I don’t advertise it enough, but pretty much all of my baked goods are made with olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil. This recipe for a Devil’s Food Cake is no exception and I’ll explain how to ice it as well.
Why use Olive Oil?
Why? Well, because 1) vegetable oil is NOT healthy at all. In fact, it contains no “vegetables” whatsoever. haha! Vegetable oil is usually made with cottonseed oil or soya oil, is highly processed and stripped from any nutritional benefits, and, unless it’s certified organic, it’s almost a 99% chance of being made with genetically modified crops (GMOs). As for butter, I have nothing against it, it definitely fits into the ‘real food’ category, as long as it is made with cream that comes from cows that have been raised organically and grass-fed, but 2) my husband is allergic to dairy, so that is usually not an option for us (especially since he looooooooves chocolate cake).
On occasion, we use some vegan organic buttery spread, which is kind of like a slightly healthier version of margarine, but because this product is still a highly processed food item, we keep it for rare occasions, like the icing part, because it does hold well, similar to butter, and tastes kinda yummy too.
The Cake Recipe
So, back to this delicious cake. This particular one (the small one in the picture below) was my last practice cake before I made a much bigger version for a family member’s wedding cake (the last 2 pictures showing the crumb icing — as good as it gets because I forgot to take a picture of the final look, and the lighting was horrible at the wedding venue, so you’ll have to use your imagination!)! It turned out delicious! I made this one ‘less healthy’ on purpose, because I didn’t know the kind of crowd that was going to be eating it in the end, so I did use some unbleached white pastry flour, combined with other whole-grain flours, to create this moist and yummy cake. If you want it to be healthier, feel free to simply replace the white flour with whole-grain flour of your choice (like spelt of whole-wheat pastry flour). Pastry flour is actually made with a different type of wheat than the regular hard wheat (durum), that specific soft wheat contains less gluten than the hard variety, and works wonderfully in baked goods like cake, cupcakes and muffins.
This recipe will give you 2 layers of 9″ diameter, but if you’d like to have a smaller cake with more layers, just use smaller pans (like the ones I used in this picture).
Olive Oil Devil's Food Cake and How To Ice a Cake | Multigrain, Dairy-Free
Olive Oil is great for baking and this recipe for a healthy Devil's Food Cake explains why. You'll also learn how to ice a cake! This recipe is dairy-free.
- 2/3 cup organic unbleached white pastry flour
- 1/3 cup organic whole-wheat pastry flour add 2 Tbsp if the mix is too wet
- 1/3 cup rye flour
- 1/3 cup spelt flour
- 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup organic Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup hot water (filtered) Never use hot water directly from the tap
- 1/2 cup rice milk (or nut milk)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/4 cup organic whole sugar or maple syrup
- 4 organic free-range eggs lightly beaten
- 368 g organic vegan buttery spread (I used Earth Balance)
- 4-5 cups organic icing sugar
- 1/3 cup organic dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- To make the icing first, using your stand mixer, beat the vegan margarine until fluffy, then add the cocoa powder, mix, then add the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time (I recommend sifting it ahead of time so that there's no chunks) until the texture is fluffy but starts to hold. You can taste along the way and adjust a bit to your taste preference. Add the vanilla and mix well. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside. The icing can be made 4-5 days ahead, and kept in the fridge in an airtight container. Remove from fridge and leave out at room temperature 30-45 minutes before using so that it has time to soften.
- For the cake:
- You'll need 2 x 9" diameter (round) cake pans. Line the bottom of both pans with parchment paper (cut the parchment paper to fit).
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt on a sheet of waxed paper, or parchment paper, and set aside. This step might seem silly, but by sifting the flour, it adds air into it, which makes it fluffier.
- In a bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the hot water until it's fully dissolved (use a whisk). Put aside to cool down for a bit, then add the rice milk and vanilla, and mix.
- In a stand mixer, on medium to high speed, mix the olive oil and sugars until the sugar starts to dissolve a bit and it starts looking foamy.
- Still mixing, slowly add the eggs, in 2 parts, and make sure it's fully mixed before adding the rest.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternate with the chocolate mixture in 2 additions (flour-chocolate-flour-chocolate-flour). Beat until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the 2 prepared round cake pans. Smooth the tops.
- Bake in a 350F (180C) oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through (you can use a toothpick or a small knife to pierce the cake, if it comes out clean, it's cooked! If it still looks wet, it needs to cook a few more minutes).
- When it's cooked, remove from oven and let cool completely in the pans. Then run a butter knife all around the pans to help get the cakes out, put a plate on top and flip over. The cake should come right out of the pan.
- Let the cakes cool completely before attempting to put any icing on them, otherwise the icing will melt. You can even put the cakes in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to make sure they are completely cold.
- You'll need to level each layers so that they are flat, so you might need to cut some of the tops off. If you want more layers, you can cut them in half.
- Always put each layers top side down, so that the bottom becomes the top.
- Once you have all your layers ready, put icing in between each of them, one layer at a time, then once finished, using an icing spatula, spread a thin layer of icing all around the cake. Thin is the keyword here! This is called the crumb icing, it's only to 'set' the cakes, and contain the 'crumb'. Don't worry if it's not perfect or if there are little bits of the cake crumbs in it, this is only the first coat. Once it's done, put it in the fridge for at least 30-45 minutes to cool down and set.
- Once cooled down completely, remove from the fridge and carefully add the 2nd layer of icing with an icing spatula. Return to the fridge for 30-45 minutes to set.
- You can make the cake layers 2 days ahead, and ice the whole cake the day before your event, that way, no stress during your party! 🙂
Note: I do not believe anyone should worry about counting calories, but here is the nutritional information for one serving
Calories: 666kcal | Fat: 37g | Saturated fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 250mg | Carbohydrates: 82g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 62g | Protein: 6g | Vitamin A: 1500% | Calcium: 46% | Iron: 2.1%
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ECP sister says
It was Deeelicious!!!! 🙂
Elen Grey says
I’m sitting here thinking… But where is my piece? It looks delicious. I love the really tall layers.
hehehe 😉 Thanks! It was my first time making a 4-layer cake 🙂
Is it possible to use coconut oil instead and use some buckwheat flour in place of the rye/spelt flour?
Yes, absolutely! Although it will have a strong coconut flavour obviously 😉
I use an organic refined coconut oil in place of butter for many baking recipes. Works great in cakes and refined coconut oil doesn’t have that distinct coconut flavour you get with virgin coconut oil.
Unfortunately refined coconut oil is, like the name says, refined, and from what I had read about it, the refining process destroys a lot of the beneficial aspect of coconut, that’s why I prefer to use olive oil myself. It doesn’t taste at all in the cakes, I promise! 🙂
I had this recently and it was so good, and I felt good eating it because I knew it was healthy!
Could you share the details for making the smaller top tier? I’m curious the pan size and how long to bake, as well as, is that two cakes cut in half to make four layers or did you make 4 cakes?
Thanks in advance
I had to go look at the recipe again because it’s been a while! haha The picture of the really big cake is just for fun, it was a wedding cake that I made for a relative, but obviously you can’t make that big cake with just one batch of the recipe. As mentioned in my post, the recipe will give you 2 layers of 9″. I’m going from memory here, but I think the wedding cake was made of 12″ at the bottom, 9″ in the middle, and 6″ at the top. The cooking is surprisingly very similar for all of them, maybe a few more minutes for the 12″. I believe the small cake picture was from 2 big layers of 6″ cut in half to get 4 layers total. Please forgive me for all the confusion, I wrote this recipe a long time ago, so I’m going from memory! 😉