Moist chocolate raspberry cake recipe! This chocolate raspberry layer cake is made with layers of dark chocolate cake, raspberry filling, and chocolate frosting.
Some days call for quick and easy chocolate cakes, and other days call for something a bit more special.
This three-layer chocolate raspberry cake is definitely something special! It has layers of rich chocolate cake, raspberry filling, and chocolate frosting. This triple layer cake would lovely for special occasions or for holidays.
Also, if you enjoy a birthday cake with fruit, this impressive chocolate raspberry layer cake makes a show-stopping birthday cake.
- All purpose flour: It’s important to properly measure the flour. You can either weigh the flour, or sift/stir it to break it up. Lightly spoon into a measuring cup and level. Avoid packing the flour.
- Cocoa powder: I use unsweetened cocoa powder. However, you can also use Dutch-processed cocoa powder or a dark cocoa powder would also work.
- Milk: You can use any milk from skim milk to whole milk. However, the fat in whole milk helps to make a softer, richer cake. Nondairy milk, like almond milk, will also work.
- Vegetable oil: You can use another type of neutral oil if you prefer.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla helps to enhance the chocolate flavor in the cake and the chocolate frosting.
- Butter: I use salted butter. If you’re using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the frosting.
- Shortening: Shortening helps to create a stable, fluffy frosting. If you don’t want to use a frosting with shortening, you may prefer this all-butter chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Milk: You can swap out milk for heavy cream for a fluffier frosting.
- Raspberry preserves: You’ll want to use a good-quality raspberry jam for the raspberry layer. I prefer seedless raspberry jam, and I recommend not to use raspberry jelly because it can be thinner, which can cause the raspberry filling to leak.
How to make chocolate raspberry cake
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and add a parchment circle to the bottoms. Set aside.
Top tip >> Baking spray is a nonstick cooking spray that has flour in it.
Step 2: Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
Step 3: Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla to the mixing bowl. Beat the mixture on low for 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed and beat on medium-high speed for a minute and a half.
Step 4: Stir in the boiling water. The batter will be thin.
Step 5: Divide the batter equally between the three prepared pans.
Step 6: Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. The cake should also spring back when touched gently.
Step 7: Let the cake cool in the pan for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow it to cool.
Top tip >> Once the cake layers have cooled, you can wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 1 month before continuing with the recipe.
Step 8: In the bowl of your mixer cream the butter, shortening, and cocoa powder together until well-combined.
Step 9: With the mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate the sugar until all of it is incorporated.
Step 10: Pour the milk and vanilla slowly into the buttercream. Continue mixing until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
Step 11: Trim off the domed top of your cakes so they are level.
Step 12: Place one layer on the plate or your cardboard circle.
Step 13: Spread a layer of chocolate buttercream about a quarter-inch thick.
Step 14: Spread half of the raspberry preserves on the buttercream.
Step 15: Repeat this with the next layer finishing up with a cake layer at the top.
Step 16: Spread a thin layer of frosting around the whole cake.
Top tip >> This layer helps the cake set and helps to hold in the raspberry layer and prevent leaks.
Step 17: Place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Step 18: Add a thicker layer of buttercream around the cake and smooth out.
Top tip >> A large offset spatula works well to help smooth the frosting out.
Step 19: Place the cake back in the fridge for an additional 15 minutes.
Step 20: Pipe swirls of the buttercream onto your cake using a pastry bag fitted with a star piping tip.
Step 21: Top each swirl with a fresh raspberry.
- Make sure you use fresh baking soda, or your cake may not rise well.
- The quality of the cocoa powder will affect the flavor. I recommend using a good-quality cocoa powder for the best flavor.
- Temperature matters! Make sure that your ingredients are at room temperature. Cold ingredients won’t mix well. Room temperature ingredients also help the cake to rise properly.
- Greasing the pan: You can either use a nonstick baking spray with flour in it (like Baker’s Joy), or you can grease and flour the pan. Using pan release would also work.
- Stiff frosting: If your frosting seems too stiff, continue mixing to help soften it and incorporate more air for a fluffier frosting.
- Let it chill: Chilling the cake helps it to set up so that the layers don’t slide around.
- You can use a lazy Susan or a cake turntable to make it easier to frost the cake.
- Set the cake out of the fridge about 15 minutes before serving to let it soften a bit before slicing.
- Frosting: You can use another type of frosting if you prefer. You can use chocolate buttercream made with all butter, or you could use chocolate cream cheese frosting. The chocolate cream cheese frosting is softer, so you won’t get the same type of finish to the cake if you use it.
You can! Dutch-processed cocoa powder or black Dutch processed cocoa powder will work.
The hot water helps to bloom the cocoa powder. This gives the cake a richer chocolate flavor.
You can! You can cut the raspberries in half and add them over the raspberry preserves. Fresh raspberries won’t keep as well, so I don’t recommend doing this if you aren’t going to eat the cake within 1-2 days.
The cake should be covered and stored in an airtight container. I press plastic wrap onto the cut section of the cake.
It will keep for up to one week when properly stored.
More chocolate cake recipes
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Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- 3 8-inch round cake pans
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups milk at room temperature
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup boiling water
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 ½ cups butter at room temperature
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling and Garnish
- 1 ¼ cups raspberry preserves
- Fresh raspberries to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray and add a parchment circle to the bottom of each pan. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla to the mixing bowl. Beat the mixture on low for 30 seconds.
- Increase the mixer speed and beat on medium-high speed for a minute and a half.
- Stir in the boiling water.
- Divide the batter equally between the three cake pans.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched gently.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow it to cool.
- In the bowl of your mixer cream the butter, shortening, and cocoa powder together until well-combined.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate the sugar until all of it is incorporated.
- Pour the milk and vanilla slowly into the buttercream. Continue mixing until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
- Trim off the domed top of your cakes so they are level.
- Place one layer on the plate or your cardboard circle.
- Spread a layer of chocolate buttercream about a quarter-inch thick.
- Spread half of the raspberry preserves on the buttercream.
- Repeat this with the next layer finishing up with a cake layer at the top.
- Spread a thin layer of buttercream around the whole cake.
- Place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Add a thicker layer of buttercream around the cake and smooth out.
- Place the cake back in the fridge for an additional 15 minutes.
- Pipe swirls of the buttercream onto your cake using a pastry bag fitted with a star piping tip.
- Top each swirl with a fresh raspberry.
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