mini chocolate cacao raspberry layer cakes + raspberry cream cheese icing

We are days away from the day of love, thats right Valentine's is right around the corner. Now although I don't really feed into the hallmark version of Valentine's I think any day that celebrates love is a day to celebrate. Especially the way the world seems to be conducting and throwing around so much hate at the moment, love can really use a big ol' boost into the universe. 

Paul and I have never been very big on gifts for anything; anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, even Valentine's we just are not really into the "having" to give thing. We would rather spend a weekend away together or make a really luxurious dinner together with a bottle of wine and some candles. For the the gift of building memories and spending time together means much more than anything Paul could ever buy me. 

So we may not be celebrating with pressies but cake is always a must. And really who said cake has to be only for the special occasions in our lives. This specific cake, along with any others on this here blog of mine can be an anytime of the year cake no questions asked from me. I have been known to bake a cake in the wee midnight hours of the evening just cause, and those ones are sometimes the best ones. 

I feel quite strongly about saying this, hands down, this is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever made. I have been making it for years and years and it is fool proof. It is moist, like super super moist, and stays that way even a couple of days later (if it makes it that long). It is decadent without being too heavy and it is just that right balance of rich and light. It's perfect and I don't use that word lightly.

The middle is layered with a tart raspberry puree with just the right hint of sweetness, which balances out the decadent chocolate. I then coated it in a raspberry cream cheese icing/glaze. It's a cake to spoil all the loved ones in your life with whether you make it for Valentine's, a birthday or a just because day I know it will be a winner. 

You could also spoil all those special girls in your life with a Galentine's chocolate cake. Have you heard of Galentine's? This is my first year hearing of it and I think it is pretty fun, although I am bias because any extra time I get to spend with my girlfriends I get pretty excited about. Not that you need another reason to make this cake but hey Galentine's needs a cake just as much as any other day does. 

I made my cakes into two six inch four layer cakes but if you don't have that size pan you can use two regular 9 inch cake pans and make one two layer cake as well. 

chocolate cacao cake with raspberry cream cheese buttercream-98.jpg

mini chocolate cacao raspberry layer cakes + raspberry cream cheese icing

dry ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cacao powder

1 cup cane sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp himlayan salt

wet ingredients

1 1/4 cups fresh brewed coffee

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup melted butter

2 eggs

1 tbsp pure vanilla

raspberry middle

1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries

1 tbsp pure vanilla

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with two tbsp of water)

raspberry cream cheese icing

1 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

4 cups icing sugar

5 tbsp raspberry puree

1 tbsp pure vanilla


preheat the oven to 350 degrees. with coconut oil grease 4 - 6 inch spring form pans or 2 - 9 inch cake pans. the 6 inch pans will make two 4 layers cakes and the 9 inch pans will make one 2 layer cake.

in a large bowl mix all of the wet ingredients together. set aside. 

in a medium bowl mix whisk the maple syrup, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs together. let the fresh brewed coffee and melted butter cool slightly before gradually adding them into the buttermilk mixture, whisking continuously. 

pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. pour the batter into the desired pan size and bake for 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).

while the cakes are baking make the raspberry middle. add the frozen raspberries, vanilla and maple syrup to a sauce pan. bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for 5-8 minutes (you want to crush all of the raspberries so it is sauce like). add in the cornstarch and water and cook for another couple of minutes. pour mixture into a bowl and let cool in the fridge. (this can be made the night before, as can the icing).

for the icing/glaze add all of the ingredients into a stand mixer (using 5 tbsp of the raspberry middle you made above) and mix until well incorporated. it will be like a thick drizzle like glaze. place in the fridge until ready to use. 

once the cakes are done, let them cool for 5 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack. cool completely before filling the layers and icing.

if you used the 6 inch pans cut each cake (you will have four of them) in half. add some of the glaze and some of the raspberry middle onto each layer (I made a ring with the icing and then added the raspberries to the middle of the ring so that it doesn't spill out of the sides). keep doing this with each layer (there will be four layers with the 6 inch pans). same process goes if you used the 9 inch pans except you will not be cutting the cakes in half, they will be left whole and you will only have two layers. 

glaze the outside of the cakes with the icing (I did my naked cake style) and serve! you can get fancy with some fresh flowers if you would like to decorate them.