeine out of their little bodies.

  168. Thalia

    Deb, just came over to this from the discussion on your choc hazelnut torte. Two things, first, corn syrup would mean observant Jews cannot eat this frosting for Passover, and second, corn syrup is hard to come by in the ok – any suggestions for a substitute?

  169. Tonya

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I remember my mom making a chocolate cake with this frosting all the time as a kid so when her birthday came this week I thought this would be a great cake to make for her. It turned out great! The best part though is the story we got from my parents when we were eating it. My grandma (dad’s mom) made this every year for my dad because it was his favorite. Mom learned to make for that reason. Grandma has been gone now for several years. It was fantastic bringing back memories for my dad and learning something about my dad. Now I know which cake I’ll be making for dad’s birthday this year! He said the only thing he would change is make double the frosting as that is his favorite part! Thanks again!

  170. Angie

    Hi Deb, I love your site and trust your recipes blindly! I only have a stand mixer, so I cannot follow your recipe for the 7 minute frosting exactly, any tips on how to make it without the hand mixer? I saw you did indeed make it in the stand mixer but didn’t include the recipe at the time…

  171. Dee

    This is so weird. So i tried this recipe with the 9″ pan proportions. At the 25 minute mark i swapped the two pans and it looked done. I tried the toothpick test and it was really done. Weird right? My oven thermometer registered at 300 deg Fahrenheit. Good thing i checked halfway. The cake looks so moist. I’m excited to try it!

  172. Mikko

    Deb, I made this cake a couple days ago (the 2/3 recipe) and it is 100% amazing. Not only was it springy, delicious and moist, it has a great fun factor. My husband and I tried to say “KingDon-DingDong-RingDing” 3 times fast while icing it and we laughed ourselves silly. I did forget the wax paper and fell into a little trouble when taking the cake out, so next time: wax paper lining fer sure! Also, I do worry a little bit about double boiling and power mixing the icing. Between the heat of the water/stove and the heat being generated from my electric mixer, I was paranoid that something was going to ignite… ;)

  173. Michi

    Hi Deb,
    I love your site and am grateful to my friend and her sister for sharing it with me years ago. I recently moved to New Zealand from Canada and as I can’t work here yet, I have had much more time to try your recipes:)I am having trouble in the baking department as they don’t have semi-sweet chocolate, graham crackers/crumbs, or corn syrup!!! Not chocolate chips , not our usual 1 ounce squares of baking chocolate, unsweetened or semi-sweet. Most of their baking chocolate has vegetable oil and sugar listed as the first ingredient. I have been using more expensive bars of real chocolate but miss the cheaper but higher quality baking chocolate. The main thing I wanted to ask pertaining to this recipe is what can i substitute for corn syrup???

    1. deb

      Michi — Look for golden syrup instead of corn syrup. The color won’t be as pure, but the taste is even better. I think you’re just going to have to do a taste test of all of the available “baking chocolate” and pick your favorite until you can stock up on better stuff. I am sure it will no fun at all, right? ;)

  174. Kate

    I wanted a delicious yet unfussy cake for a weekend cookout, and this was it. I made the recipe for a 9″ cake pan (which baked for 10 min less, as the recipe instructs), and slathered it with ganache between the layers and the “7 minute” frosting–which was gorgeous!–on the top and sides. I doubled the frosting recipe, and I didn’t need to: one would have been enough for the 9″ layer cake. Got rave reviews.

  175. Marahak

    Ive made this cake before and it turned out perfect! It was moist and chocolatey and just fabulous! Although i made it with ganache frosting instead of the 7-minute one. Im making this again later this week for my husbands birthday eith the 7-minute frosting, hope it turns out just ad good!

  176. Chrissy

    Coming back to make this cake again after MANY years since I made it last time. I made the Hostess Cupcake Cake version several times at least 5 years ago and have been dreaming of making it again! So happy to find the recipe and instructions again!! Thank you!

  177. TG

    I made this as a layer cake because I was snowbound in my apartment with nothing to do. It was my first time making a layer cake (I’m lazy and usually make sheet cakes) and it came out great. This chocolate cake recipe is to die for, it is absolutely the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made! I used the 2/3 recipe posted (thank you for doing the math for me) and used 9-inch cake pans with no problems. It was also my first time making 7 minute frosting, which was good but almost too sweet. I would reduce the amount of corn syrup next time. Also my frosting took longer than 7 minutes to come together, probably because of my wimpy mixer, but it turned out fine in the end!

  178. Karen Sullivan

    I’ve made this before and it’s fantastic! Do you think I could add a couple of tablespoons of chile powder to this without other changes to the recipe?

  179. candace montgomery

    Wow these posts originated some time ago. Nevertheless I did really like the outcome of this recipe. I thought the frosting was the best part. It was really better than I could imagine and so easy to make with ingredients I already had. I was looking for syrup frosting recipes. This turned out really well. I will definitely add this to my favorite desserts. It was really worth trying.

  180. Trish

    This looks & sounds amazing. I am wondering if I make this into cupcakes how should I fill them? Or should cool them & cut them in half to make layers like with the cake. Any insight on both how to fill them & layering would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. My birthday is Monday & I am hoping to surprise my loving family with your delicious recipe!:)

  181. Sharon M.

    I made this yesterday and it came out great. I was eating chocolate cake at 10pm last night and this morning for no reason except that I had a glorious cake in the fridge. Loved it! I wasn’t in the mood to make a layer cake, so made a sheet cake instead. I should have doubled the frosting recipe, because not enough frosting. Great cake!

  182. Diane W.

    Deb – I am going to make this for my step-son’s birthday (he loves all things chocolate, marshmallow, etc). There will be approx 20 people eating cake at his party. If I were to make this in a 13×9 pan – would you recommend doubling the cake recipe? Just want to be sure that I have enough for the hoards. BTW – have loved every recipe that I have tried from the site and your cookbook is on my birthday list!

  183. TG

    I just want to comment again on how amazing this chocolate cake is. It’s moist and tender like a Duncan Hines mix, but with a rich chocolately homemade taste. I make this cake all the time for my family and it never disappoints. I’ve made it as a layer cake and as a sheet cake; I’ve used Callebaut chocolate and no name generic chocolate. I’ve baked it in fancy cake pans and supermarket foil 9×13 pans. Every time it comes out perfect. For the 9×13 pan I used the 1/3 recipe amounts and it finished baking after about 45 minutes. Thank you, Deb!

  184. This is a fabulous recipe. Makes a TALL 3-layer cake with 9″ pans (a ton of batter) and I even did a version with butter, but prefer the oil because it yields a more moist cake! Delicious cake and a crowd pleaser. DEFINITELY needs ice cream or milk to cut the richness though, especially if you make this as a 3-layer with the 7-minute frosting in between layers, and the ganache on top of the whole cake. YUM

  185. Rebecca

    Hi Deb, I made your best birthday cake and it is! I made the instant fudge frosting (delicious and not too sweet.) I tried to make the 7 minutes frosting and had the same problem as Jeni who commented on June 22, 2009.

    It set up perfectly but when I tried to pipe it a few hours later, it was too soft and runny (but still delicious so I used it but didn’t pipe with it). Any ideas about what went wrong?

  186. Emily

    Unfortunately, this was a big miss in my house. My husband said it was his least favorite thing I’ve ever baked, and it went right into the trash. Neither component (cake or frosting) was appealing – the cake was bitter and the frosting was sicky sweet. Maybe it was something I did :(

  187. Lori


    I can’t wait to try this as so many of your other recipes. I don’t buy anything processed from the store anymore except the basic ingredients needed to make the replica item. For me this is a dream come true as I grew up on ring dings. My only question is, what can I substitute for the corn syrup used in the Marshmallow frosting? Thanks so much.

  188. Courtney Conway

    I made this as a double layer cake with marshmallow frosting for my daughter’s second birthday and it was truly delicious. My neighbor (a pastry chef) declared it a triumph. I was really proud :) Just please note that the instructions say a cake made in this style will need to have the icing recipe doubled- I missed that and made the icing a second time when I realized that only half of my cake was covered and my frosting bowl was empty. The chocolate cake recipe is fantastic even without icing and I will definitely make this again.

  189. Ashley

    You had me until you said hot coffee in the ingredients, is there something else we could use besides coffee to get the desired texture? I am both pregnant and craving sweets so this sounds delicious to make but i cannot have caffeine lol

    1. deb

      Ashley — If the concern is caffeine, you can just use decaf here instead. … I probably shouldn’t tell you that I’m pregnant and have coffee everyday? But just a little. :)

  190. Ashley

    Aw congrats! Thanks for getting back to me so fast! I will try this and see how it goes. It’s not so much having it because i am strictly pregnant, coffee literally just makes me nauseous since i got pregnant lol. I usually love coffee and miss it! Good luck on your pregnancy

  191. maro

    I made this as my birthday cake this weekend and it was outstanding! i did the ganache draped over both layers, then the frosting (which i added instant espresso to) between and surrounding both layers. i reserved a cup of (doubled) frosting before the espresso and tinted it loudly for really fun decoration.

    it was not very stable (the frosting and ganache slid against each other between layers) but it probably would have stayed put better if i had refrigerated after stacking with the frosting. i just put it out on the table after frosting and it sat a few hours through the first half of my cocktail party.

    in any case, nobody cared that it slid a bit, everyone loved the cake, and i got birthday cake in bed for breakfast the next morning (clearly, the most important part)! :)

    I’d definitely make it again — the cake keeps perfectly without drying out. day 3 and it’s still great from the fridge.

  192. Katie

    I did a 3-layer cake in 9″ pans, and a toothpick came clean at about 37 min. They smelled so good, though, they almost didn’t make it to the “cool complete stage.

  193. Louanne

    The full recipe yields an 8-inch 4-layer cake and 11-12 cupcakes.

    I baked 2 layers of about 800g of batter each before I sliced them in half to level and make 4 layers.

    I then made 5 egg whites worth of frosting (double recipe plus a half) and it was more than enough to frost the cake and top the cupcakes.

    Super yummy, this is my go-to chocolate cake!

  194. Amy

    I made a test recipe yesterday and found my 3, 9-inch cakes to sink a bit in the middle even though they tested clean in the center with a toothpick. I have 2 small wall ovens so I had to put 2 cakes in one oven. I did rotate them midway. My cakes also stuck to the pan sides when I tried to encourage them out of their pans. Why not butter and flour? For my event, I purchased fresh baking powder and soda and am going with 2, 10-inch pans so I have 1 pan per oven. I still can’t decide which frosting to use…. I like the taste of both! Thank you!

  195. Sharon Summers

    Hi – do you know what ingredient you can add to a 7-minute frosting which prevents it from growing hard? Many thanks 🌸

      1. Angela

        Hello, just wanting to know if the marshmallow frosting can be frozen?
        Am so looking forward to making it.
        Regards from Australia,

  196. Melissa

    Oh gosh. I made this and I thought it was coming together perfectly — the cakes were even and moist, the frosting was seemingly stiff, the ganache was smooth. I let the cakes sit out for 1.5 hours. At that time, they were a tad warm to the touch, but I was out of time. Things totally fell apart when I put it all together — the frosting oozed out from the middle. The ganache spilled over the top and down the sides — which had been my plan — but it ended up mixing with the marshmallow ooze and looking funky. We still ate it, but I was sad about the loss of that marshmallow frosting layer. Is it possible I did this much damage by not letting the cakes cool longer? I so badly want to try this recipe again. I’d love any tips you might have for round two — I’m a total rookie! Thank you!

  197. Janine

    I made this in Sept 2017 for my niece’s birthday: she had requested chocolate cake with whipped cream and strawberries, and this rich cake was perfect with lightly sweetened heavy cream. I baked an 11 x 7 rectangle and 9 x 9 square, as those were the size baking pans I keep in the condo in my former home state. It was definitely a hit, and I’m making the recipe again this year, except the request is for a plain chocolate cupcake decorated with light sabers. (On a side note – I miss the days of dollys and kitties on birthday cakes…sigh.)

  198. Thrifty Giblet

    I’d like to make 1/3 of this recipe. I saw your notes on how to make 2/3 of a recipe and it’s easy divide those numbers in half. It’d be even easier to divide the 2 1/2 c. of flour into thirds if I knew what you use as a standard weight for a cup of flour. I know the food label on a bag of flour says 4.25 oz/120 g. makes a cup (as does the King Arthur Flour ingredient weight chart) but I’ve found recipes often use a different standard measure (America’s Test Kitchen and Food52, to name two). Thanks for your help!

    1. deb

      Sadly, I’ve never measured a cup of flour that weighed 120 grams, not on any scale, not KA flour either, even though I know that’s their go-to weight. My cups of flour (I fluff then scoop and sweep) clock in around 130 grams, and I recommend this in recipes.

  199. ezachos

    I took the Dorie Greenspan suggest and made it into a three layer cake with crumbs pressed against the sides. Filled it with the marshmallow frosting and frosted it with vanilla buttercream (also the Smitten Kitchen recipe). The cake was delicious and fun tomake, but—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—a little too sweet.

  200. Abby Marshall

    Hi Deb – My niece just put her birthday cake order in and wants a chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting, so I thought of this immediately. I need to serve about 25 – can I make this as a 2-layer 9×13 without any alterations, or am I going to need to double it (or 1.5 it) or something? Thanks in advance for any help!

    1. deb

      As a 9×13, the layers will be slightly (but not dramatically) thinner than you see in the photos. In two layers, it won’t be a crazy tall 9×13, but I think it will be just fine for 25 people, especially with the lush frosting.

    1. Kim

      Sorry – I had scrolled through many of the responses but did not get to the end. After submitting my post I see that you’ve already answered my question. Thank you for wonderful recipes that I enjoy cooking and my family loves eating!!

  201. Juliana Maffattone

    Hey Deb!

    I doubled the recipe and I’m doing these as cupcakes, so I’m now swimming in tons of these delicious chocolatey cupcakes!! They are fab by the way. :)

    Question: If i want to freeze them, do you think the frosting on the cupcakes would survive being frozen and then thawed in the future?

    1. deb

      The marshmallow one? It freezes okay, better than some (it won’t actually get hard, if I remember correctly, so you’re not going to be able to stack or pack them), but in general, I don’t recommend freezing frostings.

  202. Kristin Zielinski

    Hi there! I just made this today. It was my mother’s day treat to myself and it was AMAZING! I love your recipes! Your chewy chocolate cookies are the only ones I make. Your ultimate banana bread has been my go to for over a year now. I have made many of your desserts and always find them so yummy and spot on! Thank you for the time you put into your recipes!

  203. melissa

    I made this last night and it is INCREDIBLE.

    I’d been taunting my husband with my intentions to make this cake for a week now, and he called me on it last night. I’m so glad I did, this is the stuff of childhood dreams elevated for an adult’s palate.

    I noticed that my pans were only 9-inches after I made the batter. My solution was to make three layers. Next time I’ll double the 7-minute frosting, so I’ll have enough to go all around, but I don’t regret this choice one bit.

    I can’t thank you enough. We enjoy your recipes so much. I’ve been a longtime lurker, and never commented before. I’m piping up now to say that your recipes have really gotten me through this pandemic as we’ve spent more time cooking/baking and even sharing food with neighbors in lieu of dinner parties.

    Thank you <3

  204. Lynn Ellen Wolf

    Is there any reason not to make this as three 9” cakes? Decrease bake time a bit. Because if 2/3rds makes two 9” cakes, doesn’t the full recipe make three 9” cakes? I may need more frosting, but is that the only problem?

  205. Lizzy

    I’ve made the Devil Dog cake from Gourmet several times (and it goes with a fantastic meatloaf recipe in the same article!) but I tried your recipe tonight. This one is a keeper and much moister than the Gourmet version.

    I halved the recipe because I didn’t need a layer cake, and it perfectly filled a 13×9 inch pan. And on a lark I swapped homemade applesauce for the oil (I opened a jar of applesauce and I’m frantically trying to finish it before it goes furry in the fridge), and it is perfectly moist!