when there are birthday celebrations in our family, you can bet your bottom dollar that there are no store-bought birthday cakes in sight. in fact, store-bought cakes are pretty much a four-letter word around here, and if you ever got the bright idea to bring one to a family gathering i can assure you it would not go over well. i know we sound like food snobs, but it's worth being a bit picky when the end result is having a cake like this for your birthday party.
for my dad's birthday celebration over the weekend, he requested a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate-raspberry frosting. we hardly complained. i think i've mentioned before that my family and i are a bit obsessed with chocolate-raspberry desserts. it's a problem, we know, but we just can't help ourselves. raspberries were put on this earth to be paired with chocolate.
ryan and i made a chocolate sour-cream cake which was the perfect chocolaty base to complement the raspberries. between the two cake layers there was a layer of raspberry filling. the entire cake was covered in a chocolate-raspberry frosting and topped off with fresh raspberries. it was absolutely heavenly.
this cake smells amazing while it is baking in the oven. it's hard to resist stopping right there and eating just the cake all by itself, but i assure you that the filling and the frosting make it even better.
we piped a thin ring of frosting around the edge of the first layer in order to keep the raspberry filling from running out and making a mess.
we generously covered the first layer with raspberry filling . . .
. . . and we gently placed the second cake layer on top. (we shaved a little off the top of the second cake layer in order to make it flat for decorating.)
then we covered the entire thing with a coat of the chocolate-raspberry frosting.
this is my super kitchen helper. (husbands make the best assistants.) i totally think that we would rock as teammates on an episode of cupcake wars. when it comes to helping out in the kitchen he is the bomb. i mean, just look at that form with the piping bag. i'm so proud.
the finished product is worthy of a center-fold spread in a fancy baking magazine in my opinion. there are left overs of this masterpiece in our refrigerator right now, but i can assure you that they will not last long!
chocolate sour-cream cake with raspberry filling
and chocolate-raspberry frosting
prep time: 25-30 minutes
baking time: 30-35 minutes
yields: one double layer 9-inch round cake (approximately 12 servings)
adapted from taste of home's complete guide to baking
1/4 cup salted butter (softened)
4 oz. hershey's unsweetened baking chocolate (melted and cooled)
1 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup salted butter (softened)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon half-and-half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons hershey's natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon hershey's 100% cacao special dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons the pampered chef chocolate raspberry sauce
to make the cake: preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. add the melted chocolate, water, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs. mix until combined. add the sugar and mix well. in a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and baking powder to remove all of the lumps. gradually add the flour mixture to the batter. once all of the flour mixture has been incorporated, beat on high for 3 minutes. pour the batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans lined with parchment paper. bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the cake pans for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the cake pans and allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
to make the filling: in a sauce pan combine the raspberries, raspberry jam, and corn starch. over low heat, cook the mixture until thickened. stir constantly. once the mixture starts to thicken, remove it from the heat and mash the raspberries. allow the filling to cool completely before spreading it between the two layers of cake.
to make the frosting: in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. add the sour cream, half-and-half, vanilla, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. beat well. gradually add the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar, along with the cocoa powders and the chocolate raspberry sauce. beat well until all of the ingredients are combined. spread the frosting over the cake.