Aunt Margery’s Devil’s Food Cake

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There are a couple reasons I made this cake.  First of all, it was my Bill’s birthday this past Friday, the 5th of July.  Growing up, Bill used to love Suzy-Q’s, those spongy little Hostess chocolate cakes with the fluffy and creamy white filling.  Secondly, using my great-aunt Margery’s Devil’s Food Cake combined with a white frosting a professional baker gave me years ago, the finished cake tastes like a Suzy-Q, except I made it in the form of a layer cake.

Aunt Margery’s cake is the recipe my mom used many times for family birthday celebrations.  It can easily be made into a 9-by-13-inch size, two 8-inch round or square cakes, or cupcakes.  I have no idea where Aunt Margery got the recipe, but I remember as a child she used to listen to a radio program where she lived in Iowa, and people would call in and give the listeners their favorite recipes.  As she listened to the program, Aunt Margery used to jot down the recipes with any scrap of paper she had nearby.  I even found some of her recipes scribbled on the inside of her checkbook. This recipe could have been from that radio program, but who knows.  Wherever it is from, it’s a keeper.

The cake is best made and frosted the day before.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  It not only cuts better, but gives it time to set and become even more moist!  It will keep for several days if refrigerated.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Aunt Margery's Devil's Food Cake
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, set aside.*
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together into large bowl of electric mixer.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and beat until well blended. Mixture will be on the thin side.
  4. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove pans from oven and place on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out of pan and cool completely before frosting.
  6. Note:* Cake can be made in a 9-by13-inch pan, two 8-inch round or square cake pans, or can be made into cupcakes. Cupcakes will not take as long to bake.

Aunt Margery’s original handwritten recipe that I have had in my recipe box for decades.  She rarely wrote out an entire recipe with instructions!


Note on this frosting:  It makes a lot, but I am always glad to make a full batch because it freezes well for months.  It really does taste like the Suzy-Q filling, and the cake really does too. Happy Birthday, Bill!  You are going to be asking for this cake and frosting again.

White Butter Frosting

Part 1: Blend until smooth and fluffy:

1 pound tub solid vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1/2 pound butter
1-1/2 pounds powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Part 2:  Mix with a fork:

1/2 pound powdered sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder (good to add, but not essential)
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place Part 2 into Part 1.  Beat 5 to 10 minutes or until light and fluffy, like whipped  cream.

This makes a lot of frosting.  Not all will be used for the cake, but the frosting freezes well and will keep for 6 moths or more.





11 Responses to Aunt Margery’s Devil’s Food Cake

  1. July 7, 2019 at 4:33 pm #

    Oh, my! We all love a good chocolate cake so I will have to give your Aunt Margery’s Devil’s Food Cake recipe a try. Do you have a good German Chocolate Cake recipe? I have a super German Chocolate Icing recipe but still looking for a moist German Chocolate Cake recipe. Have you ever tried this cake with German Chocolate icing?

    • July 9, 2019 at 10:00 am #

      Kim, I have never made Aunt Margery’s cake with a German chocolate icing, but I bet that would be really good! I do have a German Chocolate Cake recipe I’ve made many times, but now I might use this cake instead. I can email you my original recipe if you like.

    • July 9, 2019 at 11:38 am #

      Obviously, German Chocolate Cake is a favorite at our house so I would love your special German Chocolate Cake recipe. Thank you from all of us!!

      • July 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm #

        Kim, I will email it to you!

  2. February 24, 2021 at 10:53 am #

    why can’t I find Susie Q’s in the store?

  3. August 8, 2021 at 7:42 am #

    I made this cake yesterday and it is outstanding! So moist and the frosting is perfect and yes, it does taste like a Suzy Q! Thank you for sharing and I love the picture of the handwritten recipe!

    • August 9, 2021 at 11:44 pm #

      I’m so glad you liked the cake, Joan! The handwritten recipe is one of my favorite treasures in my recipe box.

  4. August 15, 2021 at 4:44 am #

    I noticed there is no egg in the recipe. Is this correct?

    • August 15, 2021 at 3:16 pm #

      Yes, Erica – no eggs!

  5. October 1, 2023 at 3:59 pm #

    Will hostess bring back the original Susie Q snack cakes?
    Also would you send me your German Chocolate cake recipe?
    Thank you.

    • October 1, 2023 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Sandy- I have no idea what Hostess will do about the Susie Q cakes. I haven’t seen any in our area for a long time. The German Chocolate Cake recipe I have used for decades was right off the Sweet Chocolate package! However, that was a long time ago and I should look and see if it’s the same one that I used. Next time I need one of those bars I’ll see if it’s the same.

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