Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake + Decorating Tutorial

Doesn't this cake look awesome??!!!

It's so easy to make, it's almost embarrassing.

I'm serious.

I have the step-by-step for each part of this cake-- the baking, the decorating and the making of those cute flower toppers--here in this post. ANYONE can make this cake, I promise!

The cake.......

(For a printable version of this recipe, click here)
Dark Chocolate Cake (Yield 3, 9" layers)
Adapted from Sweetapolita's Rich & Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups dark cocoa powder, such as Hershey's Special Dark
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Step #1- Preheat oven to 350*F.

Step #2 - Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Step #3 - In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla and butter. 
Step #4 - Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and fill it with the egg mixture.
As you stir, slowly add in the milk and coffee.
When you are done, the batter will be soupy and look like liquified Oreos.

Step #5 - Bake layers for 30-35 minutes at 350* F. Cake is done when a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool layers on a wire rack.

The Icing...

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup fresh raspberries, washed and dried
5 cups confectioners sugar

Beat all butter, raspberries and sugar together with a mixer until well combined.

The Decorating...

 You will need....
- Cake Layers
- Round wafer cookies, such as Pirouline (Aprox 6 cookies per inch of cake width-- pictured is a 6" cake, it took 36 cookies to go around the whole outside)
- Icing
- 2-3 cups fresh raspberries, washed and drained
- Ribbon
- Cake toppers
- Paper tag

Backing up to before I made the cake, I used some regular old stickers and cooking skewers to make some super cute flower cake toppers. All I did was buy two sheets of the same stickers (these were from the $1 bin at JoAnn Fabrics) and affix one sticker to each side of the skewer. Instant cake/cupcake toppers!!

To assemble the cake.........

Place bottom cake layer on the plate/board and cover in a thick layer of icing. On top, layer fresh raspberries, squish them when necessary to make sure the surface stays flat. Cover in more icing.

Add on the second cake layer and cover the entire cake with a layer of icing. It doesn't have to be pretty, you are going to cover it with cookies. Chill cake until icing is just set. Once icing is set, apply cookies to the outside of the cake as if building a fence.

Cover the top in raspberries.

Wrap ribbon around the cake and tie a knot. Make sure you tie the ribbon taught and firm so that it both helps suspend the cookies up right and stays in place. If you are using a gift tag for a note, now is the time to tie it on. Tie the tag right on top of the knot, and then trim excess string from the tag. (I used Martha Stewart tags from JoAnn Fabrics.) Tie the ribbon in a bow and trim any excess from the ends.

Top with the cute flower cake toppers and you are all set!! Store this cake in the fridge, but serve at room temperature.


  1. This cake is ridiculously awesome.

  2. I have what may be a stupid question, but Im going to ask it anyway.

    The 1 cup coffee - is that brewed coffee? I'm assuming since you said 'black coffee' that you do mean brewed. I just want to be certain.

    I'll be making this for Easter Sunday. It looks SO yummy!!


    1. Yes, brewed coffee! Sorry if that wasn't clear! And I brew it with two extra scoops of grounds so that it's really strong. YAY for you making this!!!

  3. Thanks! I plane to change the raspberries to Easter candy, probably mini eggs, to make it more Easter-ish. (or just mix them in with the berries. We'll see)


    1. OH how cute! I bet you could even stick some peeps on skewers and have them standing up like I have the flowers.

  4. Oooh the peeps are a fantastic idea! Thanks for that!


  5. Wow, this looks really nice! Plus, It's so simple too! Can't wait to give this a try! :)

  6. What an awesome decorating technique! I need to try that. :)

  7. Love the cake and decoration. Thanks for the step by step tutorial :)

  8. It is baked and cooling for decorating. I can't wait to see how it turns out with the peeps and Easter candy ;)

  9. That is an awesome looking cake!!! I love that it is that easy to put together and has such a dramatic look!!!

  10. Lovely berry dish. Berries and currants are the subject for Food on Friday. Would you be happy to link this in? This is the link . I found you in the Simple Living with Diane Balch party. I am following you now. Please drop by to Carole's Chatter and check it out. If you like my blog it would be great if you followed me back. Have a good week.

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  12. I love that cake:) looks so yummy!

  13. You said the cake recipe makes 3 9" layers but you only make 2 6" is that right? Are they just really thick layers or do you only use a portion of the batter. A friend of mine LOVES the raspberry chocolate combination, I can't wait to make this for her!

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by! My pictured cake only used a portion of the batter. I wanted to note it was smaller so that, if you counted the cookies in the picture, you'd know you'd come up short with a 9" cake. When I bake the 9" layers, I like to do 2 really think layers as opposed to 3, 1" layers like the original recipe this is based on used. It will work out either way-- increase baking time slightly if you do 2 deep layers instead of 3 thin ones. Did that make sense?

    2. Yes, thanks so much! Also, does the icing recipe work for the 9" cake too or would I need to make extra?

    3. The icing will be good for the 9" cake.

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