Layer cakes are the best birthday cakes, don’t you think? This is the cake I made for my mom birthday and it was a success! Three layers of chocolate cake layered with dairy-free whipped cream and raspberries. And it’s much easier than you think.
There are two different ways to make layer cakes. You can bake a single pan thick cake and cut it in 3 or more layers once it’s cold; or you can bake 3 separate thinner cakes. The second method is more precise because you can weight the batter and get 3 perfectly equal layers without the struggle of cutting them evenly.
This recipe is adapted for baking the cakes in 3 different pans. Don’t try to bake the whole batter in a single pan, because it won’t bake evenly. I used three 16 cm / 5 inches pans.
To make the chocolate cake, I used Muscovado sugar. Muscovado sugar — also called Barbados sugar, khandsari, or khand — is one of the least refined sugars available.
It’s made by extracting the juice of sugar cane, adding lime, cooking the mix to evaporate the liquid, and then cooling it to form sugar crystals. The brown syrupy liquid (molasses) created during cooking remains in the final product, resulting in a moist, dark brown sugar that has the texture of wet sand.
The high molasses content also gives the sugar a complex flavor — with hints of toffee and a slightly bitter aftertaste.
If you can’t find Muscovado sugar, you can replace it with coconut sugar. To avoid over mixing the batter, blend the sugar for a few second in a blender before using, to break down the crystallized parts.
I’m not a huge fan of layer cakes. Because of the frosting. Frostings are always too sugary or buttery or both. Even vegan recipes always contain lots of sugar or processed non-dairy butters. I always remove the frosting and enjoy the cake only.
But there are some healthier options. My favorite is my chocolate sweet potato frosting. Which I enjoy even more than the cake! But If you are making a birthday cake and you want a pretty colorful frosting you’ll need a white base which can be colored with natural powders .
To make the raspberry frosting, I simply whipped some coconut cream with only 2 tbsp powder sugar (you can use any other sugar of choice, but the texture may change) and added a handful fresh raspberries. You can use any dairy-free cream od choice. Be sure to place the cream, the metal mixing bowl and the beaters in freezer for 30 minutes before making the whipped cream. You will need to whip for several minutes to get a cream that is thick enough to frost the cake.
To color the frosting, I used some pink pitaya powder (dragon fruit powder), which is completely natural.
Feel free to use any fruit of choice and to color the whipped cream as you like!
I really hope that you enjoy this recipe! I would love to hear your feedback! Please leave a comment, rate the recipe or post a pic of your cake and tag me on Instagram @foodie.yuki
Chocolate cake with raspberries
- three 16 cm / 6 inches cake pans
Ingredients for the cake
- 1+ 3/4 cups/ 225 g all purpose flour
- 1+ 2/3 cups / 200g Moscovado or coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup / 45g cacao powder
- 1+ 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 + 2/3 cups / 360ml water
- 1+ 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp / 120g neutral oil like sunflower
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Ingredients for the frosting
- 400 ml / 13,5 oz soy or coconut cream, chilled
- 1/4 cup / 30g powder sugar
- 2 tsp pink pitaya optional, for the color
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
Make the chocolate cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F degrees.
- Grease 3- 16cm | 6 inches pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, cacao and baking soda.
- Add the coconut sugar and salt and whisk to combine.
- Add the water, vinegar, vanilla and oil and whisk to combine. Don't overmix.
- Using a scale, divide the batter equally between the three pans and bake for 20-25mins.
- Remove from the oven and let cool down the cakes into the pans for at least 10 minutes.
- Remove from pans and let cool down copletely before frosting.
- If you're frosting the cake later, wrap each cake into plastic film and place in the refrigerator or up to one day.
Make the frosting
- Be sure to place the cream, the metal mixing bowl and the beaters in freezer for 30 minutes before making the whipped cream.
- Whip the soy or coconut cream with 1 tbsp powder sugar and 1-2 tsp pink pitaya.
- Add the cream, powdered sugar, and pitaya to the chilled bowl.
- Beat the mixture into soft peaks using an electric mixer.
- Could take 5+ minutes.
- Reserve 1 cup of the whipped cream to frost the outside.
- Gently fold in raspberries in the remaining cream (about 1 1/2 cup).
Assemble the cake
- Place the first cake layer on a plate.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the whipped cream in the center.
- Add the second cake layer and proceed in the same way.
- Lightly frost the outside with remaining pink frosting.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.