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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 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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!




  • 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


  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!


  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally, big fan of your recipes !!
    I want to make this cake for my friends birthday, but I would love to decorate it with buttercream flowers or something similar. Since the chocolate brown isn’t the nicest color for that, I was wondering if I could just use your buttercreme recipe instead. Or do you think the chocolate frosting gives it this special something?

    Thank you for all the great recipes :))

    1. Hi Tara, the chocolate frosting is definitely a great compliment to this cake, but vanilla buttercream would be delicious as well. How about using chocolate between the layers and vanilla on the outside to pipe?

  2. Absolutely delicious! I made two layers as I only had two pans, baked for 30mins. Im in love with the texture and taste. Such an easy cake to make as well. Im definitely adding this to my book and will be making it for future birthdays. It’s a cake everyone would love for sure.

    1. Hi Estephany, We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

    2. Did you use two, 9″ cake pans? If so, did you have change the amount of ingredients or did you just evenly divide the batter? I only have two 9″ cake pans and I don’t want to end up with too much batter or a gooey cake center.

  3. Hi Sally, I’m a big fan and use many of your recipes ! I was looking for a vanilla cake that I can add chocolate chip so they don’t sink at the bottom like they normally dio. And I think I might have find it, i will only omit the rasberry. My question, would the structure be strong enough (and still moist!!) for an 8″ bottom cake of a 3 tiers ?
    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Karine! We haven’t tested it, but the cake should be sturdy enough if using proper supports like dowels and boards.

  4. hi Sally,
    I am doing this recipe for my mom’s birthday. Can you use your Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting recipe instead of the milk chocolate frosting?
    Thank you!

  5. Thanks Sally, look forward to trying this. Can I use your chocolate ganache recipe for layering instead of milk chocolate frosting ?

  6. My layers only rose to less than an inch high. My baking powder is active. Any thoughts?
    I also struggle to whisk in all of the flour without little clumps left in the batter. How do I balance this without over whisking?

    1. Hi Rachel, over-mixing can cause squat, dense cakes. These aren’t very thick cakes – how’s the texture? If you find your flour is too clumpy, try sifting after measuring.

  7. Do you recommend whole milk buttermilk or low fat buttermilk? I plan to make this cake this weekend.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Rachel! Either works, we usually use low fat buttermilk.

  8. So, after a failed attempt at making this cake ( see my above comment), I made it for my mother’s birthday. Delicious!! I used the whisk attachment on my mixer instead of whisking by hand. I could tell immediately that it was going to be better. Rave reviews from all who ate it.
    I am thinking of trying it as cupcakes. What do you think?

    1. Hi Rachel, for cupcakes, bake at the same temperature for 20-22 minutes. So glad you enjoyed the cake!

  9. Do you think that this would work as a loaf cake if I cut the recipe in half and bake it longer?

    1. Hi Richard, that should work just fine. Fill your loaf pan 2/3 way and if you have any leftover batter, you can make a few cupcakes on the side. We’re unsure of the exact bake time, but keep a close eye on it and use a toothpick to test for doneness.

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