This chocolate raspberry cake is a three layer chocolate cake that is super moist. Full of raspberry frosting that has both reduced raspberry puree and ground freeze dried raspberries. If you love chocolate and raspberry then this cake is for you!
This chocolate raspberry cake is a rich chocolate cake with a homemade raspberry sauce mixed into the frosting. It is moist, tender, and most importantly delicious.
This is a great recipe for even inexperienced bakers because it is broken down into simple steps. It is a great recipe for Valentine's day or any special occasion.
- Why This Raspberry Chocolate Cake Recipe Works
- Ingredient Notes for Raspberry Chocolate Cake
- Ingredient Substitutions
- Step By Step Instructions - Chocolate Cake Layers
- Step By Step Instructions - Raspberry Frosting
- Step By Step Instructions - Chocolate Ganache
- Assembling the Cake Tips
- Recipe Variations
- Special Tools
- Storing and Freezing
- 📖 Recipe
Why This Raspberry Chocolate Cake Recipe Works
- Raspberry and chocolate- Raspberry and chocolate go together perfectly to make an irresistible dessert!
- Moist chocolate cake- This cake is tender and moist all the way through!
- Easy Recipe Layer Cake- Layer cakes can take a lot of work, but this recipe breaks it down into easy to follow steps to get you through it! There are no difficult steps involved.
Ingredient Notes for Raspberry Chocolate Cake
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder- I strongly recommend dutch process cocoa powder for a more rich chocolate flavor. This is the one I used.
- Oil- Use canola oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking to get room temperature eggs.
- Buttermilk- Use full fat or reduced fat buttermilk. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Hot water- The water needs to be steaming. The hot water helps to bloom the chocolate. You can also use hot coffee instead.
- Unsalted butter- Pull this out 2 hours before using to reach room temperature.
- Powdered sugar- Make sure to sift the powdered sugar to avoid a gritty frosting.
- Raspberries- The freeze-dried raspberries help bring a stronger raspberry flavor. Frozen raspberries will need to be thawed,
- Chocolate Chips- Use semi-sweet chocolate for the best flavor as milk chocolate will be too sweet.
- Dairy free- You can use your favorite dairy free options for this recipe!
- Gluten free- I haven't tested this gluten free. Let me know if you do.
- Buttermilk- You can also do 1 cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using.
Step By Step Instructions - Chocolate Cake Layers
Here is how to make and bake these chocolate raspberry cake layers.
STEP 1: Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Then, spray three 8-inch cake pans with a baking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray them again.
STEP 2: Dry ingredients. In a large bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
STEP 3: Wet ingredients. Heat water in a small pan over high heat until steaming.
In a separate bowl mix the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. Next, slowly mix in the hot water. Don't dump the water in all at once to avoid overheating the eggs.
STEP 4: Combine and pour batter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix them until just combined. Then, divide the chocolate cake batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans.
STEP 5: Bake. Bake for 25-28 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
STEP 6: Cool. Let the cakes sit in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
Step By Step Instructions - Raspberry Frosting
Here is how to make and bake the chocolate raspberry frosting.
STEP 1: Mash puree. Use a blender to blend raspberries and water into a puree. Pour the raspberries through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
If your raspberries are frozen thaw them before blending.
STEP 2: Cook puree. Pour the raspberry puree into a small frying pan. Heat the raspberries over medium heat until it thickens and the color deepens.
This should take about 3-5 minutes and leave you with ¼ cup puree. Cool it completely before you use it.
STEP 3: Frosting dry ingredients. Sift the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. And in the ground freeze dried raspberries.
STEP 4: Beat butter. Use a mixer to beat the butter on high speed for 3 minutes until it is fluffy.
Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix it on low speed until combined. Then, add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix on low again until it is all combined.
STEP 5: Combine frosting. Add the raspberry puree, vanilla extract, and salt to the frosting. Mix it on low until combined, then beat it on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl halfway through.
Step By Step Instructions - Chocolate Ganache
Do not make the chocolate ganache until after you have frosted your cake and are ready to pour it on top. See the Assembling the Cake Tips below for the timing.
STEP 1: Prep chocolate. Pour the chocolate chips in a microwaveable small bowl.
STEP 2: Heat Cream. Heat the heavy cream on the stove over medium-low heat until it is steaming.
STEP 3: Pour. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 2 minutes.
STEP 4: Stir. Stir the ganache until it is smooth and melted.
If chunks remain heat it in the microwave for 15 second intervals until it is smooth and melted.
Assembling the Cake Tips
- Items that will be helpful in cake decoration: turntable, icing offset spatula, straight icing spatula, cake scraper, cake leveler (or a bread knife), and a cake carrier.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the domes off of your cakes to leave a flat top.
- Place the first layer and spread one cup of frosting over it in an even layer.
- Place the second cake layer on top and frost with another 1 cup of frosting.
- Place the last layer on top with the bottom facing up to give the flattest top.
- Frost the entire cake, including the sides of the cake, in a light layer of frosting and freeze for 15 minutes. This will set the frosting a provide a crumb coat to give a cleaner finish.
- Frost the cake the rest of the way!
- Once your cake is frosted make a chocolate ganache using the directions above.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cake.
- Push some of the ganache over the sides with an offset spatula to create drips down the sides and then smooth the top layer.
- If you have extra fresh raspberries then place them on top for decoration.
Yes it can! Half the recipe to make 12 cupcakes. Bake in a muffin tin for 18-20 minutes.
You can also use two 9-inch cake pans, four 6-inch cake pans, or a 9X13-inch cake pan (half the frosting recipe for that one). Half the recipe to make three 6-inch cake pans, 8X8-inch square pan or 9X9-inch square pan.
Yes they can! Once the cake layers are done cooling, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Then, freeze up to 30 days. Pull it out 1 hour before decorating.
- To save time you can skip the chocolate drip.
- You can also make this cake into thicker two layer cakes using the 8-inch cake pans.
- Cake pans: I use Wilton 8-inch cake pans.
- Parchment paper circles: I used 8-inch parchment paper circles for the bottom of the pan. I love to use the premade circles, so I don't have to cut it out of regular parchment paper.
- Baking spray: I use the nonstick spray that has flour in it.
- Offset spatula: I use this to easily spread the frosting or fillings.
- Cake turntable: I use this nice Ateco cast iron turntable because it is high quality and it spins seamlessly. Some other turntables are a little jerky when they turn.
- Cake scraper: I use a metal scraper to get smooth cakes.
- Piping bags: I like these 18- inch piping bags since they hold more.
Storing and Freezing
Store this chocolate raspberry cake in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Store in the fridge up to 5 days.
You can freeze the chocolate raspberry cake in individual cake slices. Place in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days. If you decorated with fresh raspberries on top remove them as they will lose their texture after being frozen.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Try These Raspberry Recipes
Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- 2 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 2 ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 cup Buttermilk room temperature
- 1 cup Oil
- 4 Large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Hot water steaming
- 1 cup Raspberries fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup Water
- 2 cups Unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups Powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ cup Grounded freeze dried raspberries ground 1 oz.
- ¼ cup Reduced raspberry puree
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Fresh raspberries for decoration
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup Heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with baking nonstick spray. Line the bottoms with 8-inch parchment paper circles and spray again.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside.2 ½ cups All-purpose flour, 1 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 ½ teaspoon Baking soda, 2 ½ teaspoon Baking powder, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1 ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- In a small pan on the stove over high heat, heat the water until steaming. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk. Then, slowly mix in the hot water. Tip: Go slow so you don't over heat the eggs1 cup Buttermilk, 1 cup Oil, 4 Large eggs, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, 1 cup Hot water
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Pour evenly between the 3 cake pans.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes in the hot pans before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating.
- Using a blender, blend the raspberries and water into a puree. (If using frozen berries, thaw them first.) Pour the raspberries through a mesh sieve to separate the seeds out. Toss the seeds.1 cup Raspberries, ¼ cup Water
- Pour the raspberry puree into a small frying pan. Over medium heat, Heat the raspberries until it thickens and deepens in color. This take 3-5 minutes. It will equal out to ¼ cup total. Let it cool completely before using.
- In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Add in the grounded freeze dried raspberries.2 cups Powdered sugar, ¼ cup Grounded freeze dried raspberries
- Using a mixer, beat the butter on high speed for 3 minutes. The butter will be super fluffy. Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Finish with the rest of the powdered sugar and mix on low. Scrape the bowl and mix again to make super it is all combined.2 cups Unsalted butter
- Add in the raspberry puree, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low until combined, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Halfway through, make sure to scrape the bowl.¼ cup Reduced raspberry puree, ½ teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- Start this after you frost the cake. In a small bowl, add the chocolate chips. Heat the heavy cream in a small pan on medium-low heat until steaming. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Let it sit for 2 minutes.1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips, ¾ cup Heavy cream
- Use a rubber spatula to mix until smooth and melted. If any chocolate chunks remain, heat in the microwave for 15 second intervals until melted.
Assembling the Cake
- Use a serrated knife to cut the domes off the cakes.
- Place the 1st cake layer down and spread 1 cup of frosting over the cake. Repeat with the second cake layer. Place the last layer of cake with the bottom of the cake facing up.
- Frost the cake in a very light layer of frosting. Freeze for 15 minutes to set the frosting.
- Frost the rest of the cake. I did another light layer of frosting to give it the semi-naked cake look.
- Freeze for 10 minutes, while it is freezing start the chocolate ganache.
- Pour half of the chocolate into a piping bag. Pipe the drips on the cake. Start at the very edge at the top so it drips down naturally.
- Top the cake with the rest of the ganache. Freeze for 10 minutes before decorating with fresh raspberries.Fresh raspberries