When it comes to baking, I aim to please. So when my mother asked me to make a chocolate raspberry cake for Christmas this year, I was determined to make the best chocolate raspberry cake she had ever seen. At first, I was a bit resistant to the idea of a chocolate raspberry cake for Christmas, but I went for it.
This feels more like a Valentine’s Day kinda cake to me, but it turned out so delicious that I really couldn’t complain. I was a bit nervous about this one, to be honest, because it was going to be served to my extended family, and I know most of them don’t usually like my kind of cooking. By “my kind of cooking,” I mean, using real-food ingredients. And it was Christmas, so I really just wanted everyone to be happy.
Some of them really do like my kind of cooking, but many don’t. It’s kind of hit or miss. That being said, I felt some pressure. Christmas was being held at our house, and I was trying to take some of the weight off of my mom’s shoulders since she was already doing so much other cooking. Other family members were bringing a few pies, but of course we had to have a chocolate option! Plus, my dad said he would only eat a dessert if it was Paleo. He’s really caught onto this whole Paleo thing! Ha!
I have a gluten-free and vegan Dark Chocolate Fudge Pecan Cake on my blog already, but I wanted to make a chocolate cake that was a bit lighter so that the raspberry flavor would really stand out. The key to blending chocolate with fruit, in my opinion, is making something that has a rich chocolate flavor but isn’t too heavy. Otherwise, it either completely overpowers the fruit so that it’s lost altogether, or it makes the fruit taste too tart in comparison.
This cake is rich and moist without putting you in a chocolate coma, and it has a really smooth flavor that’s hard to put in words. The raspberries stand out naturally on their own, which is something I love about fruity desserts. You can really let the natural sweetness shine through.
This cake isn’t sugar-free, but it’s pretty low in sugar when you take a slice into consideration. There’s some maple syrup spread throughout the whole thing, and the rest is sweetened with either coconut sugar or Lakanto monkfruit sweetener. I personally used Lakanto to keep the cake lower on the glycemic index since I am so sensitive to sugar, and it was absolutely divine. If you’re not worried about that or don’t have Lakanto, then go for the coconut sugar!
I also love this cake because it has so many different textures and flavors. Multi-layered cakes are always extra exciting, in my opinion, especially when each layer has a different flavor. The raspberry filling in the center is the perfect complement to the soft cake and creamy frosting – everything balances each other out.
Speaking of the chocolate frosting, it has a very subtle touch of raspberry, which I really think brings the whole thing together. Yup, I blended raspberries in that frosting. One of my best decisions ever. However, you can still definitely make this cake if you don’t like raspberry. Just make it without the raspberry filling and without blending raspberries into the frosting, and voila! You’ve got a rich and creamy plain chocolate cake.
My other favorite thing about this cake? It’s a naked cake! If you don’t know what a naked cake is, it just means that the sides are left unfrosted. I am obsessed with the look of naked cakes – they’re like artwork. I love watching the filling dribble down the sides and being able to see the different layers and textures visually. I want all of my hard work on display! You don’t have to leave the cake “naked,” but I think it gives it an artsy vibe. Plus, it’s less work to frost.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that everyone in my family loved this cake. Some people even brought extras home, so I know they weren’t faking it! People kept asking what was in it, so I think they were surprised that they actually liked a “Christina” cake. And I caught quite a few of them going back for seconds, myself included.
I even surprised myself with how much I loved this cake. I never really want anything too heavy in chocolate anymore, and this was the perfect balance. The best part was… I felt great after a few slices. I think it was meant to be. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that usually any type of chocolate gives me really strange reactions. I’m usually bouncing off the walls for days, have crazy stomach pains, and enter into a major depression the next day. This time, though, nothing happened. My stomach didn’t hurt, and I didn’t notice any effects from the caffeine. I’ll call it a Christmas miracle. Or, if I’m lucky, my chocolate sensitivity is starting to go away…
If you love chocolate, I highly recommend you make this. This cake is paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and pretty low in sugar for how perfectly sweet it tastes! It’ll please even the pickiest eaters — who doesn’t love a chocolate cake?! I think the raspberries give it a romantic vibe, as well. Whoever said that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach was definitely right. It looks and tastes decadent, but it’s really easy to throw together! No fancy cooking skills required. It’s perfect for a holiday, birthday, or any other event!
Paleo Chocolate Raspberry Naked Cake with Raspberry Filling
Total Time: 1 hour
- 3 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or Lakanto monkfruit sweetener
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 cups raspberries
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
Chocolate Raspberry Frosting:
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- dash of salt
- Optional: raspberries for topping
- Preheat your oven to 350*F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with coconut oil, or line them with parchment paper.
- Mix all of the chocolate cake ingredients in a large bowl until everything is well-combined and there are no clumps. Pour half of the batter into one cake pan, and half into the other.
- Bake the cakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick / knife comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes.
- While the cakes are baking, make the raspberry filling. Add all of the raspberry filling ingredients into a food processor and process until combined. Store in the fridge until ready to put the cake together.
- Next, make the chocolate raspberry frosting. Add all of the frosting ingredients into the food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. If it’s hot out, you can store this in the fridge to firm up a bit. If it’s cold, you can leave this out until you’re ready to frost.
- Once the cakes have cooled, it’s time to frost them! Place one cake layer on a cake tray or plate, and then add a very thin layer of chocolate frosting on top. Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the chocolate layer, making sure it’s smooth. If you want it to melt over the sides, spread it to the edges and use all of the filling. If you don’t want it to spill over, leave a bit of space between the edge of the cake and the filling, and don’t use up all of the filling.
- Add the second cake layer on top of the raspberry filling. Spread the rest of the chocolate frosting on top in an even layer. You can spread some frosting on the sides, as well, or you can leave it “naked” like I did.
- If desired, add extra raspberries on top. Slice and enjoy!
If you make this cake, I would love to see your recreation and/or hear what you think! If you take a photo, be sure to tag me on Instagram! What’s your favorite type of cake?!