Addicting yet Healthy Devil’s Food Cake Recipe

Indulge in the delectable world of fermented desserts with Emillie Parrish’s irresistible recipe for Sourdough Devil’s Food Cake. This rich chocolate delight combines the tangy notes of a sourdough starter with the subtle sweetness of brown sugar and for those with a sweet tooth, there’s a tip to enhance the cake’s sweetness.

In Parrish’s cookbook Fermenting Made Simple she explores the exciting realm of fermented foods and their potential for improving gut health. With over 80 recipes, this down-to-earth guide introduces you to the joys of DIY cultured foods and the benefits of probiotics. From fermented vegetables to dairy, sourdough, and beverages, our recipes prioritize simplicity and include options for vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan diets.

Sourdough Devil’s Food Cake

Makes two 8-inch round layers or 18 cupcakes

½ cup (125 mL) salted butter, softened
¾ cup (185 mL) packed brown sugar
½ cup (125 mL) white sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) sourdough starter
½ cup (125 mL) natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
½ cup (125 mL) milk
1½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour two 8-inch (20 cm) baking pans or line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and 1 egg. Beat until smooth, then add the second egg and continue to beat until fluffy.

Stir in the sourdough starter, cocoa powder, and milk. Add the flour and baking soda, mixing well to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30–35 minutes for the 8-inch (20 cm) cake pans or 20–25 minutes for cupcakes. The cakes are finished when a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

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Recipe from Fermenting Made Simple by Emillie Parrish. Copyright © 2022 by Emillie Parrish.