Chocolate-Raspberry Birthday Cake


When I asked my daughter what flavor of cake she wanted for her fifth birthday, she told me “chocolate with cookies and raspberries,” so what could I do but comply? Not a huge project, but it was impressive (and tasty) enough that I figured it was worth writing about.

The cake is my standard chocolate cake, divided into three 7″ round cake pans. I didn’t have sufficient time for my usual whipped frosting recipe, so I threw some frosting together out of what I had on hand– it was a bit denser than I prefer, but still tasted good. There wasn’t really enough of it to properly frost the cake, but that’s where the cookies came in!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake (otherwise known as Wacky Cake)

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbs. vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cold water
2 tsp. coffee powder
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line three 7″ round pans with parchment rounds and spray with baking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture.
3. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil.
4. Dissolve the coffee powder in the cold water (or just use cold coffee) and pour the water over the mixture. Stir until smooth.
5. Pour into the pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Vanilla Buttercream (I only put this recipe in so you can see that it’s possible to make frosting with these amounts of ingredients… not because it was particularly fantastic)

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 lb. powdered sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

pinch salt

1 tsp. vanilla

  1. Cream together butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Whip for a long time to get it to fluff up a bit.
  2. Add the salt and vanilla, then slowly add the cream while continuing to whip. Be aware that the cold cream may cause the butter to form tiny grains and make your frosting look awful. If this happens, remove about 2 tbs. of the frosting and microwave it until liquid. Return it to the main bowl and whip it into the rest of the frosting– this should return it to a creamy state.
  3. The frosting ends up kind of dense rather than light and creamy, but it works in a pinch.

To Assemble:


1. Slice rounded tops off all three cake layers. Place one layer flat-side down on a cake circle and spread with a thin layer of frosting, then a thin layer of raspberry jam.

2. Place the next layer flat-side down and repeat the frosting and jam layers.

3. Place the last cake layer flat-side up, and frost the outside of the cake with remaining frosting. Put a slightly thicker layer on top, since it’ll show th emost.

4. Chop up about 1/3 of a package of chocolate sandwich cookies and press the cookie pieces into the sides of the cake.

5. Halve four more cookies and press them cut-side down into the top of the cake. Decorate the center with raspberries.


4 thoughts on “Chocolate-Raspberry Birthday Cake

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