chocolate cake w/ raspberry filling and espresso buttercream

I haven't made a cake in a while. It was time. This cake was so good. It was the kind of cake that when you take your first bite you pound your fist on the table and say "damn! that's a good cake!"
I need to get back to making cakes. This one was fun. Cake making is fun. Cakes are not fun with fondant...I have a fear of fondant. I also have a fear of homemade croissants :::shudder::: I wonder if it's a fear or lack of confidence. Let's just say both since it's easier to push your fondants and croissant fears under the carpet.

The middle raspberry filling? Money (and it was just jam....shhhh don't tell anyone)

It's fairly easy to make. Just bake your cakes. Let them cool.
Spread some seedless jam over the middle, not too close to the edges thought. Top cake with other half.

Then spread the frosting over the top and around the sides. Let set up in fridge.
Prepare and pour a thin layer of ganache over the top and let it run down the sides.

It's really a rich cake. You may not be able to finish a slice. If so, call me and I can help you out.

chocolate cake with raspberry filling & espresso buttercream
from vanillasugarblog.com
(chocolate cake base from “butter sugar flour eggs” by gale gand)
print recipe

Cook Notes: I love this chocolate cake recipe and swear by it. If you have a favorite chocolate cake recipe then by all means please use whatever works for you. Devils Food would also work nicely too. Please note this recipe calls for using 3 9-inch pans. I have 2 10-inch pans and used that just fine. If you have 8-inch pans you might have some leftover batter, which you could easily use for cupcakes. If you don’t have a Starbucks Via I guess you could use other espresso granules. Which ones I don’t know, I haven’t tried any others yet. Just taste test as you go along. Also, I use flour in my frosting, if this does not appeal to you then DON'T DO IT. I just like to use a little bit to help my frosting hold up to room temps better and become a thicker frosting. You won't taste it, trust me :-)

For the chocolate cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Cut 3 circles of waxed paper or parchment paper to fit the bottoms of the pans, then press them in.
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and eggs and mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix. Add 1/2 of the flour, then 1/2 of the sour cream and mix. Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream. Drizzle in the hot coffee and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin. Pour into the prepared pans and bake until the tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay), about 35 minutes. Halfway through the baking, quickly rotate the pans in the oven to ensure even baking, but otherwise try not to open the oven. I let my cakes cool in the pan at least 2 hours before using.

raspberry filling
½ - ¾ cup of red raspberry (seedless) preserves/jam, room temp

espresso buttercream
2 sticks of salted butter, room temp
4 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temp
2 ½ - 3 cups of confectioners sugar, sifted
½ packet of one Starbuck Via (Columbia roast)
2 TB all purpose flour (optional)
Tiny pinch of salt

chocolate ganache
1/2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces high quality (60% or higher) bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
(if you want really shiny ganache add in 1 scant tablespoon of corn syrup)

make the espresso buttercream:
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the butter with the sifted confectioners sugar until well combined. Add in the flour and the Starbuck Via. Do a taste test and see if it needs the salt—mine did; it’s up to you if you want to add it. Recipe from vanillasugarblog.com The frosting is set to spread. If you do decide to wait and frost later, keep in mind the frosting will set up to be very hard in fridge. Just let it come to room temp (about an hour or more) before using later. Stir the frosting really well before using if you did let it sit in fridge.

for the chocolate the ganache:
In a medium saucepan melt the chocolate with the heavy cream over low heat, stirring constantly. Don’t let this burn. Stir until nice and glossy, take off heat, let it rest a bit (about 10 minutes). Stir up again and pour over cake.

to assemble:
Take cooled cakes, spread a thin layer of the seedless raspberry jam over the bottom half of a cake. Top with other half and begin to frost. Once you’re done frosting, put cake in fridge to set up and get a bit firm before pouring the Ganache over. When you are ready to serve cake, make the Ganache and simply pour over the top of the cake (in a thin layer), using a spatula pushing the Ganache to the sides to let it run down.

This cake does well in the fridge for a couple days. It does harden up, so if you need to serve it again, just let it come to room temp for an hour or so before using again.


  1. Why do you taunt me with this glory? Ehehehe. Looks amazing. I would kill for a slice right about now.

  2. Oh. My. Yum. Now I just need to stop by the store and pick up everything to make this. Somehow the ice cream sandwich that WAS for dessert no longer is going to cut it! This is going in my recipe file for sure!

  3. Wow. I think that ganche just really puts it over the top. Gorgeous dawn

  4. I was mortally afraid of fondant until this past Monday...now not so much. It's not as bad as it seems, I promise! Plus you get to melt marshmallows in the microwave! SO FUN.

    This cake sounds fantastical...chocolate and raspberry were meant to be together..in my stomach. I just know it.

  5. This is gorgeous! You amaze me.

  6. The ganache is the hook here. I made a chocolate cake with raspberry filling last week...such a great combo!

  7. Wow. Just wow. I'm watching a movie with my cake-loving friend and both of us are SWOONING over this one!

  8. Ughhh everything about this cake looks unbelievable. Espresso frosting sounds amazing... especially when covered in molten chocolate ganache! Mmmm.

  9. Lord, I thought that first photo was ice cream...which is actually a super idea. Espresso ice cream with a loverly dark chocolate sauce.
    Anyway, the cake looks unreal! Who needs fondant?
    (I confess I've always wanted to take a class in it though. Bucket list....)

  10. Yummm, this looks delicious!!! I have not made a cake in a long time...thanks for the reminder! Might have to make one next weekend :-)

  11. That cake looks real good. My favorite part is that ganache, yum!

  12. Mmmm...I love that you went for frosting AND ganache. :-) Looks fantastic!

  13. Oh my! Great looking cake! Yes, baking cakes is fun!

  14. That espresso buttercream sounds amazing! I wouldn't have thought to combine raspberry, chocolate and coffee but I bet it is great!

  15. This looks great!
    Can't wait to make this masterpiece.

  16. I need to try that espresso buttercream

  17. No matter what, I always leave your site drooling and hungry. You rock woman!

    Life is good here just busy trying to get my house ready to sell... UGH! I hope all is well in your world.

  18. Wow! This looks incredible. Nice work!

  19. OMG!this cake is perfect.. wanna try this one.. =)

  20. this looks delicious, and what a flavor combo :)

  21. Oh man! I think I just found the cake I want my husband to make for me on Mother's Day!

  22. You make me feel like I could make this. Seriously, this is a beautiful cake Dawn. I swoon at raspberry fillings...

  23. Do marshmallow fondant! A. It tastes way, way better. And B. it's so easy. Plus greasing up your hands with Crisco? Best dry skin remedy EVER!

  24. wowzer, looks fantastic and delish.

  25. I LOVE chocolate and raspberry together!!

  26. So rich I might not even be able to finish a piece? Doubt that. I could probably eat 2 :).

  27. shut ur trap right now. this is just pure evil.. buaahahahahhaaha. I want to eat my screen and the cake, too! :)

  28. Um yeah, its my birthday & chocolate & raspberry is my favorite combo so you know send me a big piece of this please

  29. I want a bite of this immedately!!!! Interesting idea to use flour in the frosting, i've never heard of that but am definitely willing to try it out. Thanks for sharing this!

  30. That cake looks oh so luscious and devilishly rich! A wonderful treat.



  31. I have a chocolate raspberry cake with ganache that I make and got two marriage proposals out of it. Ganache man, ganaaaaaaache. (I did marry the one guy too!)

  32. Looks phenomenal. I love the white and chocolate

  33. Damn, that is a good cake! Wow Dawn...you've got to make cakes more often and I am available to assist finishing the big slices w/you;)

  34. jam is a great way to sneak extra flavor and moistitude into a cake. this is sensational. yes, you definitely need to be making more cakes!

  35. Seriously amazing photos. Im looking forward to scanning your blog with all the temptations there are....

  36. I don't get fondant. It's "edible" but who eats that crap. I would soooo rather have a huge slice (or two or three) of this beauty for sure!

  37. I want a piece of this fist pounding cake. Your pictures are so enticing.

  38. Just came across your blog! It is soooo fantasticooo.. Your recipes and pics are crazy-mad-insane-fabulous. I can't wait to make those brownies with the cookies in the middle.. Holllar!! :)

  39. Oh my! Now this is quite a feat! A delicious one indeed. ;)

  40. Drooling, lawd this looks so dang good!

  41. you had me with the title and then I saw the pictures...Oh My!!

  42. Oh my god. This cake looks incredible. It's one of those cakes you want to have around for emergencies and when you need carb overload. Your photos are gorgeous. I want some now!

  43. Raspberry and chocolate...mmm...I could go for a really big slice of this cake right about now!

  44. exquisita receta me encanta el chocolate en todas sus formas ,una versión estupenda,me gustan tus recetas felicitaciones,cariños.

  45. What a very mouth watering recipe. Thank you for sharing such recipe like this. This is really look delicious and good.

  46. WoW! that looks very tempting..=D

  47. can someone tell me why i have 3 cake layers and am only using 2?

    1. if you read the cook notes you will see the recipe calls for 3 cake pans and I used only 2 bigger ones instead of three.
      use what you wish!!
      do what you want.


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