Chocolate Raspberry Cake – moist chocolate cake layered with raspberry jam, topped with raspberry cheesecake frosting and fresh red raspberries. A new layer cake recipe by our contributor, Tessa Huff.
For the past decade or so, I’ve tried to make homemade treats for Valentine’s Day. I can recall the failed DIY candy bars, the blobby, hollow “heart-shaped” macarons, the wet, oozing chocolate-dipped strawberries, and even the year our kitchen was packed away in moving boxes and my husband and I scarfed down an entire bag of conversation hearts. I remember these epic kitchen disasters with fondness, but from now on, I am sticking to cake to celebrate romantic holidays. Who needs the extra stress of tempering chocolate or perfecting macarons anyways?
Instead, this fairly simple Chocolate Raspberry Cake is truly all you need to show somebody some love. With only raspberry jam for the filling, it is quite underrated and unassuming. But let me tell – this cake is so tasty! And this is coming from someone that is always trying to come up with next over-the-top creation or unique flavour pairing. Plus, the blushing raspberry frosting is the perfect pink. Also chocolate – because Valentine’s Day.
Utilizing a classic chocolate cake, each bite is sweet and moist. By cutting the cake layers in half horizontally (that’s 6 layers!), the jam is more evenly distributed throughout and almost “melts” into each of the thin layers of cake. Trust me, there is no need for extra flair or fancy flavors here. Simple, understated, and so good! The “cheesecake” buttercream is a lighter version of heavy, cloyingly sweet cream cheese frosting. Instead, softened cream cheese is whipped into my favorite silky, smooth Swiss meringue buttercream. The raspberry jam adds just enough tartness to balance out the sweet filling and classic fudge flavors of the cake.
Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Chocolate Raspberry Cake – moist chocolate cake layered with raspberry jam, topped with raspberry cheesecake frosting and fresh red raspberries.
- Yield: one 3 layer 8" round cake
- Category: ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup hot water
For the Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting:
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Assembly:
- seedless raspberry jam
- fresh raspberries
- white nonpareil sprinkles, optional
Bake the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch cakes pans and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together the oil and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on, add the eggs and vanilla. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, stream in the hot water. Mix on medium-low for no more than 30 seconds, or until combined.
- Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack fro 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
- Once completely cool, carefully slice each cake in half horizontally with a long, serrated knife.
Make the Frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, lightly whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler.
- Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl back to the stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, whip the egg mixture on high for 8 to 10 minutes until stiff, glossy peaks and the outside of the mixing bowl returns to room temperature. Stop the mixer and swap the whisk for the paddle attachment.
- With the mixer on medium-low, add in the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, and mix until incorporated. Add in the cream cheese, raspberry jam, and vanilla.
- Turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until silky smooth. If at any point the buttercream appears curdled, just keep mixing. If the buttercream appears soupy, try placing it in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes then mixing again. For a richer color, use deep pink or red gel food coloring.
Assemble the Cake:
- Place a bottom layer of cake on a cake board or serving dish. Spread with about ¼ cup of raspberry jam. This layer does not need to be thick, but there should be jam across the whole layer. Use more if needed. Top the with the next layer of cake and repeat until all layers are stacked.
- Crumb coat and frost the cake with the Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting, reserving a small portion of the frosting for decoration. Use a decorating comb to create texture on the sides, if desired. Using a French star tip, pipe “kisses” around the top of the cake before adding sprinkles and fresh berries.
- Cake batter will be very thin.
- Be sure to use softened cream cheese for the frosting, or it may be clumpy. Even better, stir up the cream cheese a bit before adding it in.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:
Raspberry Champagne Cake
Champagne and Raspberry Cupcakes
Raspberry Blood Orange Cake
Raspberry Earl Grey Cake
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
So beautiful 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Love ur amazing Blog .
Can I just eat the raspberry cheesecake frosting with a spoon? Sounds delicious!
تجهیزات آشپزخانه صنعتی says
very beautiful idea thank you
Atifa Samnani says
its so delicious..
I made this today and have question. The cake came out great-easy to mix up and nice level layers. My buttercream had problems- it came together nicely and smoothed out UNTIL I added the jam and the cream cheese (everything was at room temp)- then it seemed to break down and become curdled. 🙁 I tried warming it, cooling it- not sure what to do- it didn’t really smooth out well. Any ideas? A colleague said it was because you can’t add that much liquid to a SMB- but it doesn’t seem like much- would love your ideas because obviously it worked for you.
I’ve had the same problem tonight sadly. I’ve made Swiss meringue buttercream dozens of time and recognize the curdly stage well, but after a lot of beating, it never came together. It’s failing to hold its shape. Going to try refrigerating overnight and bringing back to room temp in the morning 😭
Carrie Sellman says
Swiss meringue buttercream can be soupy when it’s too cold, but also when it’s too warm. If the mixture was too warm when the butter and cream cheese were added, it can melt these ingredients and then it will never come back together no matter how long you mix it. It can be hard to eyeball this liquid mess vs the too-cold liquid mess, which can be maddening! Often if I’ve mixed and mixed and it only seems to be getting worse, then time in the refrigerator is usually the answer. If you refrigerate until it is solid, then bring it back to almost room temp before mixing it again. Hopefully you’ll have a fluffy frosting then!
Thanks for the reply Carrie, I really appreciate it!
I’ve had the soupy consistency with normal Swiss meringue, and have managed to troubleshoot and resolve without too much stress each and every time. Sadly, nothing saved my frosting. It ended up in the rubbish, and I decorated some standard SMB I had in the freezer. Such a shame.
This looks perfect! How should I adjust cooking times for my 9 inch cake pans?
Carrie Sellman says
If you’re using the same amount of batter, the 9″ rounds will bake faster. So start checking sooner than the time stated in the recipe.
Is this frosting suitable for a fondant cover?
Carrie Sellman says
This frosting contains cream cheese, so it should be refrigerated. Most bakers I know would rather NOT store a fondant covered cake in the refrigerator because the moisture in a refrigerator can really mess up the fondant. But if you typically refrigerate your fondant cakes with no issue, then yes this frosting will work for you.
This looks/sounds amazing – I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Sneha Goel says
Instead of the raspberry jam, can I use fresh raspberries (blended in the blender) for the frosting?
Hi Tessa, the frosting did, in fact, curdle and no amount of mixing is changing it. Yikes!!! I need it for tomorrow! BTW, it’s very tasty!
I had similar issue as other people reported with the frosting. Soft, curdled, and no amount of mixing fixed it.
Hi Tessa, this recipe is amazing!! I have repeated it many times. Just one question, sometimes the cake cames out from my oven high and beautiful, but after few minutes it sunks. As I live in a very high city (more than 2000 meters from the sea level) I have reduced the sugar from the recipe but I still have the problem. Any suggestion to avoid this problem, please.
You blog is beautiful !!
Can I freeze this cake?
This cake turned out perfect! I had success with the icing but wanted to ask about the quantity of butter. You have a recipe for the Strawberry Thyme cake (which is also amazing!( and looks like the same icing recipe but with strawberry preserves instead of raspberry. However the butter amount is double in this recipe than that one. Is this a typo or not?! Thank you!
Perfect! Like your Chocolate Raspberry Cake recipe. Looks Delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.