I love Birthdays!

December 5th, 2008 by katie

I love making birthday cakes. I know I have quoted her before but this is singularly my favorite quote about birthday cakes:

“I think the very least someone deserves for hitting such a fine age with style is a friend, elbows-deep in flour, frosting and devotion.”

My friend Kelly loves raspberries. When her birthday rolled around and I asked her what type of cake she’d like her response: chocolate. With some chocolate and maybe a little chocolate on the side. Oh and maybe some raspberries. With that combination in mind I knew I would be making this cake and following Deb’s suggestion for a raspberry filling.

The recipe is actually for a three layer cake, but I knew that would be far too much cake for four of us so I only made two layers. It is a deliciously chocolately and delicately crumbed cake. The frosting is a simple melted dark chocolate ganache and the raspberry filling is a welcome respite from all of that chocolate. This was not the easiest cake I’ve ever made but no cake is actually hard per se. My six year old-the one who doesn’t listen-and I made it together after school so it is certainly not a difficult cake. I had trouble with the frosting because I tried to spread it while it was quite firm-tearing the cake quite a bit in the process. Microwaving it for a few seconds, however, had a profound effect on it’s spreadablity. I also forgot to buy two bags of raspberries, but there was plenty of filling from the one bag.

All in all, the cake-shared by friends after a wonderful evening-was delicious. While I don’t think I have found THE chocolate cake recipe yet, if you are looking for a huge, very chocolately cake recipe this is a good one to try.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

prep 20 min, cook 45 min, adapted from Gourmet, March 1999
  • 3 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease three cake pans and line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and then grease paper.
  2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well.
  5. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.
  6. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. This only took 45 min in my oven but the recipe says 1 hour so check it frequently at about 40 minutes.
  7. Cool layers completely in pans on racks.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting (For Two Layer Cake)

prep 5 min, chill 2 hours
  • 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp butter, chopped
  1. Finely chop chocolate.
  2. In a saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Add butter to frosting, whisking until smooth.
  4. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable.
  5. If frosting hardens, microwave for a few seconds and stir then again if necessary until easily spreadable.

Raspberry Filling

prep 5 min, adapted from smitten kitchen
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  1. Thaw raspberries and puree in a blender.
  2. Strain the puree through a fine screen to remove the seeds.
  3. Heat puree, sugar, and cornstarch to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil until thick.
  4. Cool completely before spreading over cake layer.

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Posted in Desserts

9 Responses

  1. alexandra's kitchen

    That is a stunning cake! You decorated it so elegantly. I love the simplicity of the raspberries with the candles and the thin chocolate ganache. Beautiful!

  2. noble pig

    Absolutely beautiful! Total class.

  3. Marie

    That cake is amazing and so is the photo!

  4. Shannalee

    Chocolate + Raspberries?!

    Happy birthday, indeed.

  5. Cheryl

    Bravo! I’m wowed by your photos and a little perturbed that I can’t eat my screen. The cake looks divine.

    Have you read The Bake Shop Ghost? It’s a fantastic kids’ book (your 6-year-old would love it) with a terrific, easy chocolate cake recipe on the last page. Think about getting it from the library!

  6. Kristen

    OK – well if you made this cake for her and she made that dinner for you, you all are perfect for each other! I wish I had friends like both of you :)

  7. ambitious

    WOW! This cake looks amazing!

    Question – would you recommend using cake flour vs. all purpose flour for the cake?

    I can’t wait to try it!!! Maybe it will be a happy birthday to me cake :)

  8. Megan

    Oh my, this looks so rich and decadent! I have been searching on Tastespotting for the perfect chocolate cake to make for my mom’s birthday next week-this might just be the one :)

  9. Michelle

    I was looking around for chocolate cake recipes and found your post. Your cake is beautifully decorated and it looks delicious.
    I posted about a chocolate butter cake, which is a little time consuming but tasted great. I’ve got extreme chocolate lovers here so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes.
    Thanks for post!

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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