Ready for a new Autumn or Halloween party favorite? The pairing lush chocolaty devil’s food cake with caramel frosting is hard to resist. Prepare to suit the occasion as a layer cake, sheet cake, or cupcakes.

We came across this recipe in the vintage baking classic All About Home Baking (1933 edition). Unusually this recipe for Devil’s Food Cake calls for brown sugar and melted baking chocolate vs white granulated sugar and coca powder which you’ll find in most contemporary versions. The combination creates a moister rich chocolate cake.

The caramel frosting preparation begins as you would prepare homemade caramel, but before it cools fully, roll up your sleeves or fire up with stand mixer and whip it into fluffy frosting. I admit that I was skeptical about the end result and if my biceps could achieve anything resembling frosting from gooey warm caramel.

I highly recommend if you are whipping by hand turning on your favorite workout playlist (or the Rocky soundtrack) for this challenge, but it is absolute worth it.

Devil's Food Cake with Caramel Frosting - 1933

Pairing lush chocolaty devil's food cake with homemade caramel frosting is hard to resist. Prepare as a layer cake or cupcakes.



  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ cup Butter
  • cup Brown Sugar ((firmly packed))
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Squares Unsweetened Baking Chocolate ((melted))
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Caramel Frosting

  • cup Brown Sugar ((firmly packed))
  • cup Granulated Sugar
  • cup Milk
  • 2 Tbs Butter



  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 9-inch pans or one 9″ x 13″ sheet pan, or cupcake pan.
  • In a mixing bowl sift flour once, measure, add soda and sift together three times. Set aside.
  • In a different mixing bowl, cream butter slowly add sugar while stirring. Work until fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate and stir just until incorporated.
  • Add flour, alternating with milk, a small amount at a time. Beat after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla and mix just until incorporated.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 25 minutes. Cake spring back to touch. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

Caramel Frosting

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat combine sugars and milk.
  • Stir constantly until it starts to boil,then stop stirring and insert candy terminator until it reaches 232° F (approx. 4-6 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and add butter.
  • Cool until lukewarm, approx 110° F, then beat until thick, creamy and ready to spread.


  • Frosting recipes makes enough frosting to frost sides and tops of two 9-inch layers, a 9x13" sheet cake, or about 2 dozen cupcakes
Course: Dessert

Serving Suggests

  • Make a 2nd batch of caramel (follow the same steps as the frosting, but instead of whipping transfer to heat proof dish). While the caramel was still warm dip thin green apple slices or candy for cake or cup cake decoration.
  • Top with Halloween candy such as candy corn
  • Top with chocolate cookie crumbles


Adapted from a recipe appearing in All About Home Baking (1933 edition).

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