Truth be told, the three layer mini cake I made a few weeks ago on my IG was just a practice cake! This is the cake I really wanted to make, I just didn’t have the sardine tins yet! I love the oval shaped aluminum cans sardines are often packed in, but we almost never buy canned sardines–until now!
Of course, the down side to this is that we now have almost 3 pounds of sardines in our fridge! I love sardines, but we might have to freeze some of it for much later. Oh well, at least now we have a really cool, oval shaped chocolate raspberry layer cake!
The oval shape from using the tins makes this cake look bigger than it really is, I think. It also makes it a one of a kind special cake that you can make for that special someone, or for a few people. I tried to find this size of cake pan but the closest thing I could find being sold online is more of a bread pan and isn’t quite the same oval shape as these, even though it’s advertised as being oval.
Although the raspberry filling is simple to make and is really just combining two ready-made products from the store, it really helps keep the cake moist, as does the oil and yogurt in the cake recipe. The chocolate ganache also helps seal in the moisture and is made with only butter and milk mixed together instead of whipping cream, since never seem to have whipping cream on hand.
chocolate raspberry cake (one smallish oval three layer cake recipe adapted from this recipe from Tutti Dulci)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup whole milk, warm
1/3 cup Greek yogurt, room temperature
1/4 cup strong coffee, warm
raspberry filling (see below)
chocolate ganache (see below)
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease three 6” x 4” x 1” oval tins with butter, line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir with a whisk several times. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, blend together the oil and brown sugar with a whisk or electric hand held mixer. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and blend well.
In another small bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, and coffee and stir until blended.
Add about one third of the flour/cocoa mixture to the sugar/oil mixture, blending until most of the dry ingredients are moistened.
Add half of the milk/yogurt mixture to the sugar/oil mixture and blend on low until incorporated into batter.
Add about half of the remaining flour/cocoa mixture, blending again and this time scraping the sides and bottom as needed.
Add the rest of the milk/yogurt mixture and blend again. Finally add the rest of the flour/cocoa mixture and blend into the batter until smooth and consistent in color.
Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared tins and smooth out the tops of each of them. Place each of the tins on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 25 minutes until risen in the middle. Remove from heat and turn out on wire racks. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
If cakes are domed, either trim cake or gently press down on the domes when cake is right out of the oven. I forgot about pressing them down right out of the oven and had let the cakes cool, so I simply used extra plates with about 1.5 pounds of added weight on top of each cake to gently push the domes down into the cake.
To assemble cake:
Place cake on to a platter and tuck in two or three pieces of parchment paper scraps around the base of the cake to protect the platter when adding fillings and ganache to cake.
Place the first cake layer right side up and prick holes all over the top surface with a skewer. Add about one third of the raspberry filling, being careful to keep as much of it on top of the cake layer and not drizzling down the sides.
Place the second cake layer, this one upside down and also prick holes on it with a skewer before adding another third of the raspberry filling.
Add the third cake layer, also upside down and also pricking holes on the top surface before adding the rest of the raspberry filling. Place 4 skewers going through the cake from the top all the way down to the bottom to help hold it in place. If you don’t have skewers, just try to keep cake layers straightly stacked. Place the cake in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Reheat the ganache if needed by heating it up incrementally in a microwave just until it is a spreadable consistency.
Pour and spread the ganache over the cake and sides and use a small offset spatula to help spread it evenly. It’s fine if some of the raspberry filling drizzles out from between the layers and gets on the sides of the cake, simply use the offset spatula to smooth it out. Top with the remaining whole raspberries. Refrigerate again for at least an hour before serving. Is desired, dust the top of the cake with confectioners sugar before slicing and serving.
raspberry filling and topping
1/2 cup raspberry jam, seedless
5 ounces raspberries
In a small bowl, add the raspberry jam with the raspberries and blend together by stirring with a fork and smashing most of the raspberries. Set aside until ready to assemble cake.
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk
4.5 ounces all bittersweet, or combination of 1/2 bittersweet with semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
In a small bowl, add the chopped chocolate. Heat the butter with the milk until all the butter is melted and mixture is very hot, almost to a boil, then pour into the chocolate. Let sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If you make it too soon before use and chocolate has started to harden, simply reheat in short increments in a microwave oven until it has reached a spreadable pourable consistency.