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    People On Reddit Are Obsessed With This Very Specific (And Very Good) Chocolate Cake Recipe

    The secret ingredient is key.

    The weather is getting colder and the holiday season is right around the corner, which means it's the greatest time of year for baking.

    YouTube / Via youtube.com

    Now, confession: I'm not much of a baker. Besides jumping onto the sourdough train during quarantine, I much prefer to cook than bake.

    But this week, I noticed a specific recipe going low-key viral on Reddit. Lots and lots of people were making (and completely raving about) the same chocolate cake recipe: Nana's devil's food cake.

    A Reddit chain of people discussing and posting photos of their attempts at Nanas devil's food cake.
    Reddit

    As the original poster, u/iamktf, explained when they first dropped the recipe in /r/OldRecipes, "Best chocolate cake ever, guaranteed, in our family for at least 80 years."

    The passed-down recipe for nanas devil's food cake found on Reddit.
    u/iamktf / Reddit / Via reddit.com

    I figured that if this recipe has survived generations through word of mouth, it's probably worth trying — so I did! I gathered the ingredients:

    Ingredients for Nana's devil's food cake including flour, sugar, eggs, cocoa, and more.
    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    Nothing looked overly complicated. I figured that even I (a novice baker!) could handle it.

    First I combined all the dry ones in a bowl:

    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    That's flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, and cocoa powder. I sifted the dry ingredients so they were completely smooth.

    Then the wet ones in a different bowl:

    Wet ingredients combined in a mixing bowl.
    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    Vegetable oil, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and coffee.

    I added what many redditors called out as a game-changing ingredient: a cup of coffee.

    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    I've heard of adding coffee to brownies and chocolate cake to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, but I've never tried it myself. The recipe calls for 1 cup of cool (but not cold) coffee.

    I folded the dry ingredients into the wet and mixed until combined. I was expecting a thick batter, but I was surprised to see that once combined, it was very thin — almost like a super-creamy hot cocoa.

    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    Then I poured the batter into a cake pan.

    Chocolate cake batter in an aluminum cake tray, ready for the oven.
    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    Yes, I used an aluminum tray. Maybe if this recipe goes well, I'll invest in some bakeware. 😁

    The Reddit recipe doesn't include a cook time — it just says bake until done — so I kept a watchful eye on my chocolate cake.

    Nana's devil's food cake fresh from the oven.
    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    After about 25 minutes, the old toothpick test proved that it was ready to come out of the oven.

    Finally, I made a very simple vanilla glaze by mixing confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. I channeled my inner Jackson Pollock and went a little abstract:

    Nana's devil's food cake topped with vanilla frosting.
    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    The original recipe doesn't include a frosting or glaze recipe — though you can see that redditors definitely got creative with it, topping it with everything from chocolate ganache to cherry glaze.

    Now, here's the thing: I'm not normally a chocolate cake person. And I know you're probably thinking, Who the heck isn't a chocolate cake person!? I would just normally choose another dessert (for example, ice cream, shortbread, a cheese plate, lol) over most things chocolate. BUT this recipe may have converted me into a chocolate cake fan. 👀

    An interior shot of nana's devil's food cake with some slices missing.
    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    It was very, VERY good.

    Sliced pieces on cake.
    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    It was super moist and spongy, almost like pudding meets soufflé, on the inside. And it tasted decadent — thanks in part to the coffee, I think — but not overwhelmingly rich or dense. In other words? It was perfect.

    For a dessert that is so simple to bake, I would highly recommend trying this one at home. It tastes way better than the boxed stuff, but it doesn't require much more effort. To the nana who invented this recipe and passed it down, thank you!!

    Four slices of nana's devils food cake with icing on a plate.
    Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

    If you want to make Nana's devil's food cake, find the recipe on Reddit here — and info on variations here. (And for more vintage inspiration, check out /r/OldRecipes.)