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Chocolate and Raspberry Celebration Cake

Lucious layers of chocolate sponge and raspberry jam make this a delicious celebration cake.

It's not often I make the effort to bake a layered cake, but when I do I try and go all out!

This particular chocolate cake is based on my ultimate chocolate sponge. It's a fail-safe fluffy chocolate sponge that's a winner every time.

As such, this cake consists of three layers of chocolate sponge, sandwiched between chocolate buttercream and raspberry jam, and topped with more chocolate buttercream, a dark chocolate ganache, and fresh raspberries.

Whew - I'm exhausted just reading that list to be honest!

But it's really not as difficult to create a layer cake as it seems.

The trick to any good layer cake is to level your sponges. Find a sharp serrated knife and gently cut off the top as you turn the cake.

You can see in more detail how I put together a layer cake in the video below.

If you're interested in developing your layer cake skills, you could take a look at my other layer cakes, Victoria Sponge and Numbers Celebration Cake.

I use my ultimate chocolate sponge in all of my chocolate cake recipes; Mini Egg & Nutella, Creme Egg, Triple Chocolate, Orange & Dark Chocolate, Chocolate & Salted Caramel, Mocha, Mint Chocolate, S'Mores.

Let's get Caking It!



180C (170C fan)

Three 8" cake pans

Prep: 20 mins

Bake: 25 mins

Assemble: 20 mins



300g gluten free self-raising flour

120g cocoa powder

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

200g caster sugar

100g light brown sugar

200ml vegetable oil (I use sunflower)

6 medium eggs

1 tsp vanilla

100 ml boiling water with 1 tbsp instant coffee

100g sour cream

50ml milk


80ml double cream

100g dark chocolate


250g unsalted butter

600g icing sugar

250g milk cooking chocolate


Raspberry Jam

150g fresh raspberries


Method: Sponge

As usual, don't forget to wait until all the ingredients are at room temperature before starting.

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line 3 cake pans.

  2. Start with the dry ingredients. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and xanthan gum to a bowl and whisk to fully incorporate.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, sugars, and vanilla extract. Then, add the eggs one at a time, whisking with an electric whisk between each addition until slightly frothy.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a fork to incorporate. Don’t overmix but ensure that all the ingredients are fully mixed, and the batter is smooth. At this point the batter should be thick.

  5. Boil the water and add the instant coffee to it. Slowly pour it into the batter while mixing until it is glossy. This will take some welly but keep persevering because the batter will become smooth, glossy and a delicious brown shiny colour.

  6. Add the sour cream and milk to the cake batter and give it a final quick mix to incorporate.

  7. Spoon the batter evenly into the three cake pans and let sit for 20 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes. A skewer inserted into the sponge will come out clean. Place back in the over for another couple of minutes if not baked.

Method: Buttercream

This chocolate buttercream goes perfectly with the tart raspberry jam.

  1. While the sponges are cooling, make to the buttercream.

  2. Cream the butter until pale, and gradually add in the icing sugar until it is all incorporated. You can do this either with a standing mixer, an electric hand whisk, or a fork. At this point the mixture should be a little stiff.

  3. Chop the milk chocolate into small chunks and melt in 20 second increments in the microwave. Wait a few minutes to let cool slightly and then pour into the buttercream and beat until nicely incorporated.

Method: Ganache

Ganache is an easy and delicious filling for cupcakes but is often considered too difficult! Have no fear, it's a simple method with great results!

  1. Chop the dark chocolate into small chunks and place in a glass bowl.

  2. Pour the double cream into a glass jug and heat in the microwave in 30 second increments until bubbling and steaming.

  3. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes.

  4. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is fully incorporated.

  5. If there are still chunks of chocolate left then place in the microwave in 5 second increments until fully smooth and glossy.

  6. If the consistency is too thick, pour another 10ml of cream into the glass jug and heat in the microwave until bubbling and steaming, then pour into the ganache and mix until fully incorporated.


  1. Make sure the sponges are completely cool before assembling.

  2. Level your sponges with a sharp serrated knife if they have a dome.

  3. Place a little buttercream onto a cake board or plate and the first sponge on top.

  4. Spread a 1ittle of the buttercream the sponge and create a ring around the edge of the cake.

  5. Fill the middle with jam and place the other sponge on top. Repeat this process with the other layer.

  6. Place the final cake layer on top.

  7. Spread a thin layer of the buttercream across the entire cake and let it set in the fridge for an hour.

  8. Once refrigerated, cover your cake in a layer of buttercream to your desired thickness. Let sit in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

  9. Now make your ganache, the place in a piping bag with a small round tip and drip down the sides of the cake.

  10. Now you can decorate however you like! I finished mine with loads of fresh raspberries as the tart freshness goes so well with the rich chocolate.

  11. Enjoy your beautiful cake!

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