Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comDark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.com I’m on a cake kick, which is tough when it’s SO hot in California. I know that if I turn on the oven, our entire apartment will soon feel like the oven, so it has to be really, really worth it to bake. Of course, I always think it’s worth it. 

When I set out to make this dark chocolate raspberry cake with whole raspberries in the filling and drizzled with smooth chocolate ganache, it was at least 90 degrees outside and my apartment felt like a sauna. Unfortunately, the heat was causing me a lot of problems when I made this cake (which is now one of my favorites!) because my Italian meringue frosting kept falling apart due to the temperature in my apartment and nothing I did could fix it. Rather than wasting my time on more failed batches of too-hot buttercream, I went with a more simple frosting recipe, and I’m honestly thrilled with the turnout. 

With so many pieces, this cake takes a while to make, but in the end, I thought it was SO worth every minute of my time. I made a 6-inch cake and I probably ate half before sharing it with anyone else. Raspberry and dark chocolate are a match made in heaven, and this dark chocolate cake is moist and light with just the right amount of chocolate flavor. Here’s how to make it!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comFor the dark chocolate cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 1 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom with round pieces of parchment. This is a very large recipe and will make enough batter for 2 8-inch round pans. 

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix to combine. 

Then mix in the coffee, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs with a whisk. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing on low speed. Scrape the bowl, increase the speed to medium and mix until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter among the greased cake pans. 

Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pans. 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comFor the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen raspberries (fresh recommended)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • Dash of lemon juice (optional)
  • More fresh raspberries for filling and topping

First, make the raspberry sauce by combining the washed raspberries, granulated sugar and a little lemon juice in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until the raspberries have broken down. Once they no longer resemble raspberries and look more like a puree, strain the seeds out in a mesh strainer. Return the strained mixture to the pan and continue to simmer to remove liquid and increase the flavor for about 5 minutes. Strain again if needed and pour into a bowl to cool in the refrigerator. 

* It’s important to reduce the raspberry flavor so that you do not have to add as much sauce to the frosting and still achieve maximum flavor.

Meanwhile, beat the softened butter with a paddle attachment for about 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar in batches, scraping the bowl as you go. Add the vanilla and slowly begin adding the cooled raspberry sauce until you reach your desired flavor. Amounts will vary; avoid adding more than 1/3 cup of raspberry sauce in order to keep the frosting at the proper consistency. I only used about 3/4 of my raspberry sauce.

Note, leftover raspberry sauce will keep in the fridge for a couple days and makes a great topping for cakes and cupcakes. 

Begin assembling the cake. I spread frosting in the middle and topped with fresh raspberries before placing the next layer on my cake. Then ice the entire cake with raspberry frosting and move to the fridge. 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comDark Chocolate Raspberry Cake | www.revamperate.comFor the chocolate ganache: 

  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup 

Combine the heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan on medium heat, and place the chopped chocolate in a separate bowl. Once the mixture simmers, pour over the chocolate and whisk until completely melted and smooth. Let cool for several minutes so that the chocolate doesn’t melt your frosting. 

Remove the cake from the refrigerator, and use a spoon to drip chocolate down the sides of the cake and spread lightly on top to achieve a dripped appearance. If desired, add more raspberries on top of the ganache. 

Cut into the cake and you’ll find a sweet blend of dark chocolate and raspberry frosting with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and surprise raspberries in the middle. This quickly skyrocketed to the top of my favorite cakes list! Enjoy!

Indulge: Mini Cookie Dough Brownie Ice Cream Cake

Cookie Dough Brownie Ice Cream Cake | RevamperateCookie Dough Brownie Ice Cream Cake | RevamperateGuys, are you ready to seriously indulge right now?

Let me tell you about this miniature cookie dough ice cream brownie cake! I used mini springform pans to create little brownie cake layers with a layer of vanilla ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookie dough. Topped with the other layer of brownie cake and drizzled in chocolate ganache, you might need to share this little cake with someone. Or not. I admire the ambition! 

Brownies + cookie dough + ice cream = the best kind of cake 

Basically, it’s all of your favorite things in one tiny cake! And yes, you can totally make this recipe a little faster/easier by using store-bought ingredients like boxed brownie mix, pre-made cookie dough (although mine is eggless!) and your favorite ice cream flavor. 

For the brownie layer, I used my favorite brownie recipe and just removed the add-ins (keep them if you want them though). The smaller version of the recipe is below. 

Cookie Dough Brownie Ice Cream Cake | RevamperateFor the brownie layer:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp dark process cocoa powder 

Note, you might have leftover brownie mix to make additional layers depending on the pan size because I did. I used 4-inch springform pans and made three layers. 

Bake for 350 degrees. Spray the mini springform pans with cooking spray. 

In one bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt and set aside. 

In a small saucepan on the stove, melt the butter on low heat. Stir in the chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Pour into your mixing bowl to cool for 5 minutes.

Mix together the butter mixture, sugars, vanilla and eggs with a paddle attachment until the eggs are completely combined. Add the flour mixture in matches until a small amount of white still shows through. Stir in the white chocolate chips with a spatula and pour about 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan.

Fill pans about 3/4 full with batter. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Adjust if using a larger pan. Set aside to cool completely before removing from springform pans. 

For the cookie dough, follow this recipe for eggless cookie dough and store in the fridge for about an hour.

I used a store-bought vanilla ice cream, but you can totally make your own too! Check out my recipes for vanilla brownie ice cream or peanut butter and chocolate ice creams if you prefer. 

For the chocolate ganache: 

  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons white corn syrup

Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and corn syrup until it barely begins to simmer. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Move the refrigerator to cool quickly, but keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t solidify. 

Cookie Dough Brownie Ice Cream Cake | Revamperate Cookie Dough Brownie Ice Cream Cake | RevamperateTo assemble the cakes:

  1. Remove the ice cream from the freezer to soften to a spreadable consistency.
  2. Level the brownie layers as best you can. Place the bottom back into the springform pan. 
  3. Spread the softened ice cream on top of the brownie layer, reaching the sides. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from freezer and spread a layer of cookie dough on top, reaching the sides. Place the other half of the brownie on top (I recommend using the bottom of a layer as the top so it’s more even) and freeze for an hour or so until the ice cream is fully frozen again. 
  5. Carefully remove from springform pan and drizzle with cooled chocolate ganache. 

Before serving, let sit out for a couple minutes until ice cream is soft enough to cut through. Freeze between servings, but I highly recommend eating this fresh if possible, or at least waiting to add the chocolate ganache until serving. I found that when frozen, the chocolate ganache made the brownies too hard, so it’s best to eat freshly made or wait to add the ganache. 

Happy baking! 

Cookie Dough Brownie Ice Cream Cake | Revamperate

Strawberry Funfetti Cake

Strawberry Funfetti Cake | Revamperate Strawberry Funfetti Cake | RevamperateIn my effort to work on more layer cakes, I was really excited to try a new take on a funfetti cake by turning it into a strawberry funfetti cake! Although lighter on the strawberry flavor (since I wanted to use real strawberries, not extracts or Jello mix) the cake is very moist and perfectly sweet and tart. With layers of strawberry funfetti cake filled with strawberry French buttercream and covered in classic vanilla buttercream, this was a really fun cake to make. 

I learned to make the French buttercream in my online class by Erica Obrien. It’s actually very easy, and more foolproof than meringue buttercream. French buttercream makes a very good cake filling because it’s thinner and custard-like, but it’s not ideal for icing a cake (unlike an American buttercream or meringue buttercream). Basically, don’t be intimidated because it’s easier than you think. Personally, any dessert with French in the title intimidates me…is that weird? 

Make sure you use very fresh strawberries if possible because I find that they just taste better. If you must use frozen, you’ll still have to defrost the berries before you can puree them. Now, let’s make a cake! 

Strawberry Funfetti Cake | RevamperateFor the strawberry funfetti cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup strawberry puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 eggs  
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside. 

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with  whisk attachment, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Turn the speed to low and mix in the vegetable oil, strawberry puree, vanilla and lemon juice until just combined. Add each egg and mix. Stir in the sprinkles until just combined. 

Divide the batter among the greased pans and bake for about 25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pans before removing.

For the French buttercream filling:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 10 strawberries, purred and reduced
  • Dash of lemon juice 

First, puree approximately 10 strawberries and pour into a small saucepan. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and a dash of lemon juice. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally until the strawberries thicken. Reducing it helps remove access water and make the flavor more concentrated, which is ideal for mixing with frostings and fillings. Let cool once reduced and it appears syrupy. 

Beat the egg yolk in your mixing bowl with a paddle attachment on high speed until they’re lighter in color and resemble a pastry cream (they should no longer look like yolks). 

In a small saucepan on the stove, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium until it reaches about 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally. It should form a syrup.  

Add a little of the sugar syrup to the egg yolks, avoiding the sides of the bowl or the paddle. Beat on high speed for several seconds, stop and add more syrup. Mix again on high speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add the butter in batches while mixing on high speed until it forms a smooth but very soft filling. Pour in the cooled strawberry puree and mix to combine. If desired, you can add red or pink food coloring. 

For the icing, I used one large batch of my vanilla buttercream recipe. Then I dyed the frosting light pink and added about 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles. 

Strawberry Funfetti Cake | RevamperateTo assemble the cake, level the 6-inch layers and fill each layer with the strawberry French buttercream. Frost the outsides of the cake with the vanilla buttercream and top with swirls of buttercream and strawberries! Cut into it or move to the fridge until ready to serve (remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes-1 hour before serving so that it has time to soften. 

I will say that the one thing I wish I did differently was dye to cake. Looking at it, it’s not obvious that it’s strawberry, so when I make this again, I will definitely color the cake with some pink food coloring before baking so it looks even better when you cut into it! 

Enjoy! 

Honey Almond Cake

Honey Almond Cake | Revamperate Honey Almond Cake | RevamperateGood morning! I’ve been taking some time off lately and I think it’s paying off. We’re finally feeling settled (sort of) in our new apartment, and I’ve been using my free time to pump up my creativity again. I was starting to feel really drained and stretched in a few too many directions. That’s why I finally felt ready and excited to bake in my new kitchen! 

I’ve been practicing my layer cake skills more lately, and this honey almond cake my most successful so far. I have a hard time creating even layers and making a straight, smooth cake, but I recently started a new Craftsy class, bought Tessa Huff’s new book Layered and watched a ton of YouTube videos and they’re all really helping me get better. 

This cake shall go down in my personal hall of fame just because it was something totally out of my comfort zone that turned out really well. I can honestly say I’m so proud of this cake, and the flavors of honey and almond pair beautifully with the smooth butteriness of the swiss meringue buttercream to form a light but sweet blend of flavors. 

I’ve made swiss meringue buttercream before, but this is my best batch EVER. Shout out to the Craftsy tutorial by Erica O’Brien! It’s not the most ideal for frosting a cake (better for fillings), but it worked perfectly for me, especially because I only wanted a very light layer on the outside. The honey gave it extra sweetness without being overpowering. Personally, I find swiss meringue buttercream a little too buttery and vanilla extract alone doesn’t balance it out enough, but it’s great for adding other flavors too and it’s less sweet than my usual American buttercream recipe (which I still love). 

Anyway, enough chatter! Here’s how to make the honey almond cake!

Honey Almond Cake | Revamperate Honey Almond Cake | RevamperateFor the almond cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 

Preheat the oven 350 degrees and spray two 8-inch cake pans or 3 6-inch pans with cooking spray and set aside. 

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and fluffy (about one minute). Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix on low until it forms a crumbly mixture. 

In another bowl or a measuring cup, whisk together the milk, vanilla, almond extract and egg whites until fully combined (about one minute). Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed. Scrape the bowl and continue to mixing for about 30 seconds until batter is smooth. 

Distribute among the greased cake pans and bake for about 20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pans. 

Honey Almond Cake | Revamperate Honey Almond Cake | RevamperateFor the honey buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey

For making swiss meringue buttercream, there are two things to know before you start: all bowls and utensils should be clean and grease-free and your butter should be softened to room temperature. 

In a metal bowl over a simmering pot of water, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Whisk consistently until the sugar dissolves into the egg whites. If you see small white patches forming in the mixture, turn down the heat. Once the temperature reaches 120 degrees (check with a candy thermometer), remove from heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. 

Beat the mixture on high speed for about 5 minutes until it turns a glossy white and forms stiff peaks (just like meringue). Change out the whisk attachment for a paddle attachment and beat again on medium speed. As it mixes, add the softened butter in chunks until it is fully combined into the meringue. If it appears curdled, just keep mixing and it will likely correct itself. 

Once completely mixed, add the honey and vanilla and mix until smooth. 

Fill and frost the cooled cake with frosting. Drizzle with honey or coat with almonds, or both! The almonds are nice because they add a little crunch. I also drizzled some extra honey between the layers because the flavor is so light. 

Also, I have to give a special shoutout to Massey Honey! I bought a few of their honeys at Renegade Craft Fair in December and it’s the best. They’re a local company, and I used an orange blossom honey for this cake. So perfect!

The cake is light and smooth but absolutely delicious. Enjoy!

Yellow Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cake with Fudgey Chocolate Frosting | Revamperate Yellow Cake with Fudgey Chocolate Frosting | RevamperateSo here’s the thing with layer cakes: they’re hard. I didn’t go to pastry school and I don’t have any baking training, so over the past couple years I have attempted to teach myself how to make a good layer cake, and I’m still learning. I think I improve a little bit every time I make a cake, and I try to learn new techniques from videos or other blogs. While it’s certainly not perfect, I’m very proud of how this yellow cake with fudgy chocolate frosting came out. It’s the best layer cake I’ve made so far, and I thought making yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles with a simple star piping border would be like the ultimate birthday cake of every child’s dreams (or adults). 

I actually had to look up the real difference between yellow cake and your standard vanilla cake because other than additional eggs, I wasn’t sure if there even was a difference. So if you’re like me and wonder about these things as you go to sleep at night, the answer is just eggs. Yellow cake is essentially just vanilla cake with a couple extra egg yolks. Mystery solved. I’m not normally one to go for chocolate frosting on a vanilla cake (I’m a vanilla lover), but for some reason chocolate frosting and yellow cake just go together. This isn’t just any chocolate frosting though. This cake is covered with fudgy chocolate frosting. To give it a thicker, more rich chocolate taste, I used a combination of melted baking chocolate and cocoa powder, and it’s intense. A little bit goes a long way, and a piece of this cake will totally transport you bake to your childhood birthday parties. 

Yellow Cake with Fudgey Chocolate Frosting | Revamperate Yellow Cake with Fudgey Chocolate Frosting | RevamperateYellow cake ingredients (makes 3 8-inch rounds):

  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs + 2 yolks
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8-inch round pans with cooking spray and set aside.

In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat the softened butter until creamy, add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, beating well between each addition. Then add vanilla and mix until combined. Mix in about 1/3 of the flour mixture and alternate with buttermilk, scraping the bowl as you go, until all ingredients are well-mixed. 

Distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool on a wire rack, and when cool enough to move, remove the cake from the pans to cool completely. 

Yellow Cake with Fudgey Chocolate Frosting | Revamperate Yellow Cake with Fudgey Chocolate Frosting | RevamperateChocolate fudge frosting (frosts a 3-layer cake or 24 cupcakes):

  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp (3 fl. oz) heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

First, melt the baking chocolate either in the microwave or on the stove, and set aside to cool for several minutes. 

Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside. 

With a paddle attachment, beat the butter. Add the melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Slowly add the cocoa and sugar mixture, scraping the bowl occasionally, until completely mixed. Add vanilla and then the cream, one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. 

Yellow Cake with Fudgey Chocolate Frosting | Revamperate Yellow Cake with Fudgey Chocolate Frosting | Revamperate