Raspberry Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

A creamy, rich chocolate frosting is the perfect match for my super-moist chocolate chip cake. Throw in some raspberries and this cake will be a huge crowd pleaser.

slice of raspberry chocolate chip layer cake on a white plate with a fork

2 images of raspberry chocolate chip cake in a cake pan and layers of cake with chocolate frosting in between them and on top on a white cake stand

My raspberry chocolate chip layer cake may look intimidating, but trust me – it’s not. It will take you about 10 minutes to make the cake batter and you don’t even need a mixer!

This fancy looking cake has so much going on; you’re going to fall in love with each bite. So many flavors and textures between the buttery vanilla cake layers, the juicy raspberries, creamy chocolate frosting, and chocolate chips. It’s the kind of cake you’ll keep “tasting.”

Ok, I’ll have a small sliver. And another. And one more for good measure. You know, just to make sure you can appreciate the cake’s many flavors.

raspberries in a white bowl

The cake’s moist texture comes from buttermilk. Sometimes I use a combination of milk and yogurt if I have yogurt on hand, but this time I had a huge carton of buttermilk waiting to be used up. I do not notice a difference in the cake’s moisture if I use buttermilk or my yogurt/milk combination, so I suggest either. I note that in the recipe below.

You may use fresh or frozen raspberries in the cake batter – I used frozen.

Important: be sure to only mix the batter very, very gently because the more you mix and break up the raspberries, the redder/pinker your cake layers will be. The batter is thick enough that the mini chocolate chips and raspberries won’t sink to the bottom.

slice of raspberry chocolate chip layer cake on a white plate with a fork

You’re going to fall in love with this berrylicious chocolate chip cake! It’s the perfect dessert recipe for beginners (no mixer, simple ingredients) and it will surely impress all of your tasters.

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slice of raspberry chocolate chip layer cake on a white plate with a fork

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A creamy, rich chocolate frosting is the perfect match for my super-moist chocolate chip cake. Throw in some raspberries and this cake will surely be a show-stopper!


Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 and 1/4 cups (406g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups (480ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (155g) raspberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
  • 3/4 cup (135g) mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

Milk Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 34 cups (360-480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup (62g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 35 Tablespoons (45-75ml) heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste
  • optional: chocolate chips and raspberries for decoration

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour three 9x9x2 inch round baking pans. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Vigorously whisk in the granulated sugar, then the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until hardly any lumps remain. The batter will be very thick – try not to overmix. Fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips – be gentle; you don’t want to break the raspberries and have them bleed into the batter.
  3. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Bake for 22-24 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the cakes with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the tops from getting too brown. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
  4. Make the frosting: Cream the butter with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. This will create a nice creamy base for the frosting. Add 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar and 3/4 cup of cocoa powder. Mix on low. Add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. If your frosting is too thin, add up to 1 more cup of confectioners’ sugar. If your frosting is too thick, add up to 2 more Tablespoons of heavy cream. Taste and add salt if you prefer – I usually add about 1/4 teaspoon. Add more cocoa powder if the frosting is not chocolate-y enough. (This frosting recipe is forgiving. Add more/less of each ingredient to obtain the consistency and taste you desire.)
  5. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. Top with raspberries and/or chocolate chips for garnish if desired.
  6. Slice, serve, enjoy!

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Assemble and frost the cake the next day when you are ready to serve. Frosted cake can be frozen up to 2 months if you have room in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Honestly, it tastes much better fresh.
  2. Buttermilk: You can either use 2 cups (480ml) buttermilk OR 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) whole milk and 1/2 cup (120g) plain yogurt or sour cream. I have used both options and they both work wonderfully. It’s important to have an acidic ingredient here (the buttermilk or the yogurt/sour cream). For the whole milk + yogurt/sour cream version, you can use lower fat or nondairy milk instead of whole milk, but the cake won’t taste as moist or rich.

Keywords: raspberry chocolate chip cake, raspberry chocolate chip layer cake

51 Comments

  1. Hey Sally! Is this vanilla cake recipe the same one that is used in your cookbook (without the vanilla bean I’m guessing)?

    1. It sure is! With the addition of raspberries, chocolate chips, and the chocolate frosting. Great eye, Beth.

  2. Oh Sally! I think this may be one of the best tasting cakes I have ever made! I LOVE it! I ran into a snag with the icing (it’s birthday “season” at my house: Feb/March/April and May), and I didn’t know I only had 1 cup of icing sugar left! I had to wait until the next day to finish it because my little ones were in the tub–the wait was HARD! When we finally had it…Oh! Oh MY! I love the combination of chocolate and raspberry–and it is super moist!

    Last night after work my teenage son had a buddy over and this morning half of the cake was gone. I went over well all the way around!

    Great recipe! 5 stars and a virtual high five!

  3. Hi Sally, I’ve just made this yummy cake. Amazebobs indeed! I didn’t have any cream for the frosting so I used fat free Greek yogurt instead and it tastes amazing! Just thought I’d share. Have a great weekend! I’m making cakes as I’m watching the London Marathon x

  4. This cake looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I have a friend’s birthday coming up which I’m hosting and would love to make this cake. How far in advance can I make the cake? And can I frost the night before? Thanks!

    1. Hi Janani. The cake is truly best made on the same day. Maybe 1 day in advance (keep at room temperature and cover tightly). The frosting may be made the day before too – cover and chill overnight in the fridge.

  5. Hi Sally,

    I’ve tried out a lot of your recipes and they’ve always turned out excellent. Never failed. Thanks
    I’m planning to bake this trips layer raspberry cake for my husband’s bday next week. I was just wondering if I could make two layers instead of three as I have only two 9″ cake pans. Or could I wait for the two to bake and then bake the third one. Can the cake batter sit so long?

    1. Hi Caroleann, I suggest making the two layers and then using any extra to make cupcakes. That way you don’t have to wait for the pan to cool and can bake cupcakes right away when the cakes are finished. The cupcakes take around 20 minutes, maybe a little less.

  6. This looks delicious! Can I sub strawberries for the raspberries?

    1. Definitely! You may need to add a little emote bake time since strawberries are a little more wet than raspberries.

  7. Hey! I have a question. Instead of raspberries would i be able to use blackberries? The recipe looks amazing, but i have so many blackberries from my garden to use up. ps, this is my FAVOURITE baking blog and website, all the recipes i’ve tried have turned out incredible. xoxo~Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah! Blackberries would be just fine. Thank you for following my blog!

  8. Hi Sally. I have been following your blog ever since I found it, about a year ago. I love it and recommend it to people all the time. I especially enjoy the extensive detail you go into when describing your recipes! I like to know what I’m getting into and you always give a lot of information about why things are done in the way they are and your descriptions are entertaining too! I made this cake for a bridal shower and everyone freaked out about how good it was. I haven’t made a lot of raspberry/chocolate things and now I am in love with this combination. I found that the cake was much better when it was at room temperature. I refrigerated it the night before the shower and this did something to the consistency I didn’t like, but as it warmed up it tasted better and better…so good in fact my boyfriend requested it for his birthday today so I’m frosting up another one in just a little while. This one without chocolate chips because he doesn’t love them. Thanks again!
    -Jessica

  9. Hi, Sally! I seriously love the look of this cake, but I only have 8×8 dishes for it. Will the recipe do in 8×8 dishes? Thanks! Love your recipes, I’ve made so many.

    1. I fear the cake will overflow– 9 inch is best. How about only filling the pans halfway with batter and using any extra batter for cupcakes.

  10. Heya, my fiancé made this for my birthday (at my suggestion :D) and it was amazing! Initially I was worried it was too moist but once it was iced and being eaten it was lovely (just a little trickier to put together).

    The only change we made was to sprinkle some grated white chocolate over the top instead of chocolate chips, will definitely make again!

  11. Just wanted to report that I made this cake on the weekend and changed a couple of things with icing – this cake turned out amazingly. Such a simple recipe to put together. Absolutely delicious. Thank you.

  12. Hi Sally! I’ve made this cake before and it was delicious! I’m going to make it again for a baby shower next week but I want to make some cupcakes instead of the cake. How many cupcakes would you expect this batter to make?

    1. Hi Paula! Anywhere around 30-36. Fill the cupcake liners halfway.

  13. Hello there!!!!!… This recipe sounds awesome and I was wondering if I could use this same concept but with cranberries and white chocolate chips with a white chocolate frosting? Or maybe a white chocolate chip cake with cranberries?…. Possibilities can be endless!!

    1. Yes, that would be absolutely delicious Najia! I would love to try that sometime 🙂

  14. Hi Sally, 
    I wanted to try baking this cake in an 8 inch dome baking pan (making a half football cake for my son), should I adjust the oven temperature so it doesn’t burn the sides before the middle cooks? LooKS like a delicious raspberry cake recipe!

    1. I’d perhaps lower the temperature to 325, though I can’t say for sure since I’ve never tried it! Let me know how it goes.

  15. Hi Sally!

    This cake looks great! I am looking to bake it without the raspberries though, just a chocolate chip cake. Any pointers? Do I need to add back any moisture that the raspberries would have given to the final product?

    Thanks so much,
    Keir

    1. No changes needed, just leave them out. As simple as that!

  16. I am planning to make this for my daughter’s graduation next week. I would like a quarter sheet rectangle in three layers rather than the 9″ round. I did the math (I hope) and determined that doubling the recipe would give me enough batter for 3 quarter sheets but I’m wondering about the depth. The recipe says 2″ cake pan but in the picture it looks like the layers are shorter than 2 inches.  Are your layers typically 2 inches or are they shorter? 

    1. Hi Heather– the layers don’t rise up to the tippy top of the pan, so they are shorter than 2 inches.

  17. Hi Sally! Every single time I make one of your recipes it turns out great. I’m going to turn this into cupcakes for my birthday next week and want to bake well over a hundred. Do you suggest keeping the oven temperature the same and do you have a suggestion on baking time? I know I may need to check it more often since it’s different than the original layout of the recipe. Also would it be okay to make all the batter on Monday and then refrigerate it and bake all the cupcakes on the following day? I have to stay late after school and maanage a lacrosse game so I don’t want to stay up till like 2 am the next morning baking because I have a lacrosse game to go to Tuesday as well. Sorry this might be long but do you also think it would be okay to double the recipe batches at a time? I want to make 4x or 5x the recipe amount because it’s my senior year of high school and I want to be able to give out as many cupcakes to my friends as I can before college.
    As always thank you so much you inspire me every time I bake and I always get compliments when I ring your recipes to school 🙂 <3

    1. Hi Isabella! Here are my answers and suggestions:
      1) Same oven temperature; about 20-22 mins for cupcakes.
      2) Do not make the batter ahead of time as the baking powder will be activated once it is wet. Best to make the batter right before baking.
      3) Doubling it OK, but for best taste and texture it’s best to make separate batches. It’s so easy to over/under-mix when working with more volume of batter.

      Enjoy!

  18. Gwyneth Carmichael Mooney says:

    Hi Sally!

    Two important questions for you:

    I’d like to brown butter this recipe – can I use your method of browning, refrigerating, then softening similar to the your bb pound cake recipe – or will I be screwing up flavors by doing so?

    Also, instead of raspberries – I want to do rainbow jimmies in the batter (so keep that in mind with the bb question above).

    Finally, I’d like to make a full sheet cake for this recipe using a 16x24x3” pan. Can I simply triple the recipe and bake it in the pan, or would I need to consider layering it, etc?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Gwyneth! Happy to help!

      1) you can try using solidified browned butter for this cake. I recommend adding an extra 2 Tbsp of buttermilk, though. (Browning butter removed some of its liquid.)
      2) you can use rainbow sprinkles instead of raspberries. Would be such a fun cake with the chocolate chips and sprinkles!
      3) I’m unsure about the size pan you are interested in using. I fear tripling the recipe would be far too much for that size pan.

  19. Hi Sally,
    Can this cake be made 2 days in advance?
    Thank you.

    1. Sure can! I recommend refrigerating it.

  20. Can this be made with frozen strawberries instead?

    1. Absolutely!

  21. Hi Sally, can I leave out the raspberries and just make it a chocolate chip cake or will that mess it up? Thanks:-)

    1. Sure can!

  22. Hi Sally!
    Since butter is expensive can I use vegetable oil instead for the cake batter? Thanks!

    1. I recommend sticking with butter for this recipe. You really want a nice buttery taste!

  23. I’m getting ready to make this but I only have 2- 9” round aluminum cake pans. They’re 2.5” deep. Will this be ok?

    1. Hi Dawn, you can try, but I fear the cakes will be so thick that they won’t bake properly or evenly. You can bake two at a time, then bake the final layer when a cake pan is ready. Keep leftover batter lightly covered at room temperature.

  24. Hello Sally!!
    Instead of a 3 layer cake, how do I go about tweaking the cake ingredients to baking 2 9″ inch pans? I love your recipes and thank you!

    1. Hi Debie, For 2 of the same size layers you would need to only make 2/3 of the recipe. Or you can make the recipe as written, bake two layers and then use the rest of the batter to make some cupcakes to freeze for later 🙂

  25. Hi Sally, I love this recipe! It’s so delicious and is always a big hit! Is it possible to make this gluten free? If so, how would you do it?

    1. Hi Anna, I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour but let me know if you do!

  26. Hi Sally! In your notes you mentioned this recipe was using the base of your vanilla cake, but I noticed this uses all purpose instead of the cake flour used in your “best vanilla” cake recipe. Is there a reason for this? Is your vanilla cake more soft of a crumb? I’ve made your vanilla and loved it! Would the vanilla cake stand up to the raspberries and chocolate chips? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Debra, I used this cake a lot before I primarily began making vanilla cakes with cake flour. The vanilla cake is much lighter and fluffier than this, though this cake tastes a bit more buttery. You can certainly add chocolate chips and raspberries to the vanilla cake if you love that one!

  27. My husband loved the cake but wanted more raspberries. Can I increase the amount of raspberries without ruining the cake?

  28. Just wanted to share that I did this cake with a few changes, and it turned out great! Here’s what I changed:
    – Strawberries (fresh, chopped) instead of raspberries. Worked perfectly!
    – 8-inch round pans instead of 9-inch. The cake in the 8-in pans took about 30 min to bake in my oven. I used bake-even insulating strips and didn’t do the foil cover that the recipe mentions, and they turned out great!
    – Made 1.5x the frosting (the recipe as written makes barely enough frosting to cover the whole cake and doesn’t leave much for decorating, but 1.5x was the perfect amount for some simple decorating).
    – Made a strawberry filling to go between the layers by combining some Polaner “all fruit strawberry spread” with some of the buttercream frosting that I pulled out of my mixer before I added the cocoa powder (when making the frosting, I saved the cocoa powder to go in last so I’d have some non-chocolate buttercream to pull out for the filling first).

    A delicious cake! Thanks for the recipe!

  29. Hi Sally. Noticed you mentioned baking this the day before is the best. Is it still ok to bake and freeze the cake layers (un frosted) in advance? I’m planning to frost it the night prior my daughter’s party.

    Also I have a small oven and can only bake one layer at a time. Will the frozen raspberries melt into the batter?

    Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Liz, absolutely, you can still freeze these cake layers in advance. To be extra safe, you could wait to put the raspberries in the batter for each individual layer, just so they don’t melt too much into the batter. Hope the cake is a hit for the birthday party!

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