Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake

This Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake is super moist and layered with smooth chocolate ganache and raspberry filling, all covered in a fudgy chocolate frosting! It’s rich, full of chocolate and heavenly!

Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake

Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake recipe

So getting out and about with two babies is no easy task and I desperately needed to make a grocery store trip yesterday. The hubs was working so my mother-in-law watched Ashton while I took Brooks on his first trip to the grocery store. It wasn’t the best day for our first trip, since it was raining, but we made do.

The first thing I noticed after putting his car seat in the grocery cart is where in the world do you put the groceries?! I was shopping for both regular food and baking ingredients, so it was a big trip. By the time I was halfway done, the cart was overflowing. Brooks was quite unhappy when a package found its way towards his foot. I finally just checked out, took it all to the car and made a second trip for the last few things. How is it that nobody has a good shopping cart for moms with babies yet?

Anyhow, Brooks did great. He fell asleep for a bit (until that package found his foot) and finally got upset just as we were leaving. The kid was hungry so I understand. We managed to get home and it seemed fairly uneventful until I took him out of his car seat. A blowout!! So yea, hungry crying and a poo at the end, but alll in all a success. We survived anyway! He’s got plenty more grocery runs in his future because – as he will learn – mommy bakes a lot. 🙂

Best Raspberry Chocolate Layer CakeRaspberry Chocolate Cake layers

And one day he will enjoy cakes like this one. This is a cake I’d been dying to make at the end of my pregnancy and it just couldn’t quite make happen. So it ended up being my first cake postpartum! I’ve been so excited to share it with you!

The cake base is my favorite chocolate cake! Insanely moist and SO chocolatey! Don’t be alarmed by the thinness of the batter or the low bake temperature. It’s all correct and gives the best cake.

The filling is a combination of a layer of chocolate ganache and homemade raspberry filling. The ganache gives a little fudgy factor and the raspberry adds a little tart to the sweet. Amazing!

And then the frosting is made with loads of melted chocolate, making it nice and fudgy and giving it the best flavor and texture. It just about melts in your mouth. The whole combination is out of this world good! I can’t wait for you to try it!

Best Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake recipeclose up of Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake slice

Read transcript
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image of Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake on cake stand

Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake is super moist and layered with smooth chocolate ganache and raspberry filling, all covered in a fudgy chocolate frosting!



  • 1/4 cup (52g) sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 cups (225g) raspberries*


  • 1 3/4 cups (228g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water


  • 1 1/2 cups (336g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 5 tbsp (35g) Hershey’s dark cocoa powder
  • 6 cups (690g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1012 tbsp (150-180ml) heavy whipping cream


  • 9 oz (1 1/2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream



1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Heat until the mixture is wet and the sugar begins to melt.
2. Add the raspberries and stir to coat with the sugar mixture.
3. Continue to cook until the raspberries start to soften and let out juice. Use your spatula to mash the raspberries.
4. Remove from heat when raspberry juice has begun to thicken, after about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into another bowl and refrigerate until cool.


5. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8 inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom.
6. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
7. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
9. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
10. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
11. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.


12. Add the butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
13. Add the melted chocolate and mix until well combined.
14. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined.
15. Add about half of the powdered sugar, salt and half of the heavy cream and mix until well combined.
16. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
17. Add the remaining heavy cream as needed to get the right consistency of frosting.


18. To make the chocolate ganache, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl (see my tips on making chocolate ganache).
19. Heat the heavy whipping cream in the microwave until it just begins to boil. Keep an eye on it because it happens quickly.
20. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Set aside.
21. To layer the cake, first use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the tops of the cakes so they are flat. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.
22. Place the first cake layer on a serving plate or on a cardboard cake circle.
23. Pipe a dam around the outside of the cake layer with some of the chocolate frosting.
24. Spread about 1/4 cup of chocolate ganache on top of the cake, in the center of the dam.
25. Drop spoonfuls of the raspberry filling (use about half of the raspberry filling per layer) over the chocolate ganache and then spread into an even layer.
26. Add the second layer of cake, then repeat steps 23 thru 25.
27. Add the third and final layer of cake on top.
28. Frost the top and outside of the cake with the remaining chocolate frosting.
29. Use the remaining chocolate ganache to drizzle chocolate around the edges of the cake, then fill in the center. If the ganache has gotten a little firm from sitting, just reheat for a few seconds until pourable again. See my tips on making a chocolate drip cake.
30. Pipe swirls with the remaining chocolate frosting around the top of the cake, then decorate with additional raspberries and chocolate sprinkles, if desired.

Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. The cake is best when served at room temperature and holds up well for 4-5 days when well sealed in an air tight container.

*You’ll need about 2 pints of raspberries for the filling and decor.

Keywords: chocolate cake recipe, chocolate ganache recipe, chocolate frosting recipe


Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake decorated

Raspberry Chocolate Layer Cake - layers of moist chocolate cake, chocolate ganache and raspberry filling!

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Recipe rating

  1. Hannah

    I made this for my mom’s 69th birthday today. It was soooo good! The raspberry filling definitely stole the show. So I have small children and very demanding cats that constantly scratch my legs when I’m trying to make a complicated multi step cake like this. I would absolutely adore it if literally any blogger would put measurements with the directions so you’re not constantly scrolling back and forth. Definitely made more than several mistakes between screaming children, demanding cats and husband and continually scrolling up and down. Lol! Before I make this again, I will invest in a ganache squeeze bottle. While this cake was delicious, my was *not* pretty. I completely forgot to add the 3 extra cups of powdered sugar to the icing (see my everyday chaos explanation above)…and it was perfect. I think with the full 6 cups it might be a tad too sweet for my taste. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to try some of your lemon cake recipes.

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you enjoyed it! And I hear you on a chaotic life. We have twins boys who are almost 4 and a one year old girl. Good for you for making this cake in the middle of the chaos!

  2. Sunnie

    I have homemade raspberry jam (cooked not freezer jam). Do you think I can use this for the raspberry filling instead of starting with fresh raspberries? Maybe layer it with a thin layer of the chocolate frosting?

  3. Carla

    I want to use this recipe for my son’s skating rink birthday cake so I’d like to bake it in a 9×13 rectangle. Would you suggest splitting the recipe between two pans or pouring it all into one pan and making 2 cakes to stack?

  4. Nancy

    This was yum!! I was very unsure about the batter, it was so thin, but it turned out great! I only had 9 inch pans, but it turned out fine. That is the best chocolate buttercream recipe I’ve ever tried. Thanks!!

  5. Pooja

    Hello… making it for my son’s birthday tomorrow…. However don’t have access to dark cocoa powder. What else can I use?

  6. Angela Mao

    This looks amazing. Thanks for sharing. I want to make this for my husband’s birthday, but I don’t have that many baking pans. Can I just bake them in one pan, then cut them into 3 pieces when it’s done. Thank you again

    1. Lindsay

      I wouldn’t bake it all in one pan, it will turn out dense and unevenly cooked. I’d bake each layer separately.

  7. Yuna

    By far the best cake I have ever made! Very moist crumb, tartness of the raspberry jam balances the sweetness of the chocolate perfectly, delicious icing. Was all gone in 3 days!

    Things I slightly changed
    – made 70% of the icing – still had plenty left over to ice a dozen cupcakes (note did not do a crumb coat – just piped icing on sides and smoothed with indented spatula and no crumbs!)
    – used 70% dark chocolate for the ganache (also had plenty left over)
    – put raspberry jam on top for a pop of colour

    will also probably use 70% or even 80% dark chocolate in the icing next time

    1. Lindsay

      I should be good for 3 to 4 days. I don’t typically recommend freezing full cakes, but you can try it. If I need to freeze cake, I usually freeze slices.

  8. Shelly

    I’ve made this cake as directed a couple years ago and it was absolutely superb. I’d like to adapt it to a 6″ layer cake. this time. Any guidance on how to modify the ingredients and bake time? Thanks.

      1. Lindsay

        What are you talking about? The recipe is above. There’s even a jump to recipe button just underneath the title of the post.

  9. Tom

    This has become my most requested and go to cake. We are going on vacation and want to freeze the cake and assemble later in the week for a birthday. How long can I keep the cake frozen?

    1. Lindsay

      Glad you’ve enjoyed it! Cake layers usually freeze fine for up to 3 months. I haven’t tested it, but am guessing that’d be fine.

  10. Kailani

    Okay…my cake fell. I have no idea what happened. I didn’t open the door & I do NOT live in high elevation. I am devestated. It’s suppose to be for my 4th of July BBQ & everyone is looking forward to it. I’m very sad. 😥

  11. Drew

    What is the difference between “natural unsweetened cocoa” and “Hershey’s dark cocoa powder.”
    Would a mixture of Valrhona cocoa powder and a little bit of black cocoa be a good substitute for the Hershey’s dark cocoa powder?

    1. Lindsay

      The difference is how they are made and their acidity level. Hershey’s dark cocoa USED to be a mix of natural unsweetened cocoa and dutch processed cocoa, but now it’s 100% dutch processed. They are quite different. I’m not really familiar with the two cocoa’s you mention, but when googling them it appears they are both dutch processed and the black cocoa is very heavily dutch processed. I wouldn’t say they are a good substitute. I’d recommend natural unsweetened cocoa powder.

  12. Ciana

    This came out great, but I almost threw out the batter and tried another recipe, because it was so liquidy. I’ve never seen a cake batter so runny. I wish that had been in the description. The only reason I ended up keeping it; I had a wild notion to throw a few tablespoons in a mug and microwaved to see if it would bake. It did!! Close call!!
    This ended up super moist and tender.

  13. Lauren

    Made this before for my mother’s birthday and now she’s requesting it again for this year too! Considering turning it into a few smaller cakes instead of one giant one and individually packaging. Any advice on changing the cook time if I use something smaller instead of the 9″ cake pan recommended? Thanks!

  14. Mandy

    Made this last night for my Mother’s Day lunch today ! Am so psyched since i have some chocolate lovers ! Thank you for sharing

  15. Nan

    I’ve been using this recipe for my husbands birthday! He requested it for past 4 years, since his birthday is the day you first posted!! What a great recipe, made exactly as instructed. It’s superb, thank you so much 😊

  16. Zada

    This was awful, the cakes never baked right, we did it three times to check if we were doing it right. They were so bitter and thin.

    1. Lindsay

      Not only have I baked this cake many times, but it is one of my most popular cakes. I know it works. I would make sure that you were using baking soda and baking powder and measuring those properly. If you swapped them around, it could give you thin layers.

    2. Lindsay

      You may also want to check that you were using natural unsweetened cocoa powder. If you used Dutch cocoa powder, that could also have given you trouble.

  17. Kristina

    I got rave reviews with this cake recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it! Question – is the 1/2 tsp of salt in the frosting correct? It seemed odd to me, and I noticed in the video you made to accompany the recipe that you didn’t add salt but you did add vanilla, which wasn’t listed as an ingredient in your frosting recipe. Wondering if you meant vanilla instead of salt? Either way the cake tasted great!!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! The frosting should have vanilla extract and salt in it. It may seem odd, but salt gives and amplifies the flavor in food. Including frosting. You don’t have to put salt in your frosting, but I personally believe it tastes better. And even though it’s a chocolate frosting, vanilla extract adds to a nice flavor.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12