Thursday, September 8, 2011

Devil’s Food Cake with Espresso Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Meringue Logs

Wasn't that a mouthful of a title to say? Well, believe me, this cake deserves every letter.
If I could, I would date it. It's perfect.
When you first make it, you're sure to get a bunch of compliments, because it finishes beautifully. And, let me tell you, when you bite into this cake, you will not be disappointed. It's mouthwatering-ly rich and chocolate-y, and the espresso buttercream accompanies the sweetness perfectly. The meringue logs give a burst of chocolate flavor and come out slightly chewy, yet half dissolve in your mouth.

Please try it. I know your waistline might protest, but trust me, it's worth it!


Devil’s Food Cake:
Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 ½ tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ¾ cup sugar
5 large egg
1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Chocolate Meringue Logs:
Baking by James Peterson
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
6 egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
½ cup sugar

Espresso Buttercream
2 cups sugar
8 egg yolks
2/3 cup water
1 1/4 pounds cold butter, cut into cubes
10 tsp espresso, or more to taste

Devil’s Food Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray two 9-inch round pans with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. In a bowl in a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix fully. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 batches, starting and finishing with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter into the two cake pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Meringue Logs
To make the meringue logs, reduce the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees F.

Whisk together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar.

In another bowl connected to a stand mixer, beat together the egg white and cream of tartar on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Add in the granulated sugar and beat for another minute. Sift and fold the powdered sugar mixture over the egg whites.

Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe long strips on a baking pan covered with parchment paper.

Bake for one hour or until dry to the touch.

Espresso Buttercream
To make the espresso buttercream, bring the sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat. While the syrup cooks, beat the egg yolks in an electric mixer on high speed for 8 minutes, or until the eggs have quadrupled in size. Check to see if the sugar mixture is ready by taking a bowl of ice water and ladling a little of the sugar water in. Once in, roll the sugar between your fingers. If it forms a soft ball, it’s ready. If it forms thin thread, keep the mixture simmering.

Once ready, turn the mixer to high and slowly beat in the sugar water into the beaten yolks, taking care to not allow the sugar water to touch the mixer’s whisk. Continue beating until the frosting reaches room temperature.

Turn the speed down to medium and add in the butter a little at a time. Beat for 10 more minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add in the espresso and beat until incorporated.

When the cake has cooled, take one layer and cover the top with frosting, sandwiching it with the other layer. Frost lightly with a crumb coat and refrigerate until the frosting has set.

When set, use ½ of the remaining frosting to frost the sides and top of the cake.

Cut the meringue logs to reach a little over the height of the cake, and press into the frosting. Take a piping bag and fill it with the remaining frosting. Use a 1M tip to make rose rosettes to cover the top of the cake.


  1. Hi Christine, this cake does look stunning and delicious! I especially love the way you piped those intricate decorations on the top with the buttercream. Thank you for the recommendation.

  2. Congratulations, Christine! Your Devil’s Food Cake with Espresso Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Meringue Logs is this weeks "Top 10 Most Popular Dishes" as voted by the Knapkins Community (Oct 11 2011)

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  4. I wish I could have a taste of this! May I know where you are based at? I'm a new follower btw. Joy of