Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Cake that’s wonderfully rich, tender and moist with layers of luscious raspberry jam and silky chocolate mascarpone all enveloped in rich dark chocolate ganache AKA the best Chocolate Cake you will ever have!

 This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is one of my favorite cakes on the planet and always a showstopper (perfect for Mother’s Day!)  The combination of deeply-chocolaty cake and fresh raspberries is indulgently rich yet fresh at the same time. You can either use homemade or store-bought raspberry jam (directions included for both) and the cake stays moist and fresh for days for an ideal make ahead, stress free dessert!

Chocolate Raspberry Cake with sliced removed showing layers of dark chocolate cake, raspberry jam filling, chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse

Chocolate.  Does it get any better?  From Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Chocolate Fondue, Chocolate Eclair Cake, and on and on,the obsession is real.  But my favorite?  Chocolate + Raspberries!

My dad and I share a love for dark chocolate and raspberries so when he was in town from Germany last month, I made him this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake for his birthday – AKA the cake of his dreams and the cake of my dreams.  We celebrated with my sister’s family which meant a total of 11 pieces of moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake and 11 plates licked clean.  I asked everyone if they would change anything about the recipe and I was answered with a unanimous emphatic “no.”  And I think you’ll agree.

I wanted this Chocolate Raspberry Cake to be reminiscent of a raspberry filled dark chocolate candy bar – you know the ones – with a thick chocolate exterior giving way to oozing raspberry filling.  Mission accomplished.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake on a white pedestal with raspberries on top

In our moist Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake, the richness of the dark chocolate cake and dark chocolate ganache are complimented by the layers of light, silky smooth chocolate mascarpone and the fresh raspberry jam and fresh adorning raspberries for for deeply-chocolaty, silky, raspberry-filled bite after bite after bite.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake has a few steps (fewer if you don’t make your own raspberry jam), but each step is easy.  I’ve detailed the steps below with helpful tips and tricks.  It’s more than you need to know, but everything you would ever want to know for imminent success!  Happy Indulging!

up close of a slice of Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake on its side showing layers of dark chocolate cake, raspberry jam filling, chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse on a white plate with a gold fork

How to Make Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Our Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake is super simple, so simple, you don’t even need a mixer because we don’t have to cream any butter!  It’s based off of Hershey’s classic recipe but we use dark cocoa powder and buttermilk for maximum flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Semi-sweet not Dark Chocolate: For a regular chocolate cake, substitute the dark unsweetened cocoa with regular unsweetened cocoa.  Note, this is baking cocoa found in the baking aisle and not a chocolate drink mix.
  • Don’t pack flour: Whenever you measure flour, don’t scoop it into the flour bag/container or else the flour will compress and packed flour yields denser, drier cakes.  Rather, scoop flour into measuring cup and then level.

making Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake by whisking together dry ingredients

  • DIY Buttermilk: I never keep buttermilk on hand but it is crucial in this recipe for the melt-in-your mouth tender crumb and for the lactic acid to react with the baking soda to leaven the cake.  Fortunately, I find DIY buttermilk is just as effective. To make your own buttermilk for this recipe, measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring glass or one cup measuring cup.  Add enough milk to equal one cup.  Give it a stir and let sit 5-10 minutes.  The milk will curdle so you know it’s ready.

showing how to make homemade buttermilk by adding milk and vinegar to a measuring cup for moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake

  • Room temperature eggs: It is essential that you use room temperature eggs for this recipe or your cake will not rise properly. Room temperature eggs whisk to a higher volume because the egg whites and yolks whisk together more easily.  This promotes more even distribution into the batter resulting in light, fluffy cake (because eggs trap air).  Cold eggs result in a more dense cake.  To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, fill a bowl with warm water (not hot) and add eggs and let sit 10-20 minutes.
  • Don’t substitute butter: Butter is often used in cakes for its wonderfully buttery flavor.  In this Chocolate Raspberry Cake, however, we want the chocolate flavor to shine through and not be masked by the butter, so oil is the best choice.  Oil also results in sensationally moist cake.
  • Why use boiling water? In several tests by Baking Illustrated, they concluded that boiling water intensifies the chocolate flavor of the cocoa powder. Cocoa powder + boiling water resulted in a stronger chocolate flavor than even real chocolate and much more moist.

whisking together cocoa powder, hot water with dry ingredients in a stainless steal bowl for best Chocolate Raspberry Cake

  • Batter will be thin: Once you add the hot water to your cake batter, the cake batter will be thin, so don’t panic! This thin batter will bake and rise beautifully into an extra moist cake.
  • Don’t overmix:  Overmixing your cake batter will result in a dense, tough, dry cake. Mix just until combined.

pouring moist chocolate raspberry cake batter into cake pan

  • Bake on middle rack: The cake layers should both be baked on the middle rack of your oven. If there isn’t enough room, then bake your cakes in two batches.
  • Don’t overbake: There should be a few moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick for a moist, tender crumb.

a slice of moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake on its side showing layers of dark chocolate cake, raspberry jam filling, chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse

How to Make Homemade Raspberry Jam

Making your own homemade Raspberry Jam is strictly optional. You are welcome to use your favorite seedless Raspberry Jam instead.  You will need approximately 1 cup but are welcome to use more for even more raspberry pop.

If making homemade raspberry jam, use frozen raspberries for best results because frozen raspberries are picked at peak ripeness which means they often have more flavor than store bought raspberries which can be a gamble. When purchasing your frozen raspberries, take care your frozen raspberries do NOT have any sugar added.

To make homemade raspberry jam:

  1. Add raspberries (and any juices from thawing) to food processor and puree.

showing how to make homemade raspberry jam by pureeing raspberries in food processor for Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling

  1. Add puree to a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to discard seeds. Press down on the puree with the back of a spoon or spatula, until only seeds remain. This will take several minutes.  Take care to wipe the back of your sieve to get all of the puree. You should end up with about 1 ¼ cups of puree.

showing how to make homemade raspberry jam by adding raspberry puree to sieve and straining out seeds for Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling

  1. Add raspberry puree, cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly then reduce heat to medium (medium-low if your stove runs hot) and continue to cook and stir continuously until puree is thickened.  Refrigerate until completely chilled.

showing how to make homemade raspberry jam by simmering raspberries, lemon juice and sugar in medium saucepan for Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling

How to Make Chocolate Ganache “Frosting”

While my family and I were devouring our slices of Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake, my 14-year-old niece said she wanted a whole slice of just the ganache because its so indulgently rich.  Don’t let the word “ganache” scar you – I promise it’s even easier to make than frosting with only 2 ingredients!

Just a quick note, you don’t want to start making your chocolate ganache until your cakes are cooled because we will use part of it within 20 minutes to frost our cooled cakes and still want it to be lukewarm.

adding chopped chocolate to heavy cream in a glass bowl to make chocolate ganache for Chocolate Raspberry Cake

To make your chocolate ganache: Add heavy cream to a large microwave safe bowl.  Microwave until just boiling, about 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove from microwave and add chopped dark chocolate.   If you don’t like dark chocolate, you can also substitute semi-sweet chocolate.

Let stand 1 minute, then whisk vigorously until ganache is melted and smooth then whisk in 1 tablespoon corn syrup.  The corn syrup helps the ganache stay silky.   How easy was that?  Next, remove a heaping ½ cup ganache to use in our Chocolate Mascarpone.

whisking ganache in a glass bowl for Dark Chocolate Cake

Why Chocolate Mascarpone instead of Chocolate Mousse?

Because it’s dreamy and easier!  If you aren’t familiar with mascarpone, it can be found in the specialty cheeses section of your grocery store and is absolutely sensational.  Mascarpone is a rich, creamy cow’s milk cheese that is somewhere between butter and cream cheese in terms of both texture and flavor.  I particularly love it with chocolate because its delicate, subtle flavor adds richness without distracting from the chocolate flavor.  I combined it with nutella in my S’mores Nutella Pie and just wanted to devour the filling!    I also love mascarpone because while it is smooth like butter, it is much less “melty” so it whips up like a dream and holds shape beautifully.

beating together chocolate ganache and mascarpone in a metal bowl for moist Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Immediately after making your ganache, start making the chocolate mascarpone so you can start to assemble your cake before your ganache cools completely.  To make, simply beat the mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla with a hand held mixer on low until no lumps remain.

Add the reserved ganache and increase speed to medium high and beat until thick peaks form – it should look like thick whipped cream. You don’t want to overbeat or the mixture will break and curdle but you want it to be quite thick.

Tips How to Assemble Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Jam Filling

  • Take care that your cakes are completely cool before cutting in half horizontally.
  • Place cakes on sturdy cutting board.
  • Use a serrated knife.
  • Score cakes in half all the way around before cutting. This way, you are not slicing straight through the cake and coming up uneven on the other side.

slicing moist Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake in half to create layers

  • For easy frosting cleanup, place four strips of parchment paper around the edges of cake stand/cake platter to create a square frame then add cake to the center of the square so the edges are overlapping the parchment. This keeps the frosting on the parchment paper which you remove once you’re done frosting and keeps the cake stand clean.
  • If your store bought jam is too hard to spread, microwave it for 10 seconds.
  • The Chocolate Mascarpone will seem like a lot but pile it on because its soooo good.

showing how to frost moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake by frosting chocolate cake layer with raspberry jam followed by chocolate mascarpone

  • Frost the cake with 1 cup ganache to create a crumb layer then freeze the cake to set the ganache for 30 minutes. This keeps crumbs from getting all in the frosting and allows you to create a smooth second layer that stays in place.

frosting moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake with ganache frosting moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake with ganache

  • Garnish with lots of raspberries!  The fresh raspberries make this Chocolate Raspberry Cake exponentially better even when you didn’t think it was possible.  In fact, I recommend buying raspberries not only to garnish your cake extra raspberries to serve alongside your cake – because they are that good and cut through the richness of the dark chocolate.

up close of easy Chocolate Raspberry Cake on a white pedestal with raspberries on top

  • EAT!

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a far away shot of a a slice of moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake on its side showing layers of dark chocolate cake, raspberry jam filling, chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse with the cake on a white pedestal in the background

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up close of a slice of moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake on its side showing layers of dark chocolate cake, raspberry jam filling, chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse

Chocolate Raspberry Cake with sliced removed showing layers of dark chocolate cake, raspberry jam filling, chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Amazingly rich, tender and moist Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake with layers of luscious raspberry jam and silky chocolate mascarpone all enveloped in rich dark chocolate ganache!  The best Chocolate Cake you will ever have! This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is one of my favorite cakes on the planet and always a showstopper (perfect for holidays, Mother’s Day!)  The combination of deeply-chocolaty cake and fresh raspberries is indulgently rich yet fresh at the same time. You can either use homemade or store-bought raspberry jam (directions included for both) and the cake stays moist and fresh for days for an ideal make ahead, stress free cake!
Servings: 10 -12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk see Notes for DIY
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

Homemade Raspberry Jam OPTIONAL - May Sub Seedless Raspberry Jam (See Notes)

  • 12 oz. frozen raspberries thawed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Chocolate Ganache

  • 12 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao)
  • 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup

Chocolate Mascarpone Filling

  • 6 oz. (¾ cup) mascarpone
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 heaping cup ganache in directions

Garnish

  • 2-3 6 oz. containers fresh raspberries (more the better!)

Instructions

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans at least 2 1/2” deep with parchment paper or two 9” pans. Spray pans with nonstick cooking spray WITH flour or butter and flour pans.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk in sugar and salt ("dry ingredients"). Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla together until combined. Whisk dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined. Whisk in boiling water just until combined, do not overmix (the batter will be thin).
  • Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans and drop a few times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles. For 8” pans, bake at 350 degrees F 32-38 minutes, for 9” pans bake for 22-28 minutes OR until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with just a few moist crumbs (don’t open oven while baking or cakes could fall in center.)
  • Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Once cool, level cakes if needed.

RASPBERRY JAM OPTIONAL (MAY SUB STORE BOUGHT - SEE NOTES)

  • Add raspberries (and any juices from thawing) to food processor and puree. Add puree to a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to discard seeds. Press down on the puree with the back of a spoon or spatula, until only seeds remain. This will take several minutes. Take care to wipe the back of your sieve to get all of the puree. You should end up with about 1 ¼ cups of puree.
  • Add raspberry puree, cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly then reduce heat to medium (medium-low if your stove runs hot) and continue to cook and stir continuously until puree is thickened. Refrigerate until completely chilled.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • Do NOT start Ganache until your cakes are cooled because we will use part of it within 20 minutes to frost our cooled cakes.
  • Add heavy cream to a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave until just boiling, about 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and add chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk vigorously until Ganache is melted and smooth. Whisk in 1 tablespoon corn syrup.
  • Remove a heaping ½ cup Ganache to use in Chocolate Mascarpone. Let remaining Ganache stand at room temperature to cool until barely lukewarm, about 20 minutes OR until thickened but spreadable.

CHOCOLATE MASCARPONE

  • Immediately after making Ganache, make Chocolate Mascarpone (so you can start assembling your cake before the Ganache cools completely).
  • Using a handheld mixer, beat the mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla on low until no lumps remain. Add reserved heaping ½ cup ganache and increase speed to medium high and beat until thick, and stiff peaks form – should look like thick whipped cream. You don’t want to overbeat or the mixture will break and curdle but you want it quite thick.

ASSEMBLE

  • Cut cooled cakes in half horizontally using a long serrated knife to create 4 even layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate or cake pedestal then evenly top with one third of your Raspberry Jam (about ⅓ cup). Top Jam with one third of your Chocolate Mascarpone (about 1 cup). Top with 2nd cake layer, cut side down, and repeat Jam and Mascarpone layers. Top with 3rd cake layer and repeat Jam and Mascarpone layers. Add final cake layer, cut side down.
  • Separate out 1 cup lukewarm Ganache and frost top and sides of cake in a thin crumb layer. Freeze cake for 30 minutes to set Ganache. After 30 minutes, frost cake with desired amount of remaining Ganache. If Ganache is beginning to harden then add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and microwave for 10 seconds then whisk. If it is too runny, then whip it with a hand held mixer to stiffen.
  • Arrange raspberries in concentric circles on top of cake and dust lightly with powdered sugar. Serve with any remaining raspberries.

STORE

  • If not serving immediately, assembled and frosted cake should be covered with an inverted bowl or cake cover and refrigerated. Bring cake to room temperature before serving (about 30 minutes on the counter).

Notes

CHOCOLATE CAKE NOTES

  • For a regular chocolate cake, substitute the dark unsweetened cocoa with regular unsweetened cocoa powder.  Note, this is baking cocoa  powder found in the baking aisle and not a chocolate drink mix.
  • DIY Buttermilk:  Measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring glass or one cup measuring cup.  Add enough milk to equal one cup.  Give it a stir and let sit 5-10 minutes.  The milk will curdle so you know it’s ready.
  • You must use room temperature eggs or your cake will not set up properly.  To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, fill a bowl with warm water (not hot) and add eggs and let sit 10-20 minutes.
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter!  Overmixing will result in a dense, tough, dry cake.
  • The cake layers should both be baked on the middle rack of your oven. If there isn’t enough room, then bake your cakes in two batches.
  • Don’t overbake your cakes or they won’t be as moist.  There should be a few moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick.
  • 9x13 pan: You can use a 9x13” pan and bake approximately 35 - 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.   Cut cake in half vertically and then cut in half horizontally for a 4 layer square cake.

RASPBERRY JAM NOTES

  • The homemade Raspberry Jam is strictly optional.  You are welcome to use your favorite seedless Raspberry Jam.  You will need approximately 1 cup but are welcome to use more for even more raspberry pop.
  • If making homemade Raspberry Jam, use frozen raspberries for best results because frozen raspberries are picked at peak ripeness which means they often have more flavor than store bought which can be beautiful but flavorless.
  • Take care your frozen raspberries do NOT have any sugar added.
  • If you do use fresh raspberries, you will need 2 6 oz. containers.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE NOTES

  • Do NOT start making your Ganache until your cakes are cooled because we will use it within 20 minutes to frost our cooled cakes.
  • If your Ganache does cool and start to harden for whatever reason – don’t worry!  Simply add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and microwave on low for 10 seconds then whisk and microwave another 10 seconds if required.

CHOCOLATE MASCARPONE NOTES

  • Mascarpone can be found with the specialty cheeses in your grocery store.
  • Immediately after making your ganache, make chocolate mascarpone so you can start to assembling your cake before your ganache cools completely.

ASSEMBLY NOTES

  • Make sure Chocolate Cakes are completley cool before cutting and frosting.  To cut Chocolate Cakes horizontally in half, I place the cakes on a cutting board so they are nice and sturdy.  Next, I get way down so I am eye level with the cake and turn my head sideways so I can see on both sides of the knife (be sure to use a serrated knife!).  Next, I score the cake evenly in half all around the cake.  Finally, I use the score line as my guide and work my way around slicing the cake a little through on each side.  This way, you are not slicing straight through the cake and coming up uneven on the other side.
  • I like to place four strips of parchment paper around the edges of cake stand/cake platter to create a square frame then add my cake in the center of the square so the edges are overlapping the parchment.  This keeps the frosting on the parchment paper which you remove once you’re done frosting and keeps the cake stand clean.

GARNISH NOTES

  • Garnish with lots of raspberries!  The fresh raspberries make this Chocolate Raspberry Cake exponentially better even when you didn’t think it was possible.  In fact, I recommend buying raspberries not only to garnish your cake extra raspberries to serve alongside your cake – because they are that good and cut through the richness of the dark chocolate.

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117 Comments

  1. Andrea says

    This looks UNREAL! Wow! Thanks for this recipe. I cannot wait to make it for my birthday this weekend! Please tell me, have you had any problems with the layers slipping and sliding?

    • Jen says

      Happy Birthday Andrea! No, you shouldn’t have any problems with that as the layers are thick and sturdy. Enjoy!

  2. Sophie says

    Looks great! But there is a slight problem for me. I don’t have a food processor for the raspberry jam . Is there any other way that I can make the jam without the processor?

    • Jen says

      Hi Sophie, you could try using a blender, but I’m not sure how well it will work without much liquid. Alternatively you can use store-bought. Good luck!

      • Joanne says

        Hi Jen…this recipe sounds amazing! It calls for dark cocoa powder. Would that be Dutch cocoa powder or is it something different? Also, I have to find a corn syrup substitute. I live in Italy and can’t seem to find it here…

        • Jen says

          Hi Joanne, welcome from Italy! Dark cocoa powder is a blend of natural and Dutch cocoa powder. I would try a blend of half Dutch cocoa powder and half regular powder. I googled liquid glucose in Italy and it seems to serve the same purpose as corn syrup in preventing sugar crystals so Yes, I think it should be a great substitute. I hope that helps, good luck!

  3. Amarah Malik says

    Hi!
    This cake was absolutely amazing. I made it once for my nephew’s birthday and then after that my family wanted it over and over. I have made it 4 times now haha!
    I had a question:
    The sponge cake was so moist, I was wondering if I could make a simple vanilla sponge the same way without the cocoa powder? Would this work? If not could you please be kind enough to suggest a moist vanilla sponge cake recipe
    Thankyou!

  4. Lydia Davis says

    This recipe is great and the cake is super moist and delicious. I strongly recommend making the homemade raspberry filling (it’s not really a jam), it’s sooo good. And straining the seeds is totally unnecessary, they don’t affect the final product. Regular jam from the store would not be nearly as good.
    Also, we did not frost our cake with ganache- we made chocolate buttercream instead, which was SO much better. Ganache is not really a frosting. We did make ganache to put between the layers and to put in the mascarpone filling, but we made it the normal way: on the stove, and without corn syrup.
    Finally, we used 8″ pans and the cake layers were truly not thick enough to cut in half. They would have completely fallen apart if we’d tried that. We made the cake with just two layers, but since we applied the fillings to an uncut part of the cake, they weren’t able to soak in properly and kind of squeezed out the sides. Still was delicious, but if you want smooth assembly and clear layers, you might want to use smaller pans or increase the batter amount so that the layers are thick enough to cut.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Lydia, I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  5. Miranda Chop says

    I am sitting here staring at my cake, shocked that I produced it. I am a beginner baker, and I never really wanted to learn to bake. One thing lead to another and here I am, middle-aged with every muscle sore from two weeks of solid baking. Breads,pizzas,biscuits, cookies, and the final piece, your incredible dark chocolate raspberry cake for my beloved’s birthday. I’ve never made a cake with so many components, like I said, I’m a beginner. Your recipe and instructions, which I admit,I studied all day every day for five solid days before I ever picked up a whisk, lead me to wonderful results exactly as written. I did everything right! Nothing terrible happened! Believe me, no one is as shocked as me that I did this. Unbelievable. You’ll make a baker out of me yet. As for the cake, perfect, delicious, worth every bit of work and loving care. Even painstakingly heating the cream on a stove because I don’t have a microwave-I’d do it all again. 5 stars.

    • Jen says

      You made my day Miranda! I am so impressed with your determination and can-do attitude even though the cake was a little daunting. I’m thrilled it turned out perfectly because YOU are a perfect student! Bravo!

  6. Hannah says

    I have used this recipe multiple times, and everytime it turns out amazing!!

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that, thanks Hannah!

  7. Simsimmer says

    Hi! I am going to make this cake this weekend, can I use black cocoa instead and use brewed coffee or espresso in substitution for the boiling water? Any suggestions or tips?

    • Jen says

      If a recipe calls for less than 3/4 cup of cocoa powder, you can usually do an even exchange without any issues so it should be fine in this recipe. Brewed coffee or espresso in substitution for the boiling water will also work great!

  8. Elizabeth says

    I found this recipe back at the beginning of quarantine, and WOW. I have made it for every birthday and holiday ever since then!! The best recipe I have ever found!!!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m so pleased it’s a repeat favorite! Thanks Elizabeth!

  9. Kelsey says

    Any tips on making this in advance? Make the whole thing the day before? Make just the cakes the day before and assemble and frost everything day of? I just wasn’t sure if the cakes would dry out if not frosted. So excited to try it, looks amazing!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kelsey, you can make the whole cake the day before but for the best results I would make just the cake, wrap tightly and store at room temp, then frost the next day. Hope this helps!

  10. Tina says

    Have made this twice now, spectacular cake! Huge hit. Only thing I do differently is whip the ganache until almost buttercream texture. Yum!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Tina, I’m so pleased this cake is on repeat!

  11. Allie says

    This is my go-to show-stopper cake at the moment! It’s extremely moist, which many cakes fall down on, and the various elements fit together extremely well – the whole is more than the sum of the parts!
    I’ve tried a few variations:
    1. I use golden syrup instead of corn syrup since I’m in the UK.
    2. Tried adding some juice of cherries which I had left-over onto each layer of the cake before adding jam etc. This was great as it added an extra fruity touch, but wasn’t that noticeable.
    3. Substituted strawberry jam once for someone who didn’t like raspberry – personally I preferred the raspberry, but still very good!

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment Allie! I LOVE that this cake is your go-to and that you’ve experimented with different variations! Your cherry juice twist is so unique and I’m sure it made it even more moist- yum!

  12. Saskia says

    Hi Jen,
    I discovered your site recently and I love it.
    This cake looks AMAZING and I’m planning to make it this weekend, I’ve been excited all week!
    I have a question though. I want to try out some new techniques and I was wondering if this frosting is suitable to pour a mirror glaze over – after making it nice and smooth and refrigerating of course!
    It’s just another thing I really want to learn, and I think it could be great, just not sure if this frosting would work..
    Greetings from Holland (Amsterdam)

    • Jen says

      Hi Saskia, welcome to my site! Holland is gorgeous, I visited there three years ago! That is so cool you’re trying out new baking techniques! Yes, you can absolutely pour a mirror glaze over this cake – it will be stunning! Here is an easy tutorial: https://www.recipetineats.com/chocolate-mirror-glaze/

  13. Tereza Lovrić says

    Can I use 11in pan? How long to bake then?

    • Jen says

      Hi Tereza, you can try it in a 9×13 pan. I haven’t tried it so I’m guesstimating 25-35 minutes. Good luck!1

  14. Lisa says

    The cake looks amazing!

    Do you think it would go good with strawberry or blueberry jam as well?

    Thank you for the answer in advance!

    • Jen says

      It is super flexible, you can use whatever jam you like! I think strawberry would be tasty but I haven’t really tried the combo of chocolate and blueberry. If you already know you like it though, then go for it!

  15. Chloe Baisden says

    This recipe is absolutely delicious!!! I made it last year for my Mom’s birthday, and it was so good, my Dad requested it for his this year. I would 1000x recommend to make the homemade jam, it just makes this cake all the better! Can not recommend this recipe enough! Please never get rid of it, LOL.

    The only difference I make in this recipe is replacing the water for coffee. It pulls out the chocolate so nicely! This cake is rich and moist!!

    Thanks again for sharing!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Chloe, I love hearing this cake is a requested favorite! Happy birthday to your Dad!

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