Double Chocolate Cake with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream Frosting


It was my coworker Tracy’s last day at work last Monday. In celebration of her moving on to bigger and better things (as well as another friend’s birthday and the birth of another friend’s son), I decided to make a layer cake. This recipe is a simplified version of the Double Chocolate Cake found in the Miette cookbook. Miette is a pastry shop located in San Francisco, Calif.

This double chocolate cake is not a true Miette cake, as the author and owner explains, all Miette cakes are six-inches. (I just couldn’t bring a six-inch cake to work. It would be gone in three seconds.) So instead I used Meg Ray’s recipe (doubled) to make a rather large four-layer eight-inch cake.  One day I will recreate a true Miette cake (or two or three!) in my kitchen.


  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
  • 3 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. 70 percent cacao chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 c. sugar


  1. Lightly butter two 8 by 3-inch circular cake pans and dust with sifted cocoa powder. Tap out excess.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Put the chocolates in a heat proof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Whisk until the chocolate is melted. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high speed until foamy, about two minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour in the oil, whisking until combined, about 30 seconds. Raise the speed to medium and whisk until fully incorporated, about 30 more seconds.
  7. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and vanilla mixture. Add the sugar and whisk until the batter is smooth and liquid, about 2 minutes.
  8. Here’s where I diverged from Ms. Ray’s recipe. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated, preferably by hand. (I started out by hand but then went back to mixer.) The batter is going to look a bit lumpy. Here is where you’re supposed to pour the batter through a medium-mesh sieve to remove (and discard) the lumps. I don’t have one. So instead I used a strainer, which got totally clogged. After straining about three-fourths of the batter through my strainer, I ended up getting frustrated and poured the remaining batter (lumps and all) into the bowl.
  9. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for at least 60 minutes. The top should spring back when lightly pressed and a tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
  10. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans until the pans can be handled. Run an offset spatula around the edges of the cakes to loosen them, then invert the cakes onto the racks and remove the pans. Let cool for about 20 minutes longer. Wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate to ensure the interiors are completely cool before decorating – at least one hour or up to 3 days. To freeze, wrap tightly in a second layer of plastic and store in the freezer up to 2 months.
  11. Frost with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream Frosting.

I’m not exactly sure what kind of unsweetened cocoa I used for this cake. It’s whatever was in my jar – which I think may be Trader Joe’s. So I didn’t exactly use the best cocoa powder around. But still, this was the richest chocolate flavored most moist cake I’ve ever had.

I always get compliments on the treats I bring in to share. But with this cake I actually had random people stopping at my desk and asking me if i was the girl who made the cake and to give their huge compliments on it.

I would say this is the best “cake” I’ve ever made. The frosting wasn’t as fantastic as I would have liked because it was only hint of raspberry flavor. But the texture of the frosting … oh the texture. I’ve never had anything better. The next time someone commissions me to make a chocolate cake for a birthday or other celebration, I will definitely use this recipe.

Recipe rating: 


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