Devil's Food Cake Heart

This Devils Food Cake recipe is straight from Michael's mother, Angelina Recchiuti. As a kid he remembers snacking on it after school with a glass of cold milk. For a special Valentines or Mother's Day twist, you can cut the cake into heart-shaped servings and garnish it with your favorite toppings like toasted nuts, burnt Caramel Sauce, and Extra-bitter Chocolate Sauce. The perfect dessert for whenever you just want to share some love.

Yields: 8-12 cakes   Time: ~2 hours


    • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 cup espresso, brewed and cooled
    • 1/4 cup flavorless vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar Bourbon
    • 1 cup granulated cane sugar
    • 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon orange zest
    • Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce or Burnt Caramel Sauce
    • Fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for garnish (optional)

          Make the Devil's Food Cake:

          1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. A nonstick pan may be substituted.
          2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl. Stir the baking soda into the espresso in another bowl and then stir in the oil, milk and pure vanilla extract.
          3. Combine the sugar and egg in a medium bowl and whisk together by hand. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternately with the coffee mixture in 1 addition. Fold in the orange zest with a rubber spatula.
          4. Pour the batter into the pan.
          5. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and lower the oven temperature to 325°F.
          6. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Check the cake with a toothpick at 25 minutes and then again every 5 minutes until the toothpick comes out moist. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
          7. Lightly grease a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter and use to cut into individual servings.
          8. Plate and serve with a dusting of confectioners sugar and a drizzle of warmed sauce. Garnish with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.