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The History of Devil's Food Cake

Devil’s food cake originated in the second half of the 19th century. Why? Simply put, it was created in reaction to angel food cake, which had come on the scene in the 1830s. Bakers wanted a dark-colored cake in opposition to the white, airy angel food cakes that were so popular in America at the time. At first, they added molasses and spices to the batter to achieve that darker color.  Later, cocoa powder was added to the recipe because it was a more effective darkening agent. So in essence, devil’s food cake was created in an attempt to change the color, not precisely the flavor, of angel food cake, and while today we think of devil’s food cake as a chocolate cake, its flavor was originally much less intentional and much more incidental! Today, both angel food cake and devil’s food cake remain very popular dessert items, but they’re now far more valued for their taste than their appearance.

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