I’m running out of patience. I’ve long had the tradition of consuming (more like devouring) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during my hikes. It’s a staple and I have a particular preference on how I like my PB&J sandwiches: chunky Jiffy peanut butter with organic strawberry preserves (with chunks of strawberries). Apparently I’m all about the ‘chunk.’
On one my ritual runs to Costco, I thought it might be interesting to switch to a Costco sized jar of raspberry preserves – it sounded gourmet and fancy. Ahem, how does some chunky peanut butter and raspberry preserves from the Pacific Northwest sandwich sound? I said that in a French accent in my head….
But alas, the love affair with a newer, more gourmet version of PB&J was merely infatuation and I found myself pawning off PB&J sandwiches to other hikers or worse yet, squished at the bottom of my backpack.
My mission for the next few weeks? Finish off that massive jar of raspberry preserves so I can get back to the basics. I haven’t yet resorted to spooning raspberry preserves directly into my mouth but I have found that adding raspberry preserves into whipped cream or buttercream is spoon-worthy…and definitely cake or cupcake worthy.
This is a deliciously rich cake filled with chocolate, butter, more butter, and then some. I found that I could only eat thin slices at a time, but I’d be back at that fridge door like a sad puppy dog one hour later. Then there was the time I had it for breakfast, a second breakfast, an afternoon snack, pre-dinner snack, dinner, and dessert.. I think I have an addiction and the only way to get rid of it is to finish off that jar of raspberry preserves…
Devil’s Food Chocolate Layer Cake
- 1 and 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 and 3/4 cup (350 grams) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (95 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk*
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil (or canola oil, or melted coconut oil)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 ml) freshly brewed strong hot coffee
- 1/8 cup of raspberry preserves
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter – room temperature
- 4 oz (1/2 package) cream cheese – room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons raspberry jam (preferably pure fruit, no additional sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ·1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon milk or cream
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter & flour two 9 inch round cake pans, or use non-stick spray.
For the cake: Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer on high speed, mix the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the coffee. The batter will be VERY thin. This is ok.
Pour the batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My cakes took exactly 24 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with a layer of raspberry preserves and then with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake
Make a chocolate ganache and pour it over the cake. Place the cake in the fridge to let the ganache cool and harden.
Decorate with sliced berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc..) just prior to serving.
Cake stays fresh, moist, and soft at room temperature (covered) for up to 4 days. Cake may be refrigerated (covered) for up to 7 days.
For the raspberry buttercream:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until fully combined and smooth.
Add 1 cup powdered sugar and blend. Add 1 Tablespoon of raspberry jam and blend. Add vanilla and salt (only add salt if you’ve used unsalted butter)
Continue blending and add another cup of powdered sugar, and 1 Tablespoon of jam. Repeat with the last 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and remaining tablespoon of jam. I prefer to add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time and taste as I find that most buttercream frostings are too sweet.
Beat until well blended, smooth and fluffy. Slowly add 1 Tablespoon milk or cream and blend another 20 seconds or so.
Spread the frosting onto the cake layers using an offset spatula, or pipe the frosting onto the cake layers using a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
*I made this cake using 2 6-inch cake pans. I froze the 2nd cake for future use and sliced the remaining cake length into 4 layers.
*Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You may make your own buttermilk at home by measuring 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring glass. Add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) in the same measuring glass to reach 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and Brown Eyed Baker