Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake

IMG_4710A few months ago my old coworker Anchal asked me to make a cake for her husband’s birthday (September 15th). I used to see Anchal around the office last year and think she was the cutest little pregnant woman I’ve ever seen. She really was! While she’s no longer pregnant, she’s still the cutest little woman ever. So of course I wanted to make a cake for her when she asked.

Her desired flavor? Chocolate raspberry, of which I’ve never really been a fan and quite honestly never attempted to make. I found this cake recipe at the picky cook’s website (I feel akin to her blog name) and decided to test it out on my coworkers prior to Anchal’s husband’s big day. I’m glad I did! I had a small snafu after doubling the recipe (don’t do this in a standard Kitchenaid mixer–it barely fits!). The cake spilled all over my oven while baking. A week later and my kitchen still smelled burnt. Even still, the cake turned out fantastic (if not slightly under-baked–which just makes your cake more moist, right?).

IMG_4709cake ingredients.

  • 4.5 oz. fine-quality dark chocolate
  • 2 1/4 c. hot brewed coffee (I used decaf–it was all I had)
  • 4 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 3 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/8 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 c. well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

ganache frosting ingredients.

  • 1 lb. fine-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 T. light corn syrup
  • 4 T. unsalted butter

raspberry filling ingredients.

  • 2 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 T. cornstarch


  1. Preheat oven to 300 F and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Grease again and dust both pans with cocoa powder. Tap and swirl around the cocoa to lightly coat the pans.
  2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.
  4. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  5. Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove parchment paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
  6. For the filling: Puree the raspberries in a food processor. Press the puree through a fine-mesh strainer with the back of a spoon, removing the seeds. Heat the puree in a small pot with the sugar and cornstarch until mixture boils, stirring constantly. As it boils, it should quickly thicken. Stir in lemon zest at the end.
  7. For the ganache, finely chop chocolate. In a small saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
  8. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable.
  9. With a long serrated knife, slice eat cake into two layers. Lay the bottom layer on cake stand. Take 1/3 the raspberry filling and spread it over the layer. Stay about 1/2 inch away from the edge. Lay the next layer on top. Spread another 1/3 of the raspberry filling. Place the third layer on cake and the last of the raspberry filling. Put the final layer on the top of the cake. Gently make sure that all the layers line up.
  10. Pour some of the ganache in the middle of the top layer and with an offset spatula start smoothing out the frosting – gently pushing it toward the edge. Add more until you have worked the ganache down over the sides of the cake.

IMG_5543Recipe rating: 

This cake turned me from from a chocolate raspberry hater to a lover. I need thought it possible, but it really did. I made it twice (once as the test cake and once for Anchal’s husband’s birthday) but continued using the raspberry filling over and over again in future cakes. This cake was a huge hit at work.

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