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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Davis

Devil’s Food Cheesecake

This was great.  I only wish it had been a little bit easier, then people would be able to enjoy it coming from my kitchen more often.  Unfortunately, this recipe is reduced to fit 6-inch pans, and I don’t know about you, but I definitely didn’t have any 6-inch pans.  Fortunately, Michael’s Arts & Crafts store here in Lawrence has every kind of pan imaginable, so they were my saving grace (since no other store in Lawrence carries 6-inch cake pans).  I made this cake for Umut’s birthday and paired it with some homemade vanilla ice cream.  It was wonderful and if I have great ambition sometime, I may make it again 🙂

Cheesecake Layer Ingredients

1 8-ounce package full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature 7 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 large egg 3-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

Cheesecake Layer Preparation

For this recipe, you may use a 6-inch cake pan, springform pan, or cake ring. If using a springform or ring, wrap the outside with plenty of aluminum foil, covering the bottom and seam especially, extending to the top edge. If using a cake pan, line the bottom with parchment and have on hand a piece of clean stiff circular cardboard 6 inches in diameter. In any case, spray the inside with baking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, place the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla, and beat until creamy and well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Blend in the egg until just incorporated. Beat in the cream just until it’s completely blended– no more. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place it in a shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the outside of the pan with the cheesecake. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1 hour. It will still jiggle in the middle when you shake it, but don’t overdo the jiggling or you will crack it for sure. Cool in the water bath until the water is just warm and transfer to a wire rack. Cool in the pan for 2 hours, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze while still in the pan until it’s completely cold, about 4 hours or up to 1 month. Leave in the freezer until ready to assemble the cake.

Devil’s Food Cake Layer Ingredients

3/4 cup sifted cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder pinch of salt 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/3 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 large egg, separated 1-1/3 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup whole milk pinch cream of tartar

Devil’s Food Cake Layer Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the interior of 6-inch cake pan, springform pan, or cake ring with baking spray. Line the bottom only with parchment.

Sift the flour onto a small bowl and set aside. Stir the vanilla into the milk and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter, both sugars, salt, and baking powder until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and beat until well-combined. Beat in the melted chocolate. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour alternately with the vanilla-milk, mixing well after each until blended.

Put the egg white and cream of tartar in a clean medium-size bowl and beat with clean, dry beaters on high until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Fold about one-third of the whites into the chocolate batter until they disappear, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 40 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and gently peel off the paper liners. Let cool completely, about 2 hours, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or freeze up to a month.

Dark Fudge Frosting Ingredients

2-2/3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar 3-1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder pinch of salt 2/3 cup or 1-1/3 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 2-2/3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 3-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

In a large bowl, cream the butter, salt, and cocoa with a mixer on high until paler and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, beat in the chocolate, corn syrup, and vanilla. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the butter, then beat it in completely. Blend in the cream until the frosting is a spreading consistency, adding a little more cream if needed. Whip the frosting on high until light and creamy, about 2 minutes more.


Remove the cheesecake and cake from the freezer. Run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake. If you’ve used a cake pan to bake the cheesecake, flip it upside-down to unmold, using the cardboard circle to prevent the cheesecake from breaking as it comes out of the pan. If you’ve used a springform or cake ring, simply release the rings.

Using a serrated knife, remove the dome from the chocolate cake (if desired) and split the cake into two even layers. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake plate and spread with some of the frosting. Place the frozen cheesecake on top and spread with some more frosting. Place the top layer of cake on top. Brush away any crumbs from the sides and top of the fudge cake layers. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Use a long metal spatula that has been warmed under hot running water to smooth out the frosting on the sides and top of the cake (I used a cake comb  to achieve the effect above). With a small spatula or table knife, swirl the frosting on top into a decorative design. 

Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours to allow the cheesecake to thaw enough to easily slice. Use a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one, to cut it.

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