Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Devil's food cake with chocolate buttercream icing

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.

For this week's devil's food cake recipe, Barb went back a few years -- specifically to Lee Bailey's Country Desserts, which was originally published in 1988. "This is the summer fruit dessert bible for me, and just one of Mr. Bailey's many excellent cookbooks, most of which are out of print now," says Barb. "He was buddies with Ina Garten and Martha Stewart, and was the master at keeping things simple and making them great, even if the cake on the cover is a little lopsided." Barb recommends eating the cake with ice cream (duh), preferably on your front porch with like-minded chocoholics.

Devil's food cake with buttercream icing


1 2/3 cups sifted cake flour 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup Butter 1 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled 3/4 cup hot coffee (not instant)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans. 2. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 3. Cream butter and brown sugar until smooth and stir in vanilla. 4. Add eggs one at a time, beating 2 minutes after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate and gradually stir in hot coffee. 5. Add flour mixture one third at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Chocolate buttercream icing


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 large egg yolk 6 ounces semisweet chocolate melted and cooled 1 tablespoon powdered instant espresso 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar


1. Cream the butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 2. Beat in the egg yolk, add the melted chocolate and beat well. 3. Add espresso and vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. 4. Gradually add the confectioners sugar, beating until smooth and creamy. 5. Let the cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes, un-mold onto cake racks and let cool completely.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog and Marczyk Fine Wines.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.