Landscape photo of Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake (Vegan)

This Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake is a showstopper chocolate cake: two layers of rich chocolatey sponge sandwiched with raspberry buttercream and a hidden raspberry jam centre. Plus it’s vegan, easy to make and so moreish.

There is not much to love about chocolate, especially when combined with raspberry, it’s such a delicious combination. Take a look at my Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Tart and my Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies if you need convincing. This cake is such a crowd-pleaser and one that makes you go “wow” even though it’s actually really easy to make and comes together in one bowl and a few simple steps. Perfect for a little Easter baking for friends and family.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake on a marble board
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake

What makes this cake so special?

This Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake really is delicious and it went down very well at home. It’s:

  • Rich, fudgy and chocolatey
  • Tender and moist
  • Fruity and sweet (but not too sweet)
  • A lovely pink colour
  • Naturally flavoured and coloured
  • Delicious
  • Vegan and nut-free
  • Easy to make in one bowl
  • Fun to decorate with chocolate eggs

If you know you are going to love this cake already, skip ahead to the recipe card, or let’s first discuss the recipe in more detail.

A slice of cake coming out of a Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake

What ingredients do I need?

The cake is a classic chocolate cake mix:

  • Plant-based milk: any milk will be great here like oat, almond, soya or coconut (carton).
  • Lemon juice: or apple cider vinegar reacts with the milk to form a quick buttermilk that binds the batter.
  • Vegan butter: make sure this is softened in order to beat it smoothly and evenly into the batter or you could use vegan margarine instead. I have not tried this with coconut oil and would not recommend it.
  • Caster sugar: you can use white or golden caster sugar and I am sure coconut sugar will also be great. It’s not too much sugar for this sized cake to make up for the sweet frosting.
  • Applesauce or mashed banana: this adds a few different things to the cake batter. It adds moisture, sweetness and helps to bind the batter in place of eggs and extra fat.
  • Plain flour: as of yet, I have not tried this cake with gluten-free flour so if you can, I recommend plain white flour for the fluffiest texture. If using a GF flour blend, use one that you love for baking with and contains xanthan gum.
  • Cocoa powder: for the rich chocolate cake. You can use cacao powder or cocoa powder, as long as they are 100% cocoa/cacao without added sugars.
  • Raising agents: baking powder and bicarbonate of soda for the rise.
  • Salt: for the flavour.
  • Coffee: this adds a lot of rich flavour to the chocolate cake and won’t make your cake taste like coffee. You can use decaf coffee instead if you are avoiding caffeine. Or, if you do not want to use it, make sure you add the warm water on its own. I have found that adding the coffee already mixed with warm water towards the end of the batter keeps it glossy and thick for the best sponge.
  • Dark chocolate: chop this chocolate very small so that when you slice the cake, the knife doesn’t have to drag through chunks of chocolate (which makes the cake break apart more easily when slicing). I used the dark raspberry chocolate bar from Divine Chocolate for the best cake.
Half eaten Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake
A slice of Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake with a fork
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake

As for the frosting:

  • Vegan butter: make sure this is first left at room temperature for an hour or so to soften. This is important as it makes the buttercream creamier and smoother.
  • Icing sugar: no buttercream is complete without it.
  • Raspberry jam: I found that adding fresh raspberries to the buttercream is more likely to cause the buttercream so split as opposed to adding fresh raspberry jam (preferably without bits and chunks of berry inside).
  • Aquafaba or plant-based milk: this adds to the texture of the buttercream. Aquafaba results in a fluffier buttercream (like a quick Swiss-Meringue style buttercream) but milk works just as well.
  • Freeze dried raspberries: this adds a big pinch of flavour and colour to the buttercream but it is optional. You can find them in most health stores or online, too. I have mine from Koro who ship globally and one bag lasts a lifetime!
  • Dark chocolate: as above, I used a dark raspberry chocolate bar and it’s important that this chocolate is also chopped very small to create the speckle effect within the buttercream.

Finally, we have the decoration:

  • Dark chocolate eggs: these are great for creating a nest of eggs on top and any chocolate eggs or rounds will be delicious.
  • Edible shimmer glitter: dust the eggs with shimmer glitter to make differently coloured eggs. You can find this online and in baking shops.
  • Raspberry jam: more jam for inside the cake and use the same one as above for the buttercream.
  • Extra chocolate: because you can never have enough chocolate this time of year.
Lifting out a slice of Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake

How do I make this cake?

Despite the seemingly long ingredient list, the method is very easy:

  • Stir together the milk and lemon: to curdle.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar: till smooth.
  • Beat in the milky mix and applesauce: and don’t worry if it splits, this is quite normal.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and add the coffee: and whisk to a smooth thick batter.
  • Fold in the chopped chocolate: and divide between the two 6-inch cake tins.
  • Bake for 26 to 28 minutes: until an inserted skewer is almost clean (if it is totally clean the cake will be overbaked and slightly more dry).
  • Cool and make the buttercream: by beating together all the ingredients.
  • Spread some buttercream on one cake: and make a well in the centre.
  • Add on the raspberry jam: and top with the second cake.
  • Cover with the frosting: make a soft swirl pattern.
  • Paint the eggs with the shimmer glitter: and on top of the cake.
  • Add more chocolate: and allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • Take a big slice and serve the cake: to hungry guests.

Is this cake gluten-free and nut-free?

I have not yet tried the cake with gluten-free flour (Easter rush of chocolate recipes) but I imagine it would work as long as your 1:1 baking flour had xanthan gum inside. This cake does not contain nuts but check that you milk, chocolate and butter are nut-free.

How long does this cake last for?

Store this cake in a sealed container for 2-3 days in a sealed container – I like to leave it at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before eating it. You can freeze unfrosted cakes for up to 1 month and allow them to defrost at room temperature before frosting.

Half eaten slice of Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake

I love cakes, what else can I make?

I am so excited to share this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake with you and if you are looking for more cakes and bakes, how about my:

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake (Vegan)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake is a showstopper chocolate cake: two layers of rich chocolatey sponge sandwiched with raspberry buttercream and a hidden raspberry jam centre. Plus it’s vegan, easy to make and so moreish.

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 160ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 75g vegan butter, softened
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 120g applesauce (or mashed banana)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp coffee mixed with 60ml hot-warm water
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped very small
  • For the Buttercream:
  • 125g vegan butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam (smooth)
  • 2 tbsp aquafaba or plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp freeze-dried raspberry powder, optional
  • 20-30g dark chocolate, chopped very small
  • For the Decoration:
  • 12 dark chocolate eggs
  • Edible shimmer glitter
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam
  • Extra chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line two 6-inch cake tins with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the plant-based milk and lemon juice and leave for 5 minutes to curdle.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together the butter and sugar till smooth and creamy. Now add in the applesauce and the milk mix. Beat again (don’t worry if it splits).
  4. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and add the salt. Pour over the coffee and whisk to a thick, smooth batter.
  5. When almost no specks of flour remain, switch to a spatula or spoon and fold in the chopped chocolate. Do not overmix.
  6. Divide the batter between the two tins and smooth over the tops. Bake for 26-28 minutes, until springy to touch and an inserted skewer comes out almost clean (if it’s clean, the cakes are overbaked and may be drier).
  7. Cool for 10 minutes then lift out the tins to cool fully on a wire rack.
  8. If making shimmery eggs, remove the foil from the Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs. Use a splash of water with the shimmer to make a paste and brush over the eggs.
  9. Make the buttercream: beat the softened butter till creamy using a handheld or freestanding mixer. Now gradually beat in the icing sugar, raspberry jam and aquafaba or milk. Add in the freeze-dried raspberry powder and beat for 2-3 minutes until really light and fluffy. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
  10. Place one cake on a tray or plate and cover with 1/3 of the buttercream. Make a small indent in the centre of the buttercream and fill with the jam. Place the second cake on top and continue to spread the buttercream all around the edges and on the top.
  11. Decorate with the mini eggs and extra chopped chocolate. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes (to help set the buttercream and make it easier to slice).
  12. Slice ad enjoy. Leftover cake will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container in the fridge. Unfrosted cakes can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Landscape photo of Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Speckle Cake so please let me know in the comments below. if you do make this cake, I’d love to see so please tag me in them, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With choc raspberry speckle love x

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