Featured in The Bride and Doom

Bless Your Heart Cake

As a Southern cook, I have boxes of old family recipes to rifle through when I’m looking for the perfect sweet treat. But nothing has garnered more rave reviews than this simple recipe for Devil’s Food Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting. The recipe card’s edges are frayed and the handwriting is faded, but the recipe itself has held up to countless family dinners and potlucks over the years.

It’s a simple choclate layer cake with a creamy fudge frosting. The secret ingredients? A hint of coffee to deepen the chocolate flavor and sour cream to add a bit of tang and keep it moist.

I call it Bless Your Heart cake because, well … I’m Southern. And I’m kind of a smart aleck.

In my upcoming cozy mystery, one of the heroines makes this cake for people she doesn’t like – who wouldn’t appreciate a hate-filled Devil’s Food Cake and a snarky “bless your heart?”

Me? I make it for the people I love best because nothing spreads love faster than chocolate frosting.


Devil’s Food Cake

3 large eggs

2-1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup butter, softened

2-1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup coffee, cooled

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare two 9-inch baking pans by greasing them well.
  3. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Add eggs individually, continuing to beat well after each one.
  5. Add vanilla and chocolate and mix well.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  7. Add half of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, followed by the sour cream, coffee, and water. Beat well.
  8. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix.
  9. Divide the batter into the two prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to test with a toothpick to make sure your cakes are done.
  10. Cool the cakes in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks until completely cooled.
  11. Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and let cool. In a separate bowl, beat powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture slowly, continuing to mix until desired texture is achieved. If frosting is too thick, you can add milk in small increments to thin it out. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  12. Frost cake once cooled, then share it with someone you love. Or hate … your call.



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