Yummy Devil's Food Cake

A birthday is always a good reason to bake a cake - and the devil's food buttermilk recipe below is sure to please. Moist and flavorful, this will even win over the people in your life who say "I rarely eat dessert." (Right, like I've ever met a cheese I didn't like...)

For a little festive flair add stiffly whipped cream and fruit (in this case, sliced bing cherries.) Or just go with the decadent and delightful buttercream frosting. Oh, and don't forget the candles!

Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake/Cupcakes

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter (softened)
1 t clear vanilla
¾ t almond extract
2 large eggs
2 ½ cups Pillsbury softasilk cake flour
1 cup dutch processed cocoa powder or unsweetened cocoa powder (valrhona)
2 t baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cups buttermilk

Heat oven to 350 F.
Place paper cupcake fillers in a pan (approx. 24-30).

Beat sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 t clear vanilla and ¾ teaspoon almond extract in a large bowl with electric mixed on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat eggs on at a time. Mix cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; beat into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk on medium speed. Beat 1 minute longer. Pour into cupcake liners.

Bake 18 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes approx. 24 – 28 cupcakes.

Recipe courtesy of Pillsbury - http://www.pillsburybaking.com/default.aspx

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

8 ounces unsalted butter (1 cup) cut into cubes, room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar (8 cups)
½ cup milk (start with ¼ cup, add more until desired consistency)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
6 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate, cooled

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and milk, alternately then add vanilla and salt. Mix on low speed until fluffy and smooth.

Melt chocolate until smooth. Cool. Add to the buttercream.

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