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It's the simple things.

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

By Mother CombsPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - October 2023

Thinking back on all the beautiful dishes I’ve had throughout my life, I could write about chicken and dressing, tamales, pumpkin pie, or many other entrees I have had. Fancy dishes that would have your mouth watering like crazy. Instead, I will write about a simple, plain chocolate cake made for me with so much love.

Growing up, we were not very well off and had nine kids in the house. My mother worked out of the house and was away from home much as we kids were growing up. The raising of me fell to my older sister, Vickie.

One day, I came home from the fourth grade, upset that a larger, much older child was bullying me. I was almost inconsolable. I wanted my mother. I did not want to go to school anymore. I wanted to move to a different town. I may have even said I wanted to die that day. I can say for sure that I was one miserable little girl.

I can remember my sister trying to comfort and stop me from crying. My big sister hated tears and snot and expected girls to be strong. She fumbled with the right words before saying, “Fuck it.”

Going to the pantry, she opened it up and grabbed the first cake mix she found. It was a Devil’s Foods chocolate cake mix.

She called me to the kitchen island, and I helped her mix it up. She talked calmly to me the whole while she made the cake. She poured it from the bowl into a cake pan and handed me the bowl to lick (yes, people did lick it back in the day and didn’t die). She put the cake pan in the heated oven, and about the time the smell was driving me crazy, she removed it from the oven.

Normally, she would have waited for the cake to cool and frosted it for us to eat, but while it was cooking, she went to get the frosting out of the pantry and saw that our dad had already eaten half of the container, and she did not want his germs on our fresh cake. I had to agree with her. So she served two huge, warm slices of freshly baked chocolate cake with two ice-cold glasses of white milk.

I could feel the love in the heat of the cake. I can remember the taste of the plainness of the chocolate, unpolluted by any frosting. To this day, I can remember how that piece of cake made me feel.

To make this cake just like my sister did, you must first get these ingredients:

  • Duncan Hines Devil’s food Chocolate cake mix
  • Three large eggs
  • 1 Cup of water
  • ⅓ Cup Vegetable Oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease the bottoms and sides of pans
  3. Blend all ingredients until moist.
  4. Beat medium speed for about two minutes with a mixer or six minutes by hand.
  5. Pour into pans and bake immediately.
  6. The cake is done when the toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with whipped cream and chocolate syrup or plain.

These instructions are for a 13x9-inch pan.

I line my pans with wax paper, aluminum foil, or parchment paper. It makes clean-up effortless and the cake firmer.

This is just a plain recipe in a million recipes entered into this challenge, and probably not what was wanted, but it’s what I was inspired to write. It’s a simple pleasure that my family and I still enjoy, as I am sure many other families out there have eaten cake without icing.

My sister made us many a cake after that without frosting several more times throughout the years. She’s passed away now, but every time I have a piece of plain Devil’s Food chocolate cake fresh from the oven, I think of her.

I hope that when you eat a plain Devil's Food chocolate cake that you and your family feel as warm and loved as I do when I eat one.

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About the Creator

Mother Combs

Come near, sit a spell, and listen to tales of old as I sit and rock by my fire. I'll serve you some cocoa and cookies as I tell you of the time long gone by when your Greats-greats once lived.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (37)

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  • Sandra 28 days ago

    Beautiful ❤️ ♥️ 💜

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    Sweet rest to a loving sister. It is the simple things that really matter the most. And the memories that they evoke. Simple is much better, I agree.

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    And my mom sometimes put slice-in-half maraschino cherries in the chocolate cake l. 😋

  • Vicki Trusselli 2 months ago


  • Sylviane LE CANN2 months ago

    A moving story! 💕

  • StoryholicFinds2 months ago

    Love it ❤️

  • awww, what a sweet memory. I always say...let us eat cake. Well, I am a fan on eating, period. Congrats on your top story

  • Kristen Balyeat2 months ago

    Such a touching story, Mother! Thank you for sharing this sweet moment with us. Sisters are the best, and time together is best spent over delicious food—especially chocolate cake. Beautiful memory, and congrats on top story!

  • Kolade Owoyemi2 months ago

    Congratulations mother combs on the top story. More greatness💖

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    Beautifully touching. The sincerity shines through. I love how food can trigger memory. Love this. ❤️

  • RM Stockton2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory with us. The secret ingredient was love.

  • Great challenge entry and deserved accolade. I can't do this challenge but great to see everyone else's entries

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    An honest take of comfort food. I loved this. We love chocolate cake in our house although we do have frosting. It's called Snoop Cake as the recipe is from a cookbook by the one and only, Snoop Dog. Bloody delicious and no extra added ingredients to make you feel more mellow, if you know what I'm saying.

  • Grz Colm2 months ago

    Congratulation on this excellent and well deserved top story! It gave me all the feels, so I’m glad it got this recognition Mother Combs! Be well and have a great day!! 😊

  • Heidi McCloskey2 months ago

    Such a beautiful story!

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    I have to think carefully about my entry after this one!

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story too!!!

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    So relatable!!! Thank you, Mother Combs, for sharing this fabulous and heartwarming story!!!

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    I love DFC, and so glad you were inspired to write about it. I enjoyed the read. Also, I remember my siblings taking spoonful's of icing right out of the can. I'm positive they double dipped. Congrats on your Top Story!

  • JBaz2 months ago

    This is such a beautiful heartfelt story. Thnaks you for sharing it with us. Now off I go to make me some cake. Congratulations

  • Leslie Writes2 months ago

    What a sweet moment. Your sister must have loved you very much 💖

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    So wonderful and warm, just like that cake must have tasted, Great job!

  • Donna Renee2 months ago

    This is wonderful! 😍😍

  • Real Poetic2 months ago

    Congratulations! 🎉 Yummy recipe.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    Love it, a winner

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