When I was dreaming up this Raspberry Chocolate Cake recipe, I knew I wanted it to be decadent. I wanted each bite to feel special. So, I took my favorite chocolate cake recipe – moist and rich, with just a hint of coffee – and I paired it with a raspberry buttercream. This buttercream is amazing! It’s fluffy, full of raspberry flavor, and has a beautiful natural color. But I couldn’t just stop there. To really take it over the top, I drizzled the top of the chocolate raspberry cake in a dark chocolate ganache. The ganache is the perfect balance to the sweet and tart raspberry buttercream, and let’s be honest, who can resist a glossy chocolate topping? Plus, with some fresh raspberries for garnish, it’s as gorgeous as it is delicious.
This Raspberry Chocolate Cake uses my #1 go-to chocolate cake recipe. It’s the one I’ve turned to time and again when I want to impress, celebrate, or simply indulge in a decadent treat. With its deep chocolate flavor, sweet-tart raspberry buttercream, and glossy ganache, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
What I absolutely love about this Chocolate Raspberry cake is its versatility. Sure, it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day with its romantic, vibrant red raspberries and rich chocolatey goodness – it practically screams love and indulgence. But it’s also fabulous for a summer picnic, offering a refreshing berry burst that pairs beautifully with the outdoor warmth. Need a stunning dessert for a holiday gathering or a special birthday celebration? This cake brings the festive spirit, regardless of the occasion.
Why you’ll love this Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- Chocolate Lovers’ Dream: The rich, deep cocoa base paired with a glossy chocolate ganache takes chocolate indulgence to a whole new level.
- Raspberry Buttercream: The vibrant raspberry buttercream gives a delightful contrast with the chocolate, offering a refreshing, fruity note that brings a unique twist to the classic chocolate cake.
- Versatile for Any Occasion: This cake fits perfectly with any celebration – from Valentine’s Day to birthdays, from summer picnics to holiday festivities. It’s truly a crowd-pleaser that fits in seamlessly at any event.
- Gorgeous Presentation: With its beautiful layers and glossy ganache drip, this cake is sure to wow your guests. The final touch of fresh raspberries not only adds a pop of color but takes its visual appeal to the next level.
- Easy-to-Follow Recipe: Despite its luxurious look and taste, this chocolate raspberry cake is surprisingly easy to make. The recipe is straightforward, and the result is a professionally looking, mouth-watering cake that you’ll be proud to present.
Ingredients to make A Chocolate Cake With Raspberry Buttercream
Don’t be intimidated by the size of this ingredient list, it’s really not too bad, and once you get past the cake batter, it’s just a few simple things for the buttercream and the ganache.
For The Chocolate Cake
- Dry Ingredients: All-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar together make up the base of our cake, providing the structure and sweet backbone to the raspberry chocolate cake.
- Cocoa Powder: This is the secret ingredient that gives our cake a deep and rich chocolate flavor.
- Instant Coffee Powder: Not only does this enhance the cocoa flavor, it also adds an extra layer of depth to the taste of the cake. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the coffee, it just makes the chocolate flavor more pronounced.
- Wet Ingredients: We’ve got hot water to dissolve the cocoa and coffee powder, large eggs at room temperature to bind our ingredients, pure vanilla extract to add a touch of warmth and depth to the flavors, vegetable oil to keep our cake super moist and tender, and buttermilk to add a subtle tang and create a soft and delicate crumb.
For the Raspberry Buttercream, we have:
- Unsalted Butter: This gives it a smooth and creamy texture, and a rich, buttery taste.
- Raspberry Jam: This adds a burst of fresh, fruity flavor to the buttercream, and gives it a lovely rosy color.
- Confectioners’ Sugar: This sweetens the buttercream, and helps make it light and fluffy.
And for the Chocolate Ganache:
- Bittersweet Chocolate: This provides an intense, decadent chocolate flavor.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: This helps create that silky smooth ganache that we love.
- Light Corn Syrup & Vanilla Extract: These add sweetness and shine to our ganache, making it look as good as it tastes.
Lastly, for garnish, we have:
- Fresh Raspberries: These add a touch of freshness to balance out the richness and also make our cake look extra beautiful!
How to make a Raspberry Chocolate Cake
One of the main reasons I love this cake so much is that it’s so easy to decorate! It looks like it came out of a bakery window but doesn’t require advanced baking skills to make it!
How To Make The Chocolate Cake
- Add eggs and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat.
- Add cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, and salt to hot water. Add to eggs and sugar.
- Next add flour, baking soda, and baking powder then add vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract to the mixer and beat until just combined.
- Evenly add cake batter to all three pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make The Chocolate Ganache
- Heat heavy cream in a small saute’ pan until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and add in chocolate.
- Next, whisk together cream and chocolate until nice and smooth. Whisk in corn syrup and vanilla extract.
Make the Buttercream
- Beat butter and jam together using an electric mixer set on medium speed until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth.
Frost the Cake
- Spread filling between 3 cake layers.
- Ice the rest of the cake with the remaining buttercream and refrigerate.
Finish Off The Cake
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and pour warm ganache over the middle of the top of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides. Let the ganache set for about 30 minutes before serving. And if you would like, garnish with fresh raspberries.
Tips for making the best Raspberry Chocolate Cake:
- Quality of Ingredients: Start with good quality ingredients. Using good quality chocolate and raspberry jam can make a big difference in taste.
- Room Temperature Eggs: Using eggs at room temperature can help ensure they mix evenly into the batter. Cold eggs can harden the fat and make the batter lumpy.
- Sift Dry Ingredients: Always sift your flour and cocoa powder to get rid of any lumps. This results in a smoother batter and a more even texture in the cake.
- Cool Completely: Be sure to let the cake layers cool completely before applying the buttercream. If the cake is even slightly warm, it will melt the buttercream.
- Don’t Overmix the Batter: Once the flour is added, be sure to mix just until it’s combined. Overmixing can result in a denser, less fluffy cake.
- Make your own raspberry jam: Consider making your own raspberry jam! It’s quite simple – all you need are fresh raspberries, sugar, and a touch of lemon juice. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking and even strain it for a smoother texture.
Popular substitutions & additions:
- Coffee Substitute: If you do not like coffee, you can simply replace the instant coffee powder with an equal amount of cocoa powder.
- Gluten-free Alternative: You can substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free baking mix for a gluten-free version.
- Different Berries: If you’re not a fan of raspberries, you could use strawberry or blackberry jam instead for the buttercream.
- Extra Chocolate: For the chocolate lovers, feel free to add some extra chocolate chips into the batter for more chocolatey goodness.
- Dairy-Free: If you’re dairy-free, you can replace the buttermilk with an equal amount of almond milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to mimic the acidity.
How to Store
Storing this Raspberry Chocolate Cake is straightforward. Simply cover it well with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out and place in the fridge. If you don’t add the fresh raspberries on top, you can store it at room temperature for 3-4 days.
How Long Will Raspberry Chocolate Cake Last in the Fridge?
When properly stored, the Raspberry Chocolate Cake can last up to 5-7 days in the fridge. Remember to keep it well-covered or in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and prevent it from absorbing odors from other food in the fridge.
Can I Freeze Raspberry Chocolate Cake?
Absolutely! If you’d like to make the cake in advance or save leftovers for later, this cake freezes well. Just ensure it’s cooled completely, then wrap the cake (or pieces of it) tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then bring it to room temperature before serving. If you’ve frozen the entire cake, remember to remove the wrappings before it fully defrosts to prevent any frosting from sticking to it.
Frequently asked questions
While fresh raspberries might seem like a tempting choice for the buttercream, it’s actually not recommended. Raspberries naturally hold a lot of moisture and this excess moisture can cause the buttercream to become too thin and potentially spoil faster. Instead, the best option is to use a freshly made raspberry jam. This will still give you the vibrant, fruity flavor you desire but with a longer shelf life for your finished cake.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of regular milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes. It will slightly curdle, creating a good buttermilk substitute.
The classic method is to insert a toothpick or a thin skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached, your cake is done. If you see wet batter, continue to bake for a few more minutes.
This Raspberry Chocolate Cake is a delicious treat that you’ll enjoy making as much as you will enjoy eating. With its layers of rich chocolate cake, tangy raspberry buttercream, and decadent chocolate ganache, it’s a dessert that’s sure to impress at any occasion.
More Cake recipes
- Southern Caramel Cake
- Carrot Cake
- Hummingbird Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Banana Cake
- Funfetti Cake
- White Cake Recipe
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Raspberry Chocolate Cake
For the Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
For the Raspberry Buttercream:
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups raspberry jam strained and seeds discarded
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Fresh raspberries for garnish
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 3 9 inch round pans with non-stick baking spray.
- Add eggs and sugar to bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes.
- While mixture beats, add cocoa powder, instant coffee powder and salt to hot water. Add to eggs and sugar.
- Next slow down mixer and add flour, baking soda, and baking powder then add vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract to the mixer and beat until just combined. Batter will be sort of thin but this is normal.
- Evenly add cake batter to all three pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely.
For the Buttercream:
- Beat butter and jam together using an electric mixer set on medium speed until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Spread filling between 3 cake layers.
- Ice the rest of the cake with remaining buttercream and refrigerate for 20–25 minutes.
For the Ganache:
- Heat heavy cream in a small saute’ pan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and add in chocolate. Allow to sit for 2 minutes.
- Next whisk together cream and chocolate until nice and smooth.
- Whisk in in corn syrup and vanilla extract.
- Remove cake from refrigerator and pour warm ganache over the middle of the top of the cake and allow to drip down the sides.
- Let the ganache set for about 30 minutes before serving. And if you would like, garnish with fresh raspberries.