The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake- EVER - Jen's Kitchen

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake- EVER

I often get orders for chocolate birthday cakes, but have never been requested to make a Grey’s anatomy themed cake before.  Sometimes broken biscuit cake ones, sometimes sponge.  This time it was the youngests very belated birthday cake.  We decided on chocolate and raspberry, and i thought about a cheesecake type filling, with three layers.

Next issue was the decoration. Gone are the days of unicorns or ballet dancers.  This summer will forever be known as the “Grey’s Anatomy” summer. I love it, and she happened to watch a couple of episodes of season 13 with us after her exams were over. And that was it- she was addicted. So we got the first goodness knows how many series for her to watch. And I’ve had to re-live some of the most sob worthy story lines.  But some really good sound tracks with it.  So when it came to the cake decoration- if she couldn’t have Patrick Dempsey on the cake it had to have a Grey’s Anatomy theme. Ahem. No challenge there so.

As a note, when I put pictures up of the finished cake I was asked for a gluten free version, simply substitute the plain flour for gluten free plain flour.  Just as delicious.

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Raspberries

125g Butter, very soft

150g cocoa powder

300g plain flour

225g caster Sugar

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 large eggs

220ml of buttermilk


For the Icing:

250g mascarpone cheese, soft

200g butter, soft

500g of icing sugar



For the ganache:

250g dark chocolate drops

250ml double cream

10g Liquid Glucose (Optional)



The Cake:

Heat your oven to 160oC.  Brush three 6” sandwich tins with sunflower oil and then line the bases with greaseproof paper.

Add all the ingredients to your mixing bowl and beat on low until all is combined and you are not likely to get showered with flour if you turn it up.  Then turn it up to quite high and mix for 3 minutes.  It should get much lighter in colour.

Grey's anatomy
Chocolate cakes cooling in their tins

Measure carefully into the three tins and bake for 15-20 minutes until the skewer comes out nearly clean.  Leave in the tins to cool.

The Ganache:

Heat the cream until just boiling.  Add the chopped chocolate/ chocolate drops and leave sit for 2 minutes- without stirring.  Then slowly using a spatula and starting in the middle gradually combine the chocolate and cream.  You can add 10g of liquid glucose at this stage to give a luscious shine. Leave to cool and thicken.


Mix the butter and the icing sugar, slowly unitl combined- again you are wainting for the snow storm to pass.  Then beat the bejazus out of it for 3 minutes.  Add in the mascarpone, but slowly, until combined. If you over-whip this it tends to get runny.

Release the cakes from the tins.  When completely  cold, sandwich the cakes together with this, adding halved raspberries to each layer.  Finish with a crumb coat and stick in the freezer for ten minutes.  You should have enough icing to cover the whole cake again.  The crumb layer is just a thin layer of icing that holds the cake together in a nice shape and gives a nice base for the final layer of icing.

After the time in the freezer carefully, using your palate knife, add the last layer of buttercream icing.  When it is even and complete return to the freezer for 30 minutes.

When your ganache has started to thicken it is ready to use.  Place the cake on a wire rack over a bowl or rimmed plate.  Pour the ganache over the cold cake, turing it so that you get an even coat.  Leave to set before adding a final flourish of raspberries.  Serve with some softly whipped cream.


Grey's anatomy decorated Chocolate cake
Grey’s Anatomy decorated Chocolate cake


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