Soft chocolate cake layers, tart raspberry filling, and smooth buttercream frosting make this chocolate raspberry cake a dessert to remember. It’s a must if you love chocolate and raspberries!
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Hey hey! How’s your summer going. (Is that even a question I should ask at this point?)
Well, however things are going right now I think you could probably go for a slice of chocolate raspberry cake. (Or two. And if you’re anything like me you want them for breakfast, please and thank you.)
From-scratch chocolate cake, homemade raspberry filling, all of it slathered with creamy chocolate frosting: this is an un-missable dessert!
Why you’ll love this chocolate raspberry cake:
- The cake layers are simple to make and, because they call for both butter and oil, they have great flavor and stay really soft and moist
- The filling is made with frozen raspberries so you can make this cake any time of year
- You can divide the work up over a couple of days so you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen just to make dessert
How to make your cake layers
These cake layers are super simple and you don’t even need a mixer—just a couple of bowls and a spatula.
- Stir together sugar, butter, and a few other ingredients, then set aside
- Whisk together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl
- Alternately add the dry ingredients and lukewarm coffee, mixing until the batter is smooth
- Divide between 8-inch cake pans and bake
Notes for making your cake:
- You can substitute flat cola for the coffee; I prefer to use coffee because the chocolate flavor is richer, while the cola makes the cake a little sweeter.
- Be sure to sift your cocoa powder if it’s at all lumpy! It’s really hard to get cocoa powder lumps out of the batter since you’re just stirring it rather than using a mixer.
- You’ll need a big mixing bowl for the batter—there’s a lot of it!
- Because there’s a lot of batter, you can’t bake this cake in two cake pans, you’ll need three.
- You can make the cake layers a day ahead and store them at room temp, tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. Be sure to cool the layers completely before wrapping them or they’ll get soggy.
How to make raspberry filling
While cake is in the oven, you’ll make the super simple filling.
- Combine raspberries, lemon juice, and a couple other ingredients in a small saucepan
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the thick
Then transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until it’s fully chilled.
Notes for making the filling:
- Before refrigerating the filling you can press it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds if you want.
- The lemon juice in the filling helps keep the flavor nice and bright. If you don’t have a lemon on hand you can omit the juice, but I strongly recommend adding it.
How to make chocolate frosting
- Beat room temperature butter until smooth
- Beat in cocoa powder, vanilla, and a few other ingredients
- Gradually beat in powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy
How to assemble your cake
- Spread a layer of frosting over one cooled cake layer
- Spread half of the cooled raspberry filling over the frosting, leaving about a 1/2-inch perimeter around the edge
Then top with another cake layer, more frosting, and the rest of the filling. Frost and decorate as you like!
Notes on assembling your cake:
- Be sure to cool the cake layers completely before filling and frosting them! If the cake layers are warm then your frosting will melt.
- If your cake gets wobbly while you’re frosting it, pop it in the fridge for a little bit to set the frosting in between the cake layers. (This is the only way I can frost cakes in the summer heat in Phoenix!)
- Get your final coat of frosting as smooth as possible—an offset spatula helps. That way, when you add the ganache drip, it will flow smoothly down the sides of your cake.
How to finish your cake
I finished my cake with a chocolate ganache drip. You totally can skip this step!
Adding the drip requires chilling the cake for awhile and if you’re eager to eat, just serve your cake rather than gussying it up with ganache.
- Pour hot heavy cream over chopped chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes
- Stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth
- Transfer some of the ganache to a plastic squeeze bottle and squeeze ganache around the perimeter of the cake, applying extra pressure at points to create drips
- Use a small offset spatula to smooth the remaining ganache over the top of the cake
Refrigerate for about half an hour to set the ganache, then slice and serve!
Notes for finishing your cake:
- If the ganache appears too thin to drip down the sides of the cake without running off completely, let it sit for a few minutes at room temp. If it sits too long just pop in in the microwave for 3 to 5 seconds. It shouldn’t take much time to thin it out.
- If you don’t have a plastic squeeze bottle you can use a large zip-top plastic bag with one corner snipped off.
How to store
Uneaten cake can be stored, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
You can also store slices of cake or in the freezer (tightly wrapped) for up to 2 months.
I recommend freezing slices for 30 minutes to an hour to set the frosting before you wrap them. That way you can wrap them tightly without making a mess of the frosting.
- I used this small offset spatula for the smoothing the ganache.
- This large offset spatula is what I use to smooth the frosting on my cakes. Offset spatulas are some of my most-used kitchen tools!
- The squeeze bottles I used for the ganache don’t seem to be available on Amazon anymore, but these squeeze bottles are basically the same.
- I always recommend using a cake turntable when you frost cakes. They’re so helpful because you can move the cake while you frost it, rather than having to move around the cake to get your frosting even.
- This Ateco 849 piping tip is what I used to pipe the dollops of frosting on top of the cake. A large open star tip would also be cute.
Did you make this raspberry chocolate cake? AWESOME! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. And post a pic on Instagram too! Tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see!
Soft, rich chocolate cake layers, tart raspberry filling, and creamy chocolate frosting make this chocolate raspberry cake a dessert to remember! It's perfect for birthdays, holidays, or any occasion!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm coffee you can substitute flat cola
- 2 cups frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder*
- 4 to 6 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 5 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- fresh raspberries for garnish if desired
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour. Set pans aside.
- Combine the sugar, butter, and oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
- Stir the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Fold in half of the flour-cocoa mixture just to combine, then slowly stir in half of the coffee (or cola) until just incorporated. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining coffee until smooth.
- Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake layers comes out clean.
- Let cake layers cool in pans for 20 minutes, then carefully remove from the pans to cool completely on a wire rack before filling and frosting your cake.
- While cake is in the oven, combine all filling ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and simmer until mixture is very thick and clings to a wooden spoon. Scrape into a small bowl and refrigerate until cool enough to spread.
- (Before refrigerating the filling you can press it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds if you want.)
- Once the filling and cake layers are cool, make the frosting.
- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the cocoa powder, 4 tablespoons of milk, vanilla, and salt and beat to combine.
- Gradually beat in 4 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar until fully combined, then turn mixer to medium and beat until the frosting is very light and fluffy.
- If frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar; it it’s too thick add additional milk.
- If your cakes have domed, use a long serrated knife to trim off the peaks.
- Set one cake layer on a cake stand or cardboard cake circle. Spread a layer of frosting over the top, then spread half of the filling over that—leave a 1/2-inch perimeter so the filling doesn’t leak out into the final frosting layer. (For a visual illustration see the body of this post.)
- Top with a second cake layer, then repeat the frosting and filling process.
- Top with the final cake layer, then frost the cake. Get the final coat of frosting as smooth as possible so the chocolate drip will flow down the sides nicely.
- Refrigerate the for at least 4 hours (or overnight). You can refrigerate a little frosting if you want to pipe additional frosting on top of the cake after you add the drip.
- After the cake has chilled, make the ganache.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan set over medium heat and warm the cream until it just begins to steam.
- Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- If the ganache appears too thin to drip down the sides of the cake without running off completely, let it sit for a few minutes at room temp. (If it sits too long just pop in in the microwave for a few seconds.)
- Transfer the ganache to a plastic squeeze bottle (or a large zip-top plastic bag with one corner snipped off). Squeeze a circle of ganache around the edge of the cake on top of the, applying a little extra pressure at certain points to create drips.
- Spread the remaining ganache into an even layer on top of the cake, then pop in the fridge to set.
- Top with additional frosting if desired, then slice and serve.
- *Sift the cocoa powder if it’s at all lumpy!
- You’ll need a big mixing bowl for the batter—there’s a lot of it!
- Because there’s a lot of batter, you can’t bake this cake in two cake pans, you'll need three.
- If you want to divide the work up over a couple of days you can wrap the COOLED cake layers tightly with plastic wrap and leave at room temp overnight. You can also make the filling and frosting a day ahead and store in the fridge, covered, overnight. When you're ready to frost the cake, beat the frosting with an electric mixer on high until it’s spreadable. (You might have to add a small amount of milk but I rarely find that necessary.)
- If you don’t want to add the chocolate drip, just don’t make the ganache and ignore the instructions to refrigerate your cake for 4 hours.
- Because this is a complicated recipe, I recommend reading the recipe through at least once before you begin baking. Refer to the body of this post for step-by-step photos if necessary.
- Uneaten cake can be stored, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer (tightly wrapped) for up to 2 months.