Have you ever promised to bake someone a birthday cake…and then completely forgotten until the morning of their birthday? No? Well, I did last week. After promising to bake my father-in-law a fabulous cake to ring in his 65th, it was gone from my mind until lunchtime on the big day, leaving me with only a few hours to whip up something that looked and tasted worthy of such an occasion. Enter this Devil’s Food Bavarian Torte, a little secret I keep in my arsenal for just such occasions. Although the recipe includes a super moist, super chocolate-y devil’s food cake recipe, I’m going to level with you guys: I totally used a mix instead. And no one suspected a thing as they bit into the heavenly layers of cake, chocolate shavings and mascarpone cream. Keep reading for lots more luscious images and the recipe. Oh, and let’s keep this our little secret, shall we? 

Devil’s Food Bavarian Torte

For the cake: (or use 1 package (18 ¼ oz) devil’s food cake mix) 

  • 9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup strong coffee (or water)
  • ½ cup whole or low-fat milk
For the filling:
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 2/3 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 c whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 tbsp grated semisweet chocolate
  1. Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter two 9? cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
  3. To make the cake layers, sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. (If using a standing electric mixer, stop the mixer as necessary to scrape down the sides to be sure everything is getting mixed in.)
  5. Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.
  6. Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
  7. If using a mix, prepare according to instructions using two 9″ cake pans.
  8. To assemble the cake: In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy.  Fold in cream.  Split each cake into 2 layers, place one on serving plate.  Spreac w/ ¼ of cream mixture.  Sprinkle w/ ¼ of chocolate.  Repeat layers.  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

*devil’s food cake recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

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