This chocolate cake with raspberry frosting is perfect for Valentine’s Day. The chocolate cake is fudgy and super moist with a rich chocolate flavor, then the fresh raspberry frosting is pretty in pink!
A few weeks ago I asked on Facebook for people’s favorite Valentine’s day flavors. The first response I got was chocolate and raspberry – which I decided was a perfect place to start.
Because nothing says I love you like chocolate. And nothing says Valentine’s Day more than the color red.
Enter – today’s Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Frosting. The cake is fudgy, super chocolate-y, perfectly moist, and has a super soft crumb. It’s everything you want in a chocolate cake. Then the raspberry frosting is bursting with fresh raspberry flavor and has the prettiest pink color.
No food coloring here folks.
The chocolate cake recipe is based off the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe. The main difference is that we’re using buttermilk instead of milk, and hot coffee instead of boiling water. I find that buttermilk creates the softest, moistest cake crumb and hot coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor.
You won’t taste the coffee in the cake at all after it’s baked, but if you don’t want the caffeine boiling water works too.
Seriously, the rich chocolate flavor and soft texture of the chocolate cake is perfection. It’s somehow fudgy without being dense, and because we’re baking our chocolate cake in a 9×13 inch pan – it’s super easy too.
Then the frosting is made from fresh raspberries. First we’ll process them in a blender and put them through a strainer to remove the seeds. The raspberry puree is then boiled down until it’s thick in consistency and we’ve removed a lot of the water.
Then we make the buttercream frosting by beating together the butter and powdered sugar, and the raspberry puree along with a little whipping cream is mixed in. There’s no artificial flavors or colors, and the bright pink color looks so beautiful for Valentine’s.
Now because the cake is so moist, I recommend popping it in the freezer before frosting so that the cake crumbs don’t get into your icing. But otherwise the decorating is perfectly easy with no piping bags required.
It’s fudgy, it’s super chocolate-y and it’s the absolute best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. Then the raspberry frosting really sets it over the top. So if you’re looking for a perfect Valentine’s Day cake, this chocolate cake with raspberry frosting is for you!
Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Frosting
For the Chocolate Cake
- 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder , dutch process preferred
- 1 and ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk , room temperature
- 1 cup very hot coffee , or boiling water
For the Raspberry Buttercream
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 3 and ½ to 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons whipping cream
Make the Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla on medium speed until combined. Turn the mixer down to low speed and beat in the buttermilk, followed by the flour mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Then with the mixer on low speed carefully beat in the hot coffee (or boiling water).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool fully before frosting.
Make the Raspberry Frosting
- Put the raspberries in a blender or food processor and process. Put the mixture through a strainer, using a spoon to push through the juice and discard the seeds. Doing this about ¼ of the raspberries at a time will make the process easier.
- Pour the raspberry puree (without the seeds) into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat stirring frequently. Allow the mixture to boil and reduce in volume. You want to boil off as much of the water as possible so that you're left with a thick mixture. I boiled mine for about 10 minutes, at the end you'll know you're done when you have about ¼ cup to ⅓ cup in thick raspberry puree. Allow the raspberry puree to cool fully. It must be cold before moving on with the raspberry frosting.
- To make the raspberry frosting, in a large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer beat the butter on medium speed until softened and fluffy. Then turn the mixer down to low speed and carefully beat in 3 and ½ cups of powdered sugar. Once fully combined add in ¼ cup of the cold raspberry puree. It must be cold before adding it to the frosting, otherwise your frosting will separate. Then beat in the raspberry puree, followed by the whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time. Add in an additional ½ cup powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin.
- To frost the cake, I like to first put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. This helps to reduce cake crumbs from lifting into the icing. Then frost the cake using a flat edge knife. Cut and serve.
Do you think you could use ‘hot chocolate’ in place of the buttermilk or water ‘ in making the chocolate/raspberry cake?
I haven’t tried it – so I’m not sure of the results. I think it might make the cake too chocolate-y or too sweet though, since the hot chocolate has sugar and cocoa in it.
Wonderful cake! Definitely going in my keeper file. Have yet to try the raspberry frosting, but I will. I had a butter/cream cheese/lemon frosting left from another cake and it was great with that.
Anna L. V. Josephs
Cake and frosting look scrumptious! Definitely a must-keep.