This is definitely one of my all time favorite cakes, the reasons are three 1) It’s a chocolate lovers dream 2) the recipe is well written, and 3) it’s beautiful when you cut into the finished cake and see the layers of mousse, raspberry, and cake. I will stop my praise here, and caution that it isn’t an easy cake to make. You need lots of ingredients that you may not have around like mini chocolate chips and gelatin and you are going to dirty a ton of dishes but I think it’s worth it.
This recipe comes from King Author Flour and was originally found by my friend Annie, who was searching for a recipe for a fancy birthday cake for our friend Morgan. It took three scientists 4 hours to successfully follow the instructions and assemble this bad ass birthday cake and it looked like a bomb went off when we were finished, chocolate frosting and flour covered every surface of their tiny kitchen. The real challenge with this cake though comes at the end, if you decide to transport this 2-3 layer, very heavy cake to say, a birthday party or bridal shower, trying to not drop or disfigure your frosting.
I recently remade this cake for my friend’s bridal shower. It was a hot August day and this cake handled the heat about as well as my hair did; not well at all. As I drove slowly to the shower, cakes carefully wedged in cates with towers to keep the stands from sliding, every turn wreaked havoc. The cake layers began to slide in opposite directions, the raspberry Jan acting as a lubricant of sorts and the butter cream icing began to melt in the sun. Until this point though the baking went well even though I was working alone. I have some does and don’ts below that you should read after reading through the recipe once.
- Do substitute raspberry preserves for the raspberry filling. It’s easier, cheaper, and saves you time. Use full raspberries for decoration on top if you like.
- Don’t make the mousse or frosting the night before and place in fridge. I mean, yes totally keep dairy based components in the fridge if you make them ahead but give them a lot of time to thaw before you need them.
- Do line your pans with parchment paper. This cake is moist and hard not to break or get crumby as you remove from the pans, the paper really helps.
- Don’t worry if you forget buttermilk, it’s fine to substitute. I usually use milk and lemon juice when this happens.
- Do keep it to 2 layers if you want to transport it without it sliding apart.
- Do set aside some of the mousse to use as a crumb layer and fill in around the center of cake before you frost it.
- Do be flexible with how much powdered sugar and milk you use on the frosting, if you like thicker frosting use what’s called for but if you like something easier to spread add less sugar or more milk to achieve your preferred consistency.