Chocolate Raspberry Cake

This chocolate raspberry cake is made up of super fudgey and soft chocolate cake layers layered with a tart raspberry filling and dark chocolate ganache. Frosted with whipped chocolate ganache and topped with a chocolate drizzle and fresh raspberries. 

Why you’ll love this chocolate raspberry cake 

  • This chocolate cake is fudg-y and totally melts in your mouth, not to mention the easiest cake to make with basically two steps.  
  • If you’ve tried my chocolate ganache cake, it’s basically a smaller version but with a tart raspberry filling to break up all that chocolate. 
  • The raspberry cake filling is super quick and easy to make and you can make it seedless or leave the seeds in. 
  • The recipe is very forgiving and allows for many substitutions and dietary restrictions.

If you love anything with raspberries, I think you’ll like my white chocolate raspberry cake, my tuxedo cake and white chocolate raspberry macarons.

If you’re here for the chocolate, make sure to check out my small-batch chocolate cookies (I have a video on ig where I made them with a raspberry chocolate bar!). I also have a tuxedo cake that uses whipped ganache.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Flour: I use all purpose flour in most of my recipes and I HIGHLY recommend using a digital scale, as flour (and cocoa) is so often over measured. 
  • Baking Powder: I used just baking powder here because it’s more widely available. You can replace it with ¾ tsp of baking soda. 
  • Sugar: I used granulated sugar in the cake and the raspberry filling and I don’t recommend cutting any out as it affects the texture and the flavor of the cake. It’s also quite a dark cake and dark ganache so it really isn’t overly sweet.
  • Cocoa Powder: I love using dutch-processed cocoa powder because of the darker color and more intense flavor but any natural cocoa powder works well here too. Just make sure it’s unsweetened.
  • Oil: I use canola oil but any type of liquid oil works well.
  • Eggs: make sure to use room temperature, large eggs, about 50-60 grams each (weight is without shell lol).
    • Pop them in hot water for a few minutes if they’re cold.
  • Milk: I generally just use half milk and half sour cream in my recipes but for this chocolate cake I used half coffee and half milk.The acid from the coffee makes this cake SO TENDER that you have to use parchment liners. It also gives the cake a more intense chocolate flavor. 
  • Coffee: I just made an Americano at home my espresso machine but I’ve also made it with brewed coffee and store bought ice coffee (unsweetened) and it works well. 
  • Chocolate: I like to use dark chocolate chips for my ganache, semi-sweet also works. A chocolate bar will work as well, it may just take longer to cool/set. Don’t replace it with milk chocolate though, unless you reduce the cream by a couple of ounces. 
  • Heavy Cream: I use a cream that’s about 35-40% fat to make ganache. Make sure it’s just “simmering” when you pour it over the chocolate. If it’s too hot, wait a minute.
  • Raspberry: I used fresh raspberries for this cake filling. You can also use frozen raspberries and no need to thaw them. 
  • Cornstarch: this will help thicken the raspberry filling so it’s not super runny.
  • Lemon: I always like to add a little lemon juice to my jams for a sharper flavor. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the ganache  by bringing the cream to a simmer and pouring it over the chocolate. Cover it to trap the steam in and let it rest for a couple of minutes then gently stir the chocolate and the cream until it’s smooth and creamy. Cover it and let it cool completely until it sets up. 

Step 2: Start by whisking together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, and set them aside.

Step 3: In a larger bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients – oil, eggs, coffee and milk, until they’re well combined. 

Step 4: Sift the dry ingredients over the wet and then whisk together the mixture until it’s completely smooth.

Step 5: Distribute evenly into four pans, about 11-12 ounces in each. Make sure your pans are greased and lined with parchment paper for this cake. 

Step 6: Bake for about 25-ish minutes. When the cake is done baking, it will release itself from the edge of the pan and spring back when you press on the center. Flip the cakes over onto a tea towel right away. Allow them to cool upside down until they’re room temperature. 

Step 7: Make the raspberry cake filling  by cooking the raspberries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt until it thickens like a jam. The cornstarch will make the mixture look cloudy at first but as it activates it becomes transparent. I cook it to 210F (99C). You don’t need to take the temperature – you’ll know it’s done when it’s thickened and transparent/not cloudy.

Step 8: If you want it seedless, remove from the heat and press it through a sieve to strain the seeds out. If you don’t mind the seeds, use as is. Cool completely to room temperature before assembling the cake. 

Step 9: Once the ganache is set remove 12 ounces out of it (just over half of it) and place it into the bowl of a mixer. Use a whisk attachment at full speed to beat the ganache until it’s pale and resembles frosting. 

Step 10: Place the whipped ganache in a piping bag and pipe a border around the edge of the first layer of cake. Spread a layer of the un-whipped ganache inside the border (reserve about 2 Tbsp of un-whipped ganache for the top of the cake) and then top with a layer of raspberry filling. Repeat with the rest of the layers and refrigerate the cake for at least 15-20 minutes before frosting the outside with the rest of the whipped ganache. Refrigerate the cake for another 15-30 minutes to set.

Step 11: Gently reheat the reserved un-whipped ganache in the microwave for 5 second intervals, just until it’s runny again. Drizzle on top of the cake and top with some fresh raspberries. 

Buttercream Options:

I went with a whipped ganache frosting because I love how dark and rich it is with the sharp raspberry filling.

If you want to do a buttercream instead, you could do a whole egg buttercream like I did in my peanut butter cake. Just omit the peanut butter and brown butter and add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 cup melted dark chocolate.

There’s also French Buttercream, which you could definitely use if you have leftover egg yolks.  Swiss meringue buttercream is also a great option if you have leftover egg whites.

Some eggless frosting options are Ermine Buttercream (boiled milk frosting), Cream Cheese Frosting, or American buttercream.

Also check out my cookbook Frosted for all the types of buttercream, how to make them, use them, troubleshoot them, etc.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dairy free?

You can use dairy free milk to make any of my cakes. You can also use dairy free chocolate to make ganache but I have not tested any dairy free cream. I know coconut cream will work but it will obviously taste like coconut. 
There are some dairy free half and half and creams like Ripple and Chobani, you could try using ¾ of that and ¼ dairy free butter to get a higher butterfat.   

Can I make this gluten-free?

All my cake recipes work well with a 1:1 gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour

Can I make this in a different size pan?

You can make this cake in:
Four round or 3-4 square 6 inch baking pans
Two (or three) round or square 8 inch baking pan 
Two round or square 9 inch baking pan (will be thinner than the cakes in the photo) – reduce bake time by 5ish minutes
One square 10 inch baking pan – increase bake time by 10-15 minutes, look for cues. 
A 9×13 inch pan – increase bake time by at least 10-15 minutes, look for cues – layer of un-whipped ganache on the cake (could even poke holes in it to make it go in a little), frosted with whipped ganache and dollop swirls of raspberry filling on top. 
Cupcakes – Should make about 23 cupcakes, bake for 16-18 minutes – fill cupcakes with raspberry filling and frost with whipped ganache, drizzle un-whipped ganache on top… or fill cupcakes with un-whipped ganache, pipe a border with whipped ganache and fill it in with raspberry sauce.

How do I know when it’s done baking?

Just like all the rest of my cakes, I test if it’s done baking by pressing gently on the tallest part of the cake. The cake will spring back if it’s done baking. If it stays indented, give it a few minutes in the oven, before testing again. 
You can also insert a toothpick into the center of the cake (the tallest part) and make sure it comes out clean or with a few crumbs but without any batter on it. 

What if I want to decorate the cake with frosting

You can double the recipe for the ganache if you want to decorate the outside more than I did. 

How to make ahead

To make the cake ahead of time you can make the cakes even a month in advance. When you remove them from the oven, let them cool for about half an hour and then wrap them individually  in plastic wrap. Then place them in a freezer bag, squeezing out all the excess air. 

You can frost them while they’re frozen but the ganache may start to set so you’d have to work quickly. It’s best to let them sit out at least 30 minutes before frosting. 

To make the ganache ahead of time: You can make the ganache the night before assembling the cake but you’ll need to beat the whipped ganache right before piping it. 

The raspberry filling can be made even a week in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator. 

How to store finished cake

I usually just cover my cakes with a cake dome or place it in an airtight container and store it at room temperature for 1-2 days.

It’ll stay well covered in the fridge for over a week but it dries out quicker than the freezer so I recommend freezing after 3-4 days. 

To freeze the whole cake, refrigerate it until it’s firm. Then wrap it in plastic wrap so it’s completely covered. Then wrap it in aluminum foil and freeze. 

To freeze slices, place the slices in an airtight container and then place the container in a freezer bag, squeezing out all the excess air or do the above with each individual slice.

Bring it back to room temperature by thawing at room temperature for a few hours before serving. 

Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below. Make sure to leave it in the comment section because I can’t answer in the rating section.

If you make this gorgeous chocolate raspberry cake, I’d love it if you left a star rating for me. If it’s less than five stars, please let me know why! 🙂

As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B

four layers of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting and raspberry filling

Chocolate Raspberry Cake Recipe

Bernice Baran
Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a fluffy chocolate cake layered with homemade fresh raspberry filling, dark chocolate ganache and frosted with whipped dark chocolate ganache.
4.77 from 17 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 50 minutes
Course Layer Cakes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 616 kcal

Ingredients
  

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (80g) dutch-process cocoa powder spooned and leveled
  • 1 Tbsp (10g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (6oz) vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (6oz) coffee
  • 3/4 cup (6oz) milk room temperature

Raspberry Filling

  • 6 oz raspberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 Tbsp (5g) cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp (25g) granulated sugar
  • Tiny pinch of fine sea salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • 10 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 10 oz heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (177C) convection (325F/163C conventional) and grease and line four 6 inch (15cm) round pans with baking spray and parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until they're well combined.
    2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour, 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar, 1 cup (80g) dutch-process cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp (10g) baking powder, ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, coffee and milk, until they're well combined. 
    3/4 cup (6oz) vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 3/4 cup (6oz) coffee, 3/4 cup (6oz) milk
  • Sift the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and then whisk together until the batter is completely smooth. 
  • Distribute the batter evenly among the four pans, about 12oz, in each, and bake for 25 minutes. The edges should release from the pans and the top should spring back when you press on it gently. 
  • Flip the cake over onto a tea towel and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Raspberry Cake Filling

  • In a small pot, over medium heat, combine the raspberries (no need to thaw if they’re frozen) with the sugar, salt, cornstarch and lemon juice.
    6 oz raspberries, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 Tbsp (5g) cornstarch, 2 Tbsp (25g) granulated sugar, Tiny pinch of fine sea salt
  • Stir until the sugar starts to dissolve and then simmer on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until it’s thickened and goes from looking cloudy to more transparent (temp was 210F/99C if you measure).
  • Press the raspberry filling through a sieve if you want it seedless and cool completely and refrigerate before assembling the cake.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Place the dark chocolate in a medium bowl and place the heavy whipping cream into a small saucepan.
    10 oz dark chocolate chips, 10 oz heavy whipping cream
  • Heat the cream over medium-low heat until it comes to a simmer (bubbling just around the edge).
  • Pour the cream over the dark chocolate and cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap for about 5 minutes, so the chocolate melts.
  • Use a rubber spatula or a whisk to gently stir the ganache until it's completely smooth.
  • Cover again and allow it to cool completely to room temperature.
  • Remove about 12 ounces (just over half) of the ganache and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Use the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, at full speed, to beat the ganache for 3-5 minutes, until the ganache has lightened in color and grown in volume and resembles chocolate buttercream.

Assemble

  • Pipe a tall border of the whipped ganache around the edge of the first layer of cake. Fill it in halfway with a thin layer of the un-whipped chocolate ganache (reserve 1-2 tbsp of the un-whipped ganache for the drizzle on top) and then top it with the raspberry filling. Make sure they don’t spill over the border.
  • Place the second layer of cake on top and then repeat with the last layer.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least 15-30 minutes so it’s solid before frosting the outside with the rest of the whipped ganache (may need to rewhip the ganache a little).
  • Gently heat reserved un-whipped chocolate ganache in the microwave for 5 second intervals, just until it's thin enough to drip.
  • Drizzle on top of the set cake and top with fresh raspberries.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 616kcalCarbohydrates: 89gProtein: 8gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 270mgFiber: 4gSugar: 65g
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