Chocolate Raspberry Cake has rich chocolate cake layers frosted with a Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting, filled with raspberry preserves, and finished with a luscious chocolate ganache drip. This cake is ultra moist and packed with raspberry and chocolate flavor. It’s the perfect cake for any celebration!
Published: February 2020. Updated: August 2023.
Why you’ll love this Raspberry Chocolate Cake:
- Rich Chocolate Cake – This one-bowl, moist chocolate cake is the easiest and best chocolate cake you’ll ever make! No matter your baking skills, you can make this cake.
- Creamy Raspberry Frosting – A creamy frosting packed with raspberry flavor is slathered over this cake.
- Raspberry Preserves – Store-bought raspberry preserves make the easiest filling for this cake. There’s no shortage of bright raspberry flavor here!
- Chocolate Drip – A luscious chocolate drip finishes off this cake beautifully!
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Raspberry Preserves – I highly recommend raspberry preserves over raspberry jam – they have better flavor and texture!
- Freeze Dried Raspberries – You can only add a bit of raspberry jam to frosting before it will become weepy. The solution? Freeze-dried raspberries! They add tons of raspberry flavor (and a pretty pink color!) without making your frosting runny. You can find these with the other freeze dried fruit, usually next to the trail mix and granola, in most grocery stores.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer. We’re using this instead of vegetable oil in this cake to add extra richness!
- Sour Cream – Use full fat sour cream at room temperature for best results.
- Cake Flour– Cake flour produces a more tender crumb in a cake and I highly recommend using it! Spoon & level your flour for best results, or use a scale. Scooping the measuring cup directly in will lead to too much flour, giving you a dry cake. 1 cup of cake flour is 110 grams, whereas 1 cup of all-purpose flour is 130 grams.
- Eggs – Use large eggs, at room temperature.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Use natural cocoa powder, not dutch process.
- Milk – I always use 2% milk for baking because it’s what we already buy.
- Cream Cheese – Use full fat, block-style cream cheese.
- Heavy Cream – Also called heavy whipping cream, this is a key element in the nutella ganache.
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite, trusted dairy-free products to make this recipe dairy-free, including a dairy free chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Gluten-free – I have not tested a gluten-free version of this cake. Let me know if you do!
- Sour Cream – You can use full fat greek yogurt, at room temperature, in place of the sour cream.
- Cake Flour Substitute – Make your own cake flour by spooning & leveling 1 cup of flour into a measuring cup, using a flat edge to level it off. Add to a mixing bowl, then remove two tablespoons (scoop & level them off). Add two tablespoons of corn starch, then sift this mixture twice. This is important to evenly mix the ingredients and to give the same light texture as cake flour.
How to Make this Chocolate Raspberry Cake Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make the Cake Batter. Whisk together the dry ingredients, then mix in the wet ingredients until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl well to make sure everything is incorporated. It’s the easiest chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever make!
Step 2: Bake the Cake Layers. Divide the batter between greased and parchment paper-lined cake pans. Bake as directed in the recipe card below. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting layers. Let each layer of cake cool completely before frosting.
Step 3: Make the Raspberry Frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on high speed until creamy, about 30 to 60 seconds. Beat in the powdered sugar, using a little milk or heavy cream to help it come together as needed. Add vanilla and salt. Mix in the freeze dried raspberry powder and raspberry preserves. Beat in the cream cheese last.
Step 4: Assemble the Cake. Spread a layer of frosting over the first cake layer, then pipe a border of frosting around the cake layer. Add raspberry preserves and spread evenly with a small offset spatula. Add the second layer of cake. Pop in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes or so, to ensure nothing slides around while you’re working with the cake. Repeat with the second cake layer, then add the third layer upside down for a perfectly flat top. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting. Let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
To make a naked or semi-naked cake, don’t apply as much frosting. I did this and used the excess to pipe swirls on top, after adding the chocolate drip.
Step 5: Add Chocolate Ganache Drip. Heat heavy cream until simmering, then pour over the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Once it’s not hot, pour over your cake, using an offset spatula to push it over the edges while you spin the cake on a turntable. This creates that beautiful waterfall drip effect!
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Let the cake chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to set the ganache, then pipe swirls on top of the cake with any leftover raspberry frosting. Top with chocolate shavings or chocolate chips and fresh raspberries. Slice and ENJOY! Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. I usually press a piece of plastic wrap over the slices in the container as added insurance to keep them moist, although this cake does hold up well in the fridge for a few days.
Expert Success Tips:
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
- Kitchen Scale – A food scale is the best way to make sure your flour is at the proper weight, since amounts will vary SO widely based on how you measure it, as well as the measuring cup you use, as they are not standardized.
You can scale this recipe in a few ways! Cut the recipe in half and bake in two 8-inch cake pans, or make 1/3 of the recipe and bake in one 9-inch cake pan. You can also bake the full recipe in a 9×13 pan if you want a sheet cake. Half a batch of this recipe will make 24 cupcakes.
There are a few culprits when dealing with runny frosting. Either the butter was too soft, you left the frosting at room temp for too long, or you beat in the cream cheese earlier in the recipe (it must be added last). Sugar will pull moisture from cream cheese, so adding it to any frosting at the very end is important to maintain the structure of the frosting. Pop the whole bowl of frosting (or your cake) in the fridge or freezer at any time, for anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how bad it is, to firm the frosting up.
- Other Freeze Dried Fruits – Raspberry not your jam? Use freeze dried blueberries and blueberry preserves, or the same with strawberry instead to make a blueberry chocolate cake or a strawberry chocolate cake.
- Homemade Raspberry Sauce – If you want to make the raspberry filling from scratch try my easy 10-minute Raspberry Coulis recipe! You can also use a homemade raspberry jam – just try to make sure it’s not too runny. It should match the consistency of store bought preserves.
- Cake Pans – These are my absolute favorite 9-inch cake pans! I’ve had them for 6+ years and use them for every cake recipe, and they are still in great shape.
- Offset Spatula – Offset spatulas make cake assembly so easy! They can also be used for spreading cake and brownie batters evenly.
- Cake Turntable – If you make at least a few cakes a year, a cake turntable makes the process a breeze!
- Piping Bag & Piping Tip – I like to use a reusable piping bag and a Wilton 1A tip to pipe the frosting border (if using). I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe the swirls on top. Affiliate links.
More Raspberry Recipes to Love:
- 10-Minute Raspberry Coulis
- Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake
- Raspberry Champagne Cupcakes
- One-Bowl Raspberry Lemon Bread
- Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies
More Chocolate Cake Recipes to Love:
- Chocolate Truffle Cake
- Ultimate Nutella Chocolate Cake
- Tuxedo Cake with Whipped White Chocolate Ganache
- Ultimate Cookie Dough Cake
- German Chocolate Cake
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Chocolate Raspberry Cake
For the Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups hot water 472 mL
- 1 and 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder 157 grams *do not use dutch process
- 3 cups cake flour, spooned & leveled 330 grams
- 2 and 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed 488 grams
- 1 cup granulated sugar 206 grams
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 1 and 1/2 cups full fat sour cream, at room temperature 360 grams
- 1/4 cup milk 60 mL
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil 106 mL
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Raspberry Frosting
- 1 and 3/4 cups salted butter, softened at room temperature 3 and 1/2 sticks, 28 tbsp, or 396 grams
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp freeze dried raspberries, pulsed to a powder, but measured while whole About one, 1.25 oz bag
- 2 tbsp raspberry preserves
- 6 ounces full fat cream cheese use the block style
- 2/3 cup raspberry preserves
For the Chocolate Ganache Drip
- 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped *see note
- 1/2 cup heavy cream 4 ounces
- 1-2 tsp vegetable oil
- fresh raspberries
- mini chocolate chips
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 ℉. Grease three 9-inch cake pans with shortening. Place a parchment circle in the bottom of each, then grease over that. Dust the inside of each pan well with flour, knocking out any excess.
- Make the Cake Batter: Make the Chocolate Cake: Measure the hot water into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or large bowl, then whisk in the cocoa until completely dissolved. Set aside to let come down to room temp. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (including the sugars). Next, add the wet ingredients, including the room temp (not steaming hot!) cocoa and water mixture, and whisk until combined. There may be a few small lumps – that's fine.
- Bake the Cakes: Divide the cake batter evenly between the three pans (use a kitchen scale to weigh the full amount of batter, then divide by 3 to get it perfect!). Bake for 23 to 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out moist crumbs. Let cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before running a butter knife around the edge and inverting onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.Tip: I recommend rotating cake pans halfway through since every oven will have hot spots and this ensures an even bake.
- Make the Raspberry Frosting: Beat butter in a large bowl until creamy, about 30 seconds. Mix in the powdered sugar in three additions, mixing between each until combined. Add the milk as needed to help things come together. Add the vanilla and salt and mix. Beat in the freeze dried raspberry powder & raspberry preserves. Beat in the cream cheese last, until well combined.
- Assemble the Cake: Assemble Cake: Place the first cake layer on a cake stand on top of a turntable. Spread 1 and 1/4 cups of frosting over the layer, going past the edge a smidge. Pipe a border around the cake layer, and pour 1/3 cup of raspberry preserves into the center. Spread evenly with an offset spatula, going to the edges of the border. Place the second cake layer on top and Spread any frosting "overhang" between the two layers to seal them together. Chill for 5-10 minutes to set things so the layers don't slide around. Repeat with the second layer. Add the final layer upside down for a flat top, and give the cake a thin layer of frosting on top and on the sides. Use a cake scraper to smooth out and remove excess. This is your crumb coat, so don't fret if it isn't perfect. Pop the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the frosting is set. Then, frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing things with the cake scraper or offset spatula. I left this cake semi-naked, which means I scraped off a more generous amount of frosting to let the cake peek through a bit. Chill the entire cake in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until set, before adding the chocolate drip.Tip: If your frosting is getting too soft at any point from sitting out, pop it back in the fridge for a bit to firm back up.
- Make the Chocolate Drip: Add finely chopped chocolate to a small bowl. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Pour over the chocolate, let sit for 4 minutes, then stir until completely smooth. Add 1-2 tsp vegetable oil to get a pourable consistency. Set cake on a turntable. Pour ganache into the center of the top of the cake, then spin the cake slowly while pushing ganache to the edges with an offset spatula to create drips. Let chill 20-30 minutes, until ganache is set.
- Serve + Store: Once ganache drip is set, pipe on swirls with remaining frosting and top with raspberries and chocolate chips. Slice and enjoy your life! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Make Ahead Tips: Cake layers can be made a day ahead. Bake them, let cool completely at room temperature, and then store them on dinner plates covered tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Store at room temp overnight.Raspberry frosting can be made a day ahead, covered tightly and stored in the fridge overnight. Beat it until creamy enough to spread before using.