The Unexpected Ingredient That Will Change Your Devil's Food Cake Forever

How much do we love chocolate? Let us count the ways. We love it in gooey butter cake, in fudgy truffle torte, and in warm chocolate chunk cookies. We love chocolate swirled in yeasty brioche, in rich hot chocolate bombs, and glazed over the top of eclairs. And, of course, we love it in chocolate cake.

Luckily for those who are fans of both chocolate and cake, there are enough versions of this beloved dessert to keep palates entertained and bellies full for quite a while. Epicurious alone lists some 52 recipes, from chocolate layer cake to flourless chocolate cake to chocolate macaroon cake. But if you like a rich, dark, and extremely fluffy cake that's heavy on cocoa, then your chocolate cake of choice is likely devil's food. Typically served slicked with ganache (though sometimes coated in buttercream, like Ina Garten's recipe), this chocolate-on-chocolate classic has been the showstopper at many a birthday party. Looking to bake up a devil's food cake, but want your version to shine above the rest? We have just the tip.

Add some zest to that cake

Do you love the combination of chocolate and fruit? Then this baking tip, by way of Taste of Home, might tickle your fancy: the suggestion to add some orange zest to your devil's food cake batter. "It will give it a deliciously different flavor," said Clarence Huss, the Nebraska reader who shared the citrus tip with the website.

It makes sense, as the combination of orange with chocolate is a classic one: think orangettes, the classic French candied orange rinds dipped in dark chocolate; the Christmas stocking mainstay Terry's chocolate orange; and our very own chocolate-blood orange pots de créme, to name a few. There's just something about the fragrant citrus that goes so well with the intensity of chocolate, and orange-accented devil's food cake is no exception.

But you don't want to just go pouring some orange juice into your cake batter, which would add way too much moisture (per Food Crumbles). Zest is the perfect way to get orange into your batter (or frosting) because, as the part of the fruit that's loaded with oils, it will bring tons of flavor to the party without dramatically changing the structure of your cake.