Sky high cake

If you are a chocolate person, I have the perfect cake for you. This cake is honestly the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I used it in the wedding cake I made in July and thought it would make a great birthday cake for a friend’s party I attended on Friday.

Triple Layers

There are two reasons why this chocolate cake is so great- coffee and cinnamon. These two flavors enhance the flavor of chocolate so much. In the cake you can’t really taste either the coffee or the cinnamon, but the chocolate just tastes, I don’t know, extra chocolaty. The raspberry preserves in between each flavors adds another depth of flavor and pairs really well with the rich chocolate cake and chocolate ganache icing.

Sky High Cakes cookbook

This cake recipe comes from the awesome cake recipe book “Sky High Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes”. I’ve made only a few cakes from this book, but I want to try every single one. They all look so good, and so tall! This chocolate cake is the first one from this book that I actually made in the towering triple-layer way it was meant to be, and oh my, it really is sky high.

Happy Birthday

Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Adapted from Sky High Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes by Alissa Huntsman and Peter Wynne
Makes one triple-layer 8 inch cake

For the cake:
3 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
3 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups freshly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
1 cup seedless raspberry preserves, for the filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three eight-inch cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and buttermilk and blend on low until moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Whisk the eggs and coffee together and add to the batter in three additions, mixing until just combined and scraping down the bowl between each each addition. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans. Each pan will take about 3 1/4 cups batter (Here’s a trick, I weigh each filled cake pan to make sure they are all even. It’s easier than measuring the batter.)

Bake for 38 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once fully baked, leave each layer in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Put the raspberry preserves between each layer and frost with the chocolate ganache.

For the chocolate ganache:
2 1/3 pounds bittersweet chocolate, broken up
2 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 1/3 cups heavy cream, heated slightly to remove the chill
1/2 cup cup brandy or cognac*

Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t actually touch the water). As the butter and chocolate melt, stir to blend. When the chocolate is smooth, remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream and brandy. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.

* If you would prefer to not use brandy or cognac, substitute an equal measure of orange, apple, or pineapple juice plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

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24 Responses to Decadent Chocolate Raspberry Cake

  1. Christina says:

    that's beautiful! i've never seen a brown-on-brown cake before, and i really love it. what a great idea…

    oh, and i'd totally eat it, too. yum!

  2. Thompsons says:

    How much cinnamon do you put into the mix? It isn't listed on the ingredients.

  3. jen says:

    What can I substitute for the coffee? I can't stand the taste of it. You are an amazing chef & your website is such a delight to read!


  4. Annalise says:

    Stacey- I am so sorry I messed up the ingredient list. I've now added cinnamon (3/4 teaspoon).

    Jen- I would recommend trying it with coffee. I promise that you won't be able to taste it in the cake, and it really enhances the chocolate flavor. However, if you'd rather use a substitute, coffee is essentially flavored water, so using water should work just fine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    this looks delicious! I'm making it for my mom's birthday. I was wondering what units the coffee is in — I assume tbs — but I wasn't sure…

  6. Annalise says:

    The amount of coffee is 1 1/2 cups. Good luck with the cake- your Mom is going to love it!

  7. Sheyla says:

    Hi! Would this recipe be enough for a 2 layer 12 inch cake??

  8. Annalise says:


    I couldn't say for sure since I've never done it. My guess that you'd get away with a 2 layer 10 inch cake, but that a 12 inch cake may produce pretty thin layers. But maybe that's okay with you. Whatever you do, be sure to adjust the baking time, meaning, keep an eye on it!

  9. Sheyla says:

    Hi! tnx for the quick response! Im thinking maybe doing 1.5 of the recipe… I think doubling it would be too much but better safe than sorry! Tnx again!

  10. Jovana says:

    Hi! 🙂 just found your website through google and love it. I love this recipe, it looks beautiful. I would like to make it for my boyfriend's grandmothers 90th birthday next weekend. I would like to leave the brandy out of the frosting because tree will be kids there and elderly people and I'm not sure they would enjoy it. So, my question is… If I substitute with the juice, will it taste predominately like the juice or just be a subtle flavor in the background? Thank you.

  11. Nice! Just wanted to respond. I thoroughly loved your post. Keep up the great work.

  12. Im thankful for the blog.Thanks Again. Really Great.

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  14. Josee says:

    Can you share what brand of unsweetened cocoa powder you used?

    • Annalise says:

      I’m not sure what brand I used at the time I baked this as it was quite a while ago. Now I like to use either a brand like Ghiradelli or Sharffenberger.

  15. Josee says:

    Ok…thank you!

  16. mary says:

    is there ganache between the layers plus preserves? (It looks that way from the photos)?

  17. mary says:

    i’m looking at the photo of the exposed layers…did you pipe ganache in a rim around the preserves? those thick rings that look like chocolate can’t be preserves, can they?

    • Annalise says:

      When filling a cake with preserves or curd, or any other sort of “runny” filling, it’s necessary to use a dam around the perimeter with whatever you’re using to ice the cake. This holds it in place and keeps it from seeping out the sides.

  18. mary says:

    thank you for explaining! Can you tell me if you pipe the dam before or after spreading with preserves?

  19. mary says:

    thank you 🙂

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