Raspberries and chocolate are a match made in heaven! This chocolate cake batter is super easy to make (coming together in less than 10 minutes!) and it produces an incredibly soft and moist chocolate cake! The filling is a simple homemade raspberry sauce for a beautiful pop of color and freshness, and everything is tied together with a rich and decadent chocolate ganache frosting.
I'm getting my summer baking on even if we're not officially in summer! While I'm definitely more of a fall/winter gal - and I tell that to everyone who'll listen.... 1000 times - I LOVE summer recipes!
It felt like this blog was in dire need of a raspberry recipe. I love raspberries. I love cake. I love chocolate. So here we are!
Raspberry chocolate cake ingredients:
Okay, so this is going to be a pretty long list of ingredients, but they're all super normal and most of them are probably already in your pantry / fridge.
But we've got THREE different components going on here (raspberry filling, chocolate cake, and chocolate ganache all made from scratch), so we're gonna need a few things!
• lemon juice
• cocoa powder
• baking powder + baking soda
• sour cream
• vegetable oil (or any neutral flavored oil)
• vanilla extract
• heavy cream
How to make raspberry chocolate cake:
Make the raspberry filling:
1. Cook raspberries and sugar. Heat until the mixture boils, then simmer until the raspberries have burst and softened.
2. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the raspberries, and cook until thickened.
3. Mix in lemon juice and cool completely before filling.
Make the chocolate cake:
1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
2. Whisk together wet ingredients.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
4. Portion into cake pans and bake.
5. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack and finish cooling completely to room temperature.
Make the chocolate ganache frosting:
1. Heat chocolate and heavy cream. You can do this in a bain-marie or in your microwave (instructions for each method below). Heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
2. Cool completely to room temperature before frosting. You can set it aside on your counter for a few hours, or chill in the fridge until set. If your home is warmer, you may need to pop the ganache in the fridge either way for a few minutes to firm up to a frost-able consistency.
1. Lay the first cake layer on your cake stand. Lightly frost the top with a thin layer of ganache, and pipe a small border around the edges to help keep the filling in place.
2. Fill with the cooled raspberry sauce.
3. Top with second cake and frost top and sides of cake.
4. (Optional) decorate with fresh raspberries and chocolate!
5. Slice and dig in!
How to make chocolate cake moist:
This cake gets its distinct moistness from the ingredients, which I'd say makes this THE perfect chocolate cake! Vegetable oil and sour cream are what make a good chocolate cake, great. These two ingredients keep the cake soft, insulated against over baking, and help prevent drying out!
Aside from the ingredients, it's important to watch out for over mixing your cake batter. There's no need for the added effort AND it deflates the batter, whiiiiiccchhh leads to a dense and dry and sad cake.
And finally, keep an eye out while baking! An over baked cake automatically equals a dry cake. Always start checking on these cakes at the 20 minute mark. They're never quite ready by then in my oven, but all ovens and kitchen environments are different. It never hurts to check early, but it always hurts to check late!
Working with chocolate ganache frosting:
Ganache frosting is hands down the best frosting for people who like subtle sweetness and POWERFUL chocolaty flavor! It's super easy to make, but there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure it goes over smoothly.
1) use good quality chocolate. Ganache is two ingredients, so I really recommend splurging a bit for the best quality ingredients. Not only can you taste the difference in the chocolate, but some chocolates won't melt properly. Chocolate chips, for example, tend to clump together and won't melt as smoothly. The best chocolate for chocolate ganache is labeled "Baker's" or "couverture" on the package - they should be in the baking section of your grocery store and are typically sold in bars.
2) careful with the heat. Overheating chocolate is a one way ticket to grainy-ville. Make sure to warm your ganache and melt your chocolate low and slow. You can always reheat un-melted chocolate, but overheated chocolate (while fixable sometimes ... not always!) adds unnecessary work.
3) cover the ganache with plastic wrap touching the surface of the ganache. If the plastic wrap isn't pressed against the surface of the ganache, it can form condensation that drips back into the ganache. And water + chocolate do NOT like each other! It can and will cause the ganache to seize up, clump, and become grainy.
4) when it comes to cooling.... you have 2 options: cool slowly on your countertop or quickly in the fridge. I'm impatient. I will never not be impatient, especially when it comes to chocolate. So I naturally always pick the second option. If cooling on your counter, there's really nothing you need to do other than wait. If cooling in the fridge, you will need to take the ganache out and give it a little mix every so often to make sure it cools and firms up evenly.
5) IF your ganache solidifies too much, very gently and slowly warm it in your microwave or over a bain-marie until spreadable again. Careful not to warm it too much, or you'll have to wait ALL OVER AGAIN for it to cool and solidify.
Check out these other recipes!
Raspberry Chocolate Cake Recipe
For the raspberry sauce filling:
- 2 cups fresh raspberries, washed and drained
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspooons cornstarch
- 3 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the chocolate cake:
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 1 & ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (120g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (240mL) milk
- 1 cup (240g) sour cream
- ½ cup (120mL) vegetable oil, or any neutral flavored oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate ganache frosting:
- 12 ounces (340g) Baker's or couverture semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup (240mL) heavy cream
- Make the raspberry sauce filling: In a medium saucepan, combine raspberries and sugar. Place the pot onto a stove-burner set to medium heat. Cook, while stirring and mashing the raspberries with a wooden spoon, until the mixture boils and liquefies and the raspberries soften (about 5 to 10 minutes). Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Mix together until the cornstarch is fully dissolved into the water, then pour the cornstarch mixture into the pan.
- Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils again and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 1 minute). The raspberry sauce will continue to thicken a bit as it cools.
- Mix in the lemon juice, then transfer the cooked sauce to a heat-safe bowl, and set aside to cool completely to room temperature before using.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of 2 (9 inch) round cake pans, and dust with cocoa powder. You can also grease the cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Set aside to prep the batter.
- Make the chocolate cakes: In a medium bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and whisk together until you no longer see any dry streaks. Take care not to over mix!
- Divide the cake batter evenly between your 2 cake pans, and smoothen the tops. Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean of any batter.
- Cool the cakes for about 10 to 15 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.I also like to chill my cakes in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes to firm up. Because they're SO SOFT, it can be a bit difficult to stack and frost.
- Make the chocolate ganache frosting: To make using a microwave, combine chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the chocolate mix on high in 10 second bursts, pausing after each interval to stir, until fully melted and smooth. To make on your stovetop with a bain-marie, combine chocolate and cream in a heat-safe bowl. Fill a pot with about 1 inch of water. Make sure the bowl fits comfortably in the pot without the bottom of the bowl touching the surface of the water. Set the pot over high heat, and warm until steaming, but not boiling. Turn the heat down to low, and set your bowl filled with chocolate and cream over the pot. Heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth.
- Cover the melted chocolate ganache with plastic wrap touching the surface of the ganache. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature and firm up to a frost-able consistency. You can speed this up by chilling the ganache in the fridge, but you'll need to take the bowl out about every 30 minutes and give the ganache a light stir to ensure even cooling. If your home is warm and the ganache isn't setting, it's best to chill in the fridge until firm.
- Assembly: Lay one of the chocolate cakes onto your cake platter or plate. Spread a thin layer of ganache over the top of the cake, and pipe a small ganache border along the edges of the cake to keep the raspberry sauce from spilling out!
- Spoon all of the raspberry sauce into the center of the cake, and spread it out until it just hits the ganache border (see photo above for visual). Top with the second cake, and spread the remaining ganache on the top and sides of the cake.
- (Optional) decorate the top of the cake with chocolate and fresh raspberries!Slice & serve!