Whirligig-design Devil’s food vintage chocolate cake recipe (1950)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.

Vintage chocolate dessert - Devil’s food whirligig cake 1950

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

This devil’s food cake was called a “whirligig” in this recipe likely because of the spiderweb-like design in the chocolate on top. A whirligig is a spinning toy, and in some cases apparently resembled the cake’s decoration.

Devils’s food whirligig cake

Follow directions carefully, be sure to use Crisco, and we promise you a lighter, richer, moister, more tender cake.

Vintage chocolate dessert - Devil’s food whirligig cake recipe 1950

Devils’s food whirligig cake recipe

Measure into bowl: (All measurements level)

2 cups sifted cake flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon salt
3 squares melted chocolate
3/4 cup sour milk (or buttermilk)

Mix thoroughly by hand or mixer (medium speed) for 2 minutes. Stir in:

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1/2 cup sour milk (or buttermilk)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix thoroughly by hand or mixer (medium speed) for 2 minutes. Pour into two deep 9-inch layer pans (1 1/2″ deep) which have been rubbed with Crisco and lined with heavy waxed paper. (For smaller pans, fill half full, bake cupcakes with remaining batter). Bake in moderate oven (350 F) for about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 15 mins before removing.

Loosen edges from pan with spatula. Place rack over cake and pan; invert together. Ice between cooled layers, sides and top of cake with creamy icing.

Trace top design with toothpick. Melt one square chocolate with one tablespoon Crisco; then follow tracing, letting chocolate run off tip of spoon.

(Makes two 9″ layers)

A gooey, chocolatey fudge batter pudding recipe from 1950 - because 'Men like puddings'

Creamy icing

2 tbsps water
4-1/2 tbsps granulated sugar
2-1/3 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil water and granulated sugar together until sugar is dissolved. Mix confectioners sugar and egg; blend with syrup. Add Crisco and vanilla. Beat until creamy.

PS: If you liked this article, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest, plus see exclusive retro-inspired products in our shop. Thanks for visiting!

More stories you might like

Because the fun never ends

Comments on this story

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.