Chocolate Raspberry Explosion Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Explosion Cake

It was my birthday last week! So of course I had to make a decadent, scrumptious explosion of a cake. It might sound sad to make your own birthday cake, but I really wanted to go all out. Hence this chocolate raspberry explosion cake. It’s chocolate cake, covered in chocolate frosting and fresh raspberries, with *gasp* a HIDDEN LAYER of raspberry swirl cheesecake. My birthday was the bomb, mainly because of this cake.

I have to admit, I got the idea for this chocolate raspberry explosion cake from the opening credits of The Great British Bake-off. The credits end over gorgeous raspberries being placed into the thick ganache atop a cake. It’s still one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen (both the show and the cake).

A few notes: the chocolate sponge itself is insanely forgiving. You can use cake flour or regular flour. You can use olive oil, coconut oil, or butter. It’s hard to mess this cake up. The part of this that took the longest was frosting the cake, and that’s just because I’m a closet perfectionist (and don’t have frosting tools, oops). You will do beautifully. Enjoy!

chocolate raspberry explosion cake


For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup hot water

For the cheesecake’s raspberry swirl:

  • 3/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the cheesecake:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs

For the frosting/decorations:

  • 1 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz raspberries


The cake

First, make the cake. Begin by sifting together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. At this point, add the hot water and mix. (Your batter might look too wet, but it’s supposed to look that way.)

Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans, and fill each halfway with the batter. Bake at 350 F for 24-26 minutes. Set aside to cool.

The cheesecake

While the cake is cooling, go ahead and start on your cheesecake, starting with the raspberry swirl. Combine the swirl ingredients over medium heat and cook until they begin to break down (about 10 minutes). Smush with a spoon and remove from the heat.

Mix the other cheesecake ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Set aside. Prepare a springform pan by greasing the bottom and sides, and lining with parchment paper. Pour in the cheesecake mixture. Pour the raspberry swirl on top, and swirl together with a butter knife.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place your springform pan on a large sheet pan, place the sheet pan in the oven, and then pour in enough water to fill the sheet pan halfway. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake barely jiggles. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.

chocolate raspberry explosion cake
Not my neatest work, but it will do.

Frosting and decoration

Frosting time! Beat the butter in a medium bowl until smooth (for about a minute). Add the other frosting ingredients, and beat for 3 more minutes. Add powdered sugar if too thin, or more cream if too thick.

Now it’s time to assemble and frost the cake. Arrange one layer of the chocolate cake on your cake stand or platter. Add the layer of cheesecake on top, followed by your other chocolate layer. Frost liberally with your chocolate frosting, and add a layer of raspberries on top. Now you should understand why it’s called a chocolate raspberry explosion cake; I don’t think I could cram in any more of either flavor if I tried. Enjoy!

chocolate raspberry explosion cake

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