Decadent Chocolate Raspberry Cake

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.