there are very few times I do something for the first time and hit a home run.
like that never happens.
except for the week I decided I wanted to play tball and actually hit a home run (when I wasn’t too busy searching for 4 leaf clovers in the out field). but I think after that short lived babe ruth week, I got into showing my brittany spaniel at 4H dog shows. we cool like that.
but believe me, this is the only chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever need.
why? because a good chocolate cake recipe is a pretty simple thing in my mind. sure you can doll it up with whatever you like – peanut butter, coconut, mint, caramel. To quote ms lohan, “the limit does not exist!”…but when it comes down to it, having a solid, basic chocolate cake recipe is an absolute must.
anyways, so when my sister asked for a chocolate cake with raspberry ganache frosting, I knew I needed a home run of a recipe. I dug around my notes, compared to cakes at bakeries I liked, looked at dairy substitutes since the cake needed to be dairy and soy free (for my nephew!) and then I finally landed on this recipe I’m sharing with you today. But before we dive into the cake, let’s talk about the trip home!
my dad came to pick us up. Loki let me know he much prefers flying with dad than going through TSA on a commercial flight or bouncing in the back seat for the 6 hour drive- but really, who doesn’t? And as much as Loki loves flying, I think he was much happier once we arrived at Mom and Dad’s and he got to romp in their fields.
our weekend was full of backyard hikes, good food (we went to the new place in town for sushi – me using chopsticks was basically dinner and a show for my parents), coloring (more hand therapy!) with my nieces and nephew, several rowdy games of blokus and scrabble, and of course lots and lots of puppy playtime. OH AND BETHANY’S BIRTHDAY. The main event, if you will.
I opted for the naked cake look, but knew going in that probably at least my grandma would have some comment about how I didn’t finish the cake. Turns out it was my dad who spoke up first:
dad: so when are you going to finish frosting the sides of the cake?
me: its called a naked cake, its a thing.
dad: you’re joking right?
me: no, its really a style for frosting cakes. it’s very popular right now.
dad: you’re not serious.
me: *gives up* no i just ran out of frosting…
dad: you’re serious.
me: yes. i’m always serious when it comes to cake.
and then later grandma couldn’t stop blushing over the naked cake.
BUT once everyone tasted it, they only paused the noshing for 2 seconds between bites to rave about how good it was. Best chocolate cake we’ve ever had good. So I hope you give a try and enjoy it. Maybe make your grandma blush. You get bonus points for that.
chocolate ganache cake with raspberry preserves
yields one 4 layer 6 inch cake & 2 cups of ganache frosting
cake recipe adapted from That Chocolate Cake by Scharffen Berger
what you’ll need
for the cake:
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup hot coffee
for the ganache frosting:
1 13 ounce can full fat coconut milk
10 ounces 60-70% dark chocolate (roughly 2 cups)
black raspberry preserves
for the decorations:
marzipan cut out shapes
whatever your heart desires!
- I made the cake layers ahead, wrapped them individually in plastic and let them mellow in the fridge overnight.
- The chocolate ganache is going to take a well to set up, so plan ahead.
- You can make your own jammy filling or use red raspberry preserves. I used black raspberry because its what my mom had on hand and it turned out SO GOOD. More black forest vibes than your usual suspect red raspberry cake.
- do not use dutch cocoa!
- this recipe also works as a two layer 8 inch cake.
- I only have two 6 inch cake pans, so I baked my cakes in cycles and it worked out just fine even with the second round of batter sitting a little longer.
how to whip it up
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and line your cake pans.
In a liquid measuring cup, mix your almond milk and apple cider vinegar together gently and let rest for 5 minutes.
In your stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment or medium sized mixing bowl with a hand mixer, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and powder. Add in eggs, almond buttermilk, vanilla extract and oil. Whisk until combined, then gently pour in hot coffee. Whisk again until smooth. Batter will be thick but still runny. And should smell AMAZING.
Pour 1/4 of batter into each cake pan. Start checking for doneness at 25 minutes. Tooth pick should come out out clean. Let cool in pans for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a rack to completely cool before frosting.
For the ganache, roughly chop the chocolate into small 1/4 inch bits and then place in small heat safe bowl. Bring coconut milk to a boil in a small sauce pan, then remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let rest for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let chill in fridge, whisking every 15 minutes until thickened. When ready to frost, ganache will be light and fluffy, and hold a peak. Mine took just under 2 hours of chilling and whisking to get the right consistency.
To assemble cake, on each layer spread black raspberry preserves, then a generous layer of ganache then start with next layer. Smear a bit of ganache around the outside to create that “naked” look. Then finish it off by smoothing out some gorgeous ganache on top, and decorate however you like! Enjoy!