A Decadent Cake

My husband would say this cake should be in your near future. His birthday cake request was raspberry filling, vanilla cake, and chocolate frosting. Tim’s a self-confessed non-foodie and can be pretty brutal in his food reviews. This cake got a double thumbs up.

It’s surprisingly easy — make sure to use boxed cake mix — and packs a big punch if you need to brighten your day with tart raspberry and rich chocolate. Chocolate with chocolate is more my style, so I made a point of taste-testing the frosting with a big spoon, a few times just to be sure. It’s a classic American buttercream and the most beautifully smooth frosting, absolutely divine. Slightly adapted from Tidymom.

Chocolate Frosted Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling

Makes 1 two-layer 8″ or 9″ cake (or double recipe for four-layer cake shown in photo)



  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 scant cup of water (more than 3/4 cup and less than 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs

Raspberry Filling

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, divided (thaw and drain if frozen)*
  • 2/3 cup raspberry preserves

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted**
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, for decorating


Make cake according to instructions on box. Cool on wire rack, then place in plastic wrap and freeze for several hours or overnight (this makes frosting the cake easier).

Once mildly frozen, level each layer of cake by removing domed (or sunken) top with bread knife.

In a small bowl, gently combine 1 cup raspberries and preserves.

Smear small amount of preserves on a piece of parchment paper or cardboard round, then place first cake layer on top. This will prevent the cake from sliding.

Spread cake with raspberry mixture. Top with second layer. If making a four-layer cake, portion out raspberry mixture for the 3 lower cake layers.

Combine cocoa and boiling water; mix until smooth.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, powdered sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.

Frost cake, decorating with remaining 1 cup raspberries and chocolate chips. Slice into big pieces and enjoy!

*use only fresh raspberries for decoration

**use additional powdered sugar for thicker consistency

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