Monday, September 6, 2010

Chocolate Layered Cake...with Cream Cheese Frosting, Raspberries, and Chocolate Ganache

I wanted to make something special for my brother who was coming over to visit us while he was in town this weekend.  He rarely cheats on his strict diet, so this dessert better be good!  I do believe I succeeded.  He ate a huge piece with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream (and I sent another big piece for him to enjoy later).  

I decided on this layered chocolate cake.  Raspberries and chocolate are fabulous together.  The tartness of the raspeberries cuts through the richness of the ganache.  Add in some cream cheese frosting and you have an amazing decadent dessert.  There are several steps to making this cake but it was definitely worth it!

I already shared my first chocolate cake disaster with you.  I decided to make Ina Garten's chocolate cake for the layers instead of using my original recipe.  

Chocolate Cake


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 9 inch round cake pans VERY liberally with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk throughly until combined.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk.  Add the hot coffee and whisk.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch and toothhpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 30 minutes.  Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

While the cake bakes, you can make the chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache


2/3 cup heavy cream
8 ozs. semisweet chocolate bars (2 bars), broken into small pieces
pinch of salt
1 T unsalted butter, room temperature

Place broken chocolate in medium sized glass bowl.  Heat the heavy cream on the stove, bringing it to a gentle simmer.  When bubbles form around edges of pan, turn heat off.  Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit untouched for 5 minutes.  Whisk together until smooth.  Add in the salt and butter and whisk until combined and silky.  Refrigerate until ready to assemble cake.

While the cake cools, you can make the cream cheese frosting and slice up the fresh raspberries.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 T unsalted butter
8 oz. (1/2 pound) powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 pint fresh raspberries, sliced and set aside (Reserve a few whole for decorating cake)

In a medium sized bowl, add the cream cheese and butter.  Use a hand mixer and beat until creamy.  Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Beat for 5 minutes until a nice thick frosting is created.  Set aside.  Rinse and slice the fresh raspberries and set aside.


When the cake has cooled completely, use a long serrated knife to cut each cake in half.  Place your hand on top of the cake and carefully cut through the middle while turning the cake to make even layers. 

Lay all your layering ingredients out on the counter.  The chocolate ganache might need to soften at room temperature for about 5 minutes so it's easier to spread onto cake.  Place the bottom layer of one of the cakes on a service platter.  Spread 1/2 of the chocolate ganache evenly over cake.  Place the top cake layer over ganache.  Spread 1/2 of the cream cheese frosting over layer.  Top with sliced fresh raspberries. 

Add the bottom layer of the other cake on top.  Spread the remaining ganache over layer.  Add the remaining cake layer.  Spread the remaining cream cheese frosting on top.  You can decorate as you like.  I dusted the very top with cocoa powder and added some fresh raspberries.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.  When you are ready to indulge your sweet tooth, remove the cake from the refrigerator.  Take the cover off and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!


  1. How in the world does your cake stay in place? Mine was sliding all over the place!!

  2. I didn't have any problems with the cake moving around. The ganache was cool, and the raspberries on top of the cream cheese icing might have helped.


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