Moist layers of chocolate cake filled with delicious raspberry cheesecake mousse and topped with fresh raspberries, chocolate curls and a dusting of powdered sugar — can you say dreamy? This chocolate raspberry layer cake has the taste and look of a European bakery cake. It’s sweet, but not too sweet; it’s beautiful, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day! We actually make this cake year round, but it is red and pink, right?!
Our neighbor Terry shared the recipe when we lived in Vienna, VA and it’s a favorite dessert of many friends. Although it takes some time to assemble, chocolate raspberry layer cake is actually easy and fun to make. Start with our recipe for perfect chocolate cake, or use a cake mix (with a few additions). We’ll give you the link and instructions for both. Sometimes we make this cake as two rectangular layers by using two 9×13-inch pans. We also make it as pictured with three round layers. Take your pick! The chocolate cake recipe or cake mix have the right amount for either layer variation.
Tips: use parchment paper & freeze
Whichever pan set you use you’ll want to line the pans with parchment paper. This will allow the cakes to release easily from the pans after baking. Follow the cake recipe or box mix instructions to make the batter and fill the baking pans.
Once the cakes have cooled, wrap them lightly in plastic wrap and freeze them for at least an hour. Frozen cake layers are easier to work with.
Pink or white filling?
Meanwhile, make the filling. A delicious blend of cream cheese, frozen raspberries, cool whip and white chocolate pudding mix, this filling has a delicately sweet flavor. The filing color will vary depending on how much you mix the ingredients. Make the filling white by mixing all ingredients well, then lightly fold in frozen raspberries. If you thaw the raspberries and mix them in really well, your filling will turn pink.
After the filling is made and the layers are frozen, comes the fun part. You get to construct your masterpiece! This cake has a strong WOW factor, even though it’s easy. Spread a third of the filling between each layer. Spread the filling within about one inch of the edge. Once all three layers are stacked, you can lightly press the cake and the filling will spread to the edges. On the top layer, carefully place fresh raspberries.
Then add chocolate curls. You can make chocolate curls ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator. Put as many or as few curls as you’d like among raspberries on the top layer. This will give your cake an elegant touch.
It’s easier to cut the cake if you can chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or more before serving. To add some magic, lightly dust the top with powdered sugar just before you present the cake.
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- 1 package triple chocolate fudge cake mix (Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)
- 3 eggs
For Cheesecake Mousse Filling
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 8 ounce whipping cream
- 1 box instant white chocolate pudding (dry)
- 3/4 cup cold milk
- 12 ounce bag frozen raspberries
For Top Garnish
- large Hershey Milk Chocolate bar (no nuts)
- 4 ounces fresh raspberries, rinsed and dried
1. Mix acording to box (or recipe) directions. OR use our Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe.
2. Cut parchment paper to fit cake pans (2 rectangles or 3 round).
3. Spread batter equally and evenly into pans.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Check cake. It should spring back when touched, or a toothpick should come out clean. (Please note your cakes are shallower than usual as they are spread into more pans.)
5. When baked, cool cakes for at least 10 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack. When cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and place cakes back into pans to protect them. Freeze for at least one hour.
1. Beat cream cheese until soft, slowly add milk, then pudding mix, and beat until smooth.
2. Whip cream until stiff and slowly fold into cream cheese mixture.
3. Add frozen raspberries (still frozen).
4. For white filling: gently fold in raspberries; be careful not to stir too much.
5. For pink filling: defrost raspberries and mix them into creamed mxture until all is pink.
1. Divide filling into half or thirds (depending on whether you have 2 or 3 layers) and spread a layer of filling between each cake layer. Spread within an inch of cake edge.
2. Press down gently to move filling toward cake edges.
3. Spread a layer of filling on top of cake, leaving an inch border free of filling (the filling will move toward edges on its own.)
Top with fresh raspberries, chocolate shavings and curls (if you'd like, see instructions on how to make chocolate curls.
Just before serving, dust top with powdered sugar.
You can substitute the 8 oz. carton whipping cream for an 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip (thawed). This will speed up the process & reduce the calories, but it doesn't taste quite as good.
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