Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberries

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Yield: 24 slices

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This cake is the winner of the 2010 Great Cake Contest, sponsored in part by King Arthur Flour. It took top honors for Sharon Kurtz of Emmaus, PA, at the Great Allentown Fair. Intensely moist and fudgy, it's filled with chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries. It's a tall, very special occasion sort of cake. What better way to make the most of summer's bounty?

Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberries

star rating (40) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 slices
Published: 02/14/2011





  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, unsweetened baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tips from our bakers

  • The total weight of the cake batter is 50 ounces. To ensure your layers are all the same size, divide 50 ounces by the number of layers you're baking, and weigh the amount into each pan. For two deep 8" layers, use 25 ounces of batter in each. For three 9" layers, use 16 1/2 ounces in each pan. For four shallow 8" layers, use 12 1/2 ounces of batter in each pan.
  • Once the layers are assembled with filling and raspberries, place the cake in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 30 minutes to firm it up; this will make frosting the cake much easier, since the layers are less likely to slide around, and the crumbs from the cake layers will be set.
  • For a better-looking cake, do the final frosting in two steps. First, put a very thin layer of frosting around the sides and across the top; this is called a crumb coat. Refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes to let this layer set up, then use the remaining frosting to coat the cake once more, and pipe any decorations you want.


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1) For the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour two 8" round by 3" deep cake pans, or four 8" round pans. The recipe can also be made in three 9" pans. Sift together or whisk the dry ingredients through a strainer into a large mixing bowl. Combine the oil, buttermilk, boiling water and vanilla in a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix on medium speed for another 2 minutes or until smooth.

2) Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 50 minutes for 3" deep pans, or 28 to 33 minutes for four 8" pans, or 9" layers, until the cake just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan, and a tester inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely.

3) For the filling: Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Whisk together 1/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar with the Instant ClearJel® and add to the whipped cream. Beat until the cream has stiff peaks; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, remaining 3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until well-blended and smooth. Add the melted chocolate to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 minute, or until light and fluffy. Scrape the mixing bowl, then fold in the whipped cream and mini chocolate chips. You'll use the raspberries when you assemble the cake. Refrigerate the filling until you're ready to assemble the cake.

4) For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the shortening, butter, and salt. Sift the confectioners' sugar and cocoa through a strainer to remove any lumps, and add to the bowl alternately with the milk. Add the vanilla. Mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until fluffy.

5) To assemble the cake: Turn the cooled layers out of their pans. Split them horizontally if you've baked two deep 8" cakes; trim any domes off the tops if you've baked 4 individual layers. Place the first layer on a serving plate (line the edges with strips of waxed or parchment paper to keep the plate clean), and spread it with 1 cup of the filling. Cut 1/2 pint of raspberries in half and place them over the filling, covering its entire surface. Repeat until all the layers are stacked; place the last layer bottom-side up for a flat surface on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake, decorating with more frosting and fresh raspberries.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice, 143g Servings Per Batch: 24 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453 Calories from Fat: 225 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 64 Sodium: 300mg Total Carbohydrate: 57g Dietary Fiber: 3g Sugars: 46g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/20/2015
  • seiding from KAF Community
  • Holy smokes! This recipe came out great! I have never been able to make a from-scratch chocolate cake that I liked better than my favorite mix, but this one came out amazing. I made it for my boyfriend's birthday and he said it was the best birthday cake he's ever had. I didn't realize ahead that you needed the KA Instant ClearJel, so I dissolved a teaspoon of plain gelatin in 1/4 cup warm cream and added that to the whipped cream once it was whipped. It worked fine and the mousse was still intact when a lone piece was discovered in the back of the fridge a week later (rest of the cake was still good too). The frosting is to die for, as well and will be the only chocolate frosting I use from now on. Posted a picture of the cake on Facebook and got so many favorable comments and requests! A really great recipe.
  • star rating 03/29/2015
  • Julia from Nesconset New York
  • WOW this is a wonderful recipe for an occasion cake. Just all the elements are there eg,moist ,flavor,creamy,dense and oh so chocolatey!!! I have made this for my husband's birthday 2 years in a row and although he likes other cakes in my repertoire,now this is number one for his birthday!Thank you for sharing with us KAF.
  • star rating 03/11/2015
  • Mary Jo from Canfield, ohio
  • This recipe my look difficult but it really isn't. It does take a little time but it is well worth it. This cake goes to all friens and family celebrations by request. It is good with or without the raspberries.
  • star rating 02/14/2015
  • Jane & jack from San Jose, CA
  • Used less powdered sugar in frosting & strawberries in and on top. Delicious mouse & frosting. So rich & decedent and we just made two layers for Valentine's Day!
  • star rating 01/25/2015
  • Sharon Blair from Augusta Maine
  • Delicious cake! First time to make a four layer cake. Omitted minichips in mousse and added glazes raspberries on top. Was a big hit for the family! This is a winner recipe.
  • star rating 08/19/2014
  • Stacy from Minneapolis
  • Moist, rich, creamy frosting.......fabulous!
  • star rating 08/03/2014
  • Susan F from Upstate NY
  • This is an addition to my previous comment. I did not add the mini chips to the mousse. I prefer a smooth texture.
  • star rating 08/03/2014
  • Susan F from Upstate NY
  • I followed this recipe exactly. Baked in 4 8 inch pans. This is an excellent special occasion cake. Moist and delicious.. It isn't heavy, slices beautifully and has a wonderful presentation. Was great with my morning coffee today!
  • star rating 07/16/2014
  • Linda C from Wilmington, DE
  • I made this cake for the first time for my daughter's graduation party and it was fantastic!!! I made it a few days in advance, froze it, and thawed it in the refrigerator 24 hours before the party. I was skeptical about the number of servings (24) and it was right on the money. I froze the layers after dividing them and assembled the cake with the frozen layers the next day, wrapped it and put it back into the freezer. I did not have the instant clear gel called for in the recipe and did not realize it was only available online and at the KAF store. I researched online how to stabilize the mousse without it, and then called the KAF hotline to check with them. I used knox gelatin and followed the directions for set up before adding it to the recipe and it worked out perfectly. This was a great cake, served a large number of people, my guests loved it, and I will definitely make it again.
  • star rating 06/23/2014
  • Diane from St. Louis, MO
  • Though a bit time consuming (but not difficult), this cake is well worth the effort to make it. The cake is moist and both the frosting and mousse are delicious; not too sweet. A great choice for a special occassion.
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