The Real Difference Between Chocolate Cake And Devil's Food Cake

It might not be a question that keeps many folks up at night — after all, there is no questioning the integrity and deliciousness that comes with a heavenly slice of chocolate cake, no matter what type it is. But bakers in the know are likely to point out that the differences between a chocolate cake and a devil's food cake go beyond just fancy ways to market the same pastry. These differences, in turn, dictate the textures that make one different from the other.

chocolate cake takes its flavor through the use of baking chocolate, which is solid and then melted before it is added into cake batter (via Chowhound). Baking chocolate doesn't have to be pure cocoa; it can be milk chocolate, too, so when it (along with butter) is added to your cake, it can result in a more dense crumb, even if it isn't as chocolatey. To make up for this, Chowhound says bakers are likely to turn to add-ons like fudge or buttercream frosting to turn up the chocolate dial.

Devil's food cake is lighter and more intense than chocolate cake

As Eat This, Not That! suggests, devil's food cake is the yin to angel food cake's yang. This type of cake is airy and light, but deeply intense at the same time because it leans on cocoa powder for chocolate support (via Chowhound). It takes no butter and instead uses vegetable oil for a fat, and it counts on the presence of leavening agents like baking soda, which can give the cake an extra lift. Then there is the addition of a water-based liquid that gets added to some devil's food cake batters, like coffee, which you may not taste, but it certainly gives the chocolate flavor a boost (via Eat This, Not That!). 

Belmar Bakery says once upon a time there was another ingredient that went into traditional devil's food cake that could cause many of us to raise an eyebrow — shredded beets. These were merely meant to make the dessert sweeter and retain moisture. Though the bakery does add a disclaimer, mentioning that this is up for debate, as the beet addition could be seen as the beginnings of red velvet cake.