Layered Chocolate Raspberry Cake

A layered chocolate raspberry cake with a piece being pulled away from it.

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4.8 from 5 reviews

A deliciously rich and moist four-layered Chocolate Raspberry Cake is the perfect decadent dessert for any special occasion coming up. Frosted with a fudgy, silky ganache that envelops this gorgeous masterpiece of sweetness.



Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups Cold Strong Coffee
  • 3/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla

Raspberry Filling

  • 4 teaspoons Water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 5 (about 24 ounces) cups Fresh or Frozen Raspberries, extra for garnishing
  • A pinch of Salt

Chocolate Frosting Filling

  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla

Chocolate Ganache

  • 16 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bars, finely chopped (I prefer Ghirardelli or Bakers)
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Light Corn Syrup


Chocolate Cake

  • 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.

Raspberry Filling

  • 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, 1/2 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.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 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.



  • It's important to whisk together the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately. This helps to distribute the dry ingredients evenly throughout the batter.
  • Overmixing the cake batter can result in a shorter cake and a more dense chewy one making it quite gummy.
  • This raspberry filling is best made ahead of time and given time to chill in the refrigerator. It can be made two weeks in advance if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • If fresh raspberries are not in season, you can easily substitute frozen berries.
  • Make sure the cakes are completely cooled before slicing. A cooled cake is firmer and less likely to crumble or tear when cutting.
  • The cakes can be made ahead of time. Once they are completely cooled, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in a large plastic freezer bag. If you have cardboard cake rounds to place them on, it helps the cakes to lay flat. They will store in the refrigerator for up to three days and in the freezer for up to one month. To thaw from the freezer, pull them out and let them sit wrapped for several hours.
  • Don't make this chocolate frosting filling too far in advance. If you do, cover it with plastic wrap and set it in the refrigerator. You will want to beat it again before frosting the layers so that it is soft and workable.
  • Tuck four strips of parchment paper under the cake before layering and frosting to keep your stand or plate nice and clean. These will be pulled out from under the cake after it is frosted.
  • An important step in making the ganache is to chop the chocolate bars into really small pieces. This allows it to fully melt before the cream cools.
  • Use heavy cream. Don't substitute half and half or milk for the cream. It will not end up setting properly.


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