•3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
•1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
•1 1/4 cups milk, scalded
•2 cups cake flour, sifted or stirred before measuring
•1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
•1 teaspoon salt
•2/3 cup shortening
•1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Prepare two 1 dozen cupcake trays with cupcake liners. Sift the cocoa with 1/3 cup sugar; pour into the milk gradually; stir until well blended. Set aside to cool. Sift together flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, soda, and salt. Add shortening and half of the cooled cocoa and milk mixture. Beat at medium speed of an electric hand-held mixer. Add eggs, vanilla, and remaining cocoa and milk mixture. Continue beating for about 2 minutes, scraping bowl with a spatula occasionally. Pour into cupcake tray. Bake at 325° for 25 to 30 minutes.Cool and frost devil's food cupcakes as desired.
I used icing colors to dye my icing, and my designs were piped using a #2 tip, and smoothed over with a spatula knife.