- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare 2 – 9-inch round cake pans by laying each pan on a piece of parchment paper and trace around the bottom of the pan with a pen or marker. Using scissors, cut out the parchment paper circles. Spray both the bottom and the sides of each round pan with cooking spray (Pam Spray) and lay the parchment paper in the bottom.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon each of baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk 3 large eggs until fully beaten. Mix in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups cold strong coffee, 3/4 cup canola oil, and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla.
- Fold the dry mixture into the wet one, only until combined. You will still see lumps in the batter.
- Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. A few moist crumbs hanging on is the best indicator that the cake is still moist.
- Let the pan sit for 5 minutes. Using a butter knife, circle around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.
- Place a cooling rack on top of the cake and invert it onto the rack. Tap a few times on the bottom and gently pull the pan off the cake itself. Remove the parchment paper and discard.
- Let Completely Cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 4 teaspoons water, 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch.
- Over medium heat, heat a small saucepan and add the cornstarch mixture. Add 3/4 cup sugar and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add 5 cups raspberries and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it back to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the mixture has fully thickened.
- Remove from the heat and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Frosting Filling
- In a large mixing bowl add 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/3 cup softened butter. Beat until fluffy.
- At a slow speed, beat in 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa powder until fully incorporated into the cream cheese and butter.
- Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl add 16 ounces of finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate bars.
- In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups of heavy cream over medium heat until the edges of the pan begin to slightly bubble.
- Remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chocolate.
- Let the cream and the chocolate sit for 1 minute.
- Gently stir and add 1 heaping tablespoon of light corn syrup.
- Set aside to cool for 1 to 2 hours or until it is thick enough to frost the cake. Stir every once in a while for the ganache to thicken evenly.
Combining all the Layers
- Using a turntable, score each completely cooled round cake about halfway up and all the way around.
- Place one hand on top of the cake and turn as you cut horizontally through the cake with a long serrated knife. Use the score marks to guide the cut.
- Place the first layer, top-side down, on either a cardboard cake round, a cake stand, or a plate. Tuck four strips of parchment paper under the cake to keep your stand or plate nice and clean. These will be pulled out from under the cake when everything is frosted.
- Spoon 1/3 of the chocolate frosting filling as dollops on top of the first layer. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting around the top while creating a lip around the edge to hold in the raspberry filling.
- Next, spoon 1/3 of the raspberry filling over the chocolate frosting filling and spread to the lip of the frosting.
- Continue layering as above 2 more times. The frosting and the raspberry filling tend to cause the cake layers to slip and slide a bit. Continually adjust the layers as you go.
- Top with the last rounded top cake layer.
Create a Crumb Layer
- Using some of the ganache, spread a thin layer on both the top and sides of the layered cake filling in any gaps.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until the ganache is hardened.
Frosting and Garnishing the Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- Spoon several dollops of the cooled and thickened ganache on top of the cake. Using an offset spatula begin spreading it around on both the top and sides. Continue spooning more frosting as needed to cover the entire cake.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top (optional).
- Garnish the top of the cake with fresh whole raspberries. To help them stay in place, dab a little bit of ganache on the bottom of the raspberries and arrange in the center of the cake.