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Chocolate-Raspberry Polka Dot Cake

You'll have people requesting seconds on this tender cake. Chocolate cake layers are filled with a delightful raspberry whipped cream and silky ganache. It's all draped in a rich chocolate glaze. Then to add some whimsy, it's decorated with polka dots. —Rebekah Radewahn, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry extract
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons raspberry extract
  • 2 ounces white candy coating, melted
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate candy coating, melted
  • Blue food coloring, optional


  • Line three 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper; grease and flour the pans and paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Dissolve cocoa in boiling water; cool. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in cocoa mixture and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and water; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beating well after each addition.
  • Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For ganache, place chocolate in a small bowl. Bring cream just to a boil; pour over chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Stir in extract. Chill. Beat chocolate mixture until soft peaks form, about 15 seconds.
  • For raspberry cream, place raspberries in a food processor, cover and process until blended. Strain raspberries, reserving juice. Discard seeds. Gently fold juice into whipped cream.
  • Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup raspberry cream. Top with another cake layer; spread with half of the ganache. Repeat raspberry and ganache layers. Top with another cake layer; spread with remaining raspberry cream. Top with remaining cake layer. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
  • For glaze, in a microwave, melt chocolate, butter and corn syrup; stir until smooth. Stir in extract. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Pour over cake.
  • For garnish, in a microwave, melt candy coating in separate bowls; stir until smooth. Tint half of the white coating using blue coloring if desired. Pipe or spoon melted coating onto waxed paper in different sized circles; let stand until set. Press circles onto cake. Refrigerate cake until serving.
To Make Ahead: Cake can be made 1 day ahead.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 864 calories, 54g fat (33g saturated fat), 159mg cholesterol, 173mg sodium, 94g carbohydrate (66g sugars, 5g fiber), 8g protein.

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  • Nan_3
    Oct 17, 2014

    This cake is quite the challenge. For the raspberry cream mixture, I substituted raspberry seedless jam. Gave the flavor and kept the "cream" consistency. I too used skewers to keep the layers in place. The glaze is a thin glaze. The cake looked awful and the glaze just ran off. So I poured the glaze on top and thickened the remainder with 10x sugar. I needed an icing for the sides to hide the imperfections of the layers. Icing made it look a little better. I then took sprinkles and applied to the sides. I am a perfectionist and this cake was not one of my best cakes. The taste was good and everyone raved about it. I told them to enjoy because I will not make this again.

  • joyciej
    Apr 24, 2013

    This is not a recipe for a beginner and I'd make it again IF I really loved the person a lot, as I do my daughter-in-law. The cake took me well over an hour to prepare, but worth every minute of prep time. Everyone loved the cake. The taste was a delightful chocolate-raspberry mixture. I made the cake layers the night before and froze them. When I was ready to assemble the cake I sliced the frozen layers and assembled as written. My raspberry cream mixture turned out a little soupy and ran down the sides of the cake. I needed some long wooden skewers to hold it in place as the layers were sliding... but once assembled, I refrigerated it for about half an hour, then poured the glaze over and decorated. This cake, though a lot of work, was beautiful to look at and wonderful to taste.