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Devil's Food Cake with Blackcurrant Compote Recipe

Wuthering Heights Devil’s Food Cake with Blackcurrant Compote

A decadently rich dark chocolate cake that is brightened by tart blackcurrant compote! A recipe that mixes Heathcliff's darkness and Miss Catherine's sweetness. If your book club is looking for food ideas for Wuthering Heights, look no further!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Assembly 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Servings 12
Calories 530 kcal


For the Cake:

  • ½ cup cocoa dutch-processed
  • 1 cup coffee
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter cold
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil

For the Ganache Icing:

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bar
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream

For the Blackcurrant Compote:

  • 1 cup blackcurrant jam***
  • 2 tbsp water


For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda, salt and sugar together.
  • Cut the cold butter into small ½ inch cubes. Add to the dry mix.
  • Using a mixer, cut the butter into the dry mix as you would when making biscuits. This will take about 3-4 minutes until a dry crumb mix is achieved.
  • Next, mix the warm* coffee and vanilla together and pour over the dry crumb mix while running the mixer on low speed.
  • Add in the oil and sour cream while continuing to run the mixer on low speed.
  • Last, add the eggs and mix until just incorporated.
  • Divide the mix evenly and pour into two well-buttered and floured 8” or 9” cake pans.**
  • Cook for 30-35 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
  • After cooling for 15 minutes, invert on a cooling rack to continue cooling.

For the Ganache Icing:

  • Chop the semi-sweet chocolate into small pieces.
  • Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and heavy cream together, stirring constantly.
  • Once the chocolate is melting well, remove from the double boiler to avoid scalding the heavy cream and continue stirring until the ganache icing is completely smooth and shiny.
  • Set aside to cool until solid. If in a hurry, put in the refrigerator until it solidifies to the consistency of icing.

To assemble the cake:

  • Place one layer of cake on a cake stand.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, add 1-2 scoops of cooled icing onto the top of the first layer. Smooth out with a spatula.
  • Next, add the second layer of cake.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, add 1-2 scoops of cooled icing on the top of the second layer. Smooth out with a spatula.
  • Using the remaining icing, ice the sides of the cake, swirling to meet the top of the cake so that icing covers all surfaces.

For the Blackcurrant Compote:

  • In a small sauce pan, add the jam and the water. Heat on low until the jam and water mix and smooth into a glaze-like consistency. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool before drizzling on the cake.


*Warm coffee will help bring out the chocolate flavor of the cocoa, but you don’t want it to be scalding hot.
**For cupcakes, cook for about 18-20 minutes, using a tester to verify doneness.
***If you have access to fresh blackcurrants, you can create your own glaze like this blackberry one I used in brownies. Use the same steps, substituting blackcurrants for the blackberries.
Keyword Cake, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Dessert