Blackberry Chocolate Cake: three layers of dark chocolate cake, filled with blackberry mascarpone cream and frosted with a fudgy blackberry chocolate buttercream.
It’s hard to believe, but today Flour Covered Apron officially turns one year old! When I started this blog a year ago, I wasn’t sure where exactly it would take me. I just knew that I a) needed a creative outlet for my rediscovered addiction to baking, and b) wanted to connect with a larger community of passionate bakers!
I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge there have been a lot of ups and downs with my blog. It’s quite literally been the product of my blood, sweat, and tears over the past year, and while I’ve often felt proud & excited, there’ve also been many days where I’ve just felt like quitting. But looking back, it’s been an incredibly rewarding journey and I’ve learned much more than I ever expected to!
It wasn’t all that long ago that I could never imagine myself being a food blogger (or any sort of entrepreneur, photographer, recipe developer, web designer, or writer for that matter). Starting Flour Covered Apron has pushed me out of my comfort zone in a million ways and I’ve been as surprised as anyone to find myself here.
Drive, and inspiration, and a passion for baking have certainly been instrumental in keeping me going, but most of all, it’s the community I’ve gotten to connect with along the way. You all encourage, challenge, and inspire me every single day. Whether you’re a fellow baker, blogger, photographer, foodie, or just a friend… thank you for tagging along! You are simply the best!
So, to celebrate today’s anniversary, I made this blackberry chocolate cake. It’s very much inspired by a similar recipe from Fork Knife Swoon, but I made a few adaptations, including adding in a blackberry mascarpone filling.
The chocolate cake is made with my favorite dark chocolate batter, which comes out of the oven rich, moist, and chocolatey! The key is pouring hot coffee into the batter at the end. It makes all the difference in bringing out the chocolate flavor, without making the cake actually taste like coffee.
While the cakes cool, you’ll want to simmer some blackberries on the stove, along with a little bit of sugar. The syrup from the blackberry compote will be drizzled into the chocolate buttercream, while the mashed blackberries will be swirled into the mascarpone filling. For some extra texture and flavor, I did add a little bit of the mashed blackberries to the buttercream, too (optional).
And the final finishing touch? A pile of fresh blackberries on top! Simple, rustic, and naturally gorgeous.
Make sure to keep this blackberry chocolate cake refrigerated, since the filling is made up of mascarpone cheese. I recommend removing the cake from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving.
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Blackberry Chocolate Cake + Blackberry Mascarpone Filling
Three layers of dark chocolate cake, filled with blackberry mascarpone cream and frosted with a fudgy blackberry chocolate buttercream.
Dark Chocolate Cake
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/3 cup buttermilk*
- 1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup very hot coffee
- 12 ounces blackberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Blackberry Chocolate Buttercream
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar**
- 7-8 tablespoons blackberry syrup, reserved from blackberry compote (above)
Blackberry Mascarpone Cream
- 8 ounces mascarpone, softened
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons mashed blackberries, reserved from blackberry compote (above)
- 6 ounces blackberries
Dark Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 8" cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper. Then, butter and flour the pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the eggs, egg yolks, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Then, pour in the hot coffee and whisk just until combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30-34 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached). Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then turn each cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Add the blackberries and sugar to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir together and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the juices are released and the mixture is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. You can use a wooden spoon or spatula to help break down the berries as they cook.
Remove the pan from heat and press the compote through a fine mesh sieve, separating the berry syrup from the mashed blackberries. Reserve both and let cool completely.
Blackberry Chocolate Buttercream
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Reduce the mixer to low speed and gradually add the cocoa powder, then the powdered sugar, mixing until combined. Finally, add the blackberry syrup a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.*** Beat until smooth.
Blackberry Mascarpone Cream
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the softened mascarpone, powdered sugar, and heavy cream.
Carefully fold in the mashed blackberries. For a swirled pattern, do not incorporate completely.
Assembling the Cake
Once the cakes are completely cool, use a serrated knife or cake leveler to level each cake. Using a small amount of buttercream, secure the first layer to a cardboard cake board.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large, round pastry tip with the blackberry chocolate buttercream. Pipe a dam of buttercream all the way around the edge of the first layer of cake, then fill the center with blackberry mascarpone cream. Repeat with the second layer.
Finally, place the third layer on top, cut side down. Frost the top and sides of the cake as desired with the remaining buttercream, then garnish with fresh blackberries. Store finished cake in the refrigerator.
This recipe was adapted from Fork Knife Swoon.
*You can also substitute a scant 1 1/3 cup whole milk mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.
**For a sweeter filling, you may add more powdered sugar.
***If desired, you may also add a couple tablespoons of the mashed blackberries.
Love the idea of adding the smashed blackberries into the mascarpone layer! And it’s beautiful to boot 🙂
Thanks Laura! I love your work, it’s gorgeous and inspiring. 🙂
I as super as cited t try this. Maybe because it’s not blackberry season I found the blackberry flavour did not come through. ALS my marscapone layer was to runny. Next time I would try in season with fresh picked berries and onit the cream from the marscapone layer. The cake was good and moist.
After just one year, you are killing it with your blog Haley. Keep it up!! Oh btw, I am working on a collaboration about vegan desserts at the moment and it would be awesome if you wanted to be a part of it since your such an incredible baker (:
Thanks so much, Nicolas! I’d love to hear more, shoot me an email. 🙂
Thanks for sharing, love the idea of adding blackberries n mascarpone layer in chocolate cake.. just one question, do blackberries have seeds like raspberries? I love raspberries in cake but avoid using fresh ones due to the seeds. I find them annoying..
I am making a cake this weekend and would love ur view on this..
Hi there! Yes, blackberries do have seeds, similar to raspberries. For the frosting in this cake, you’ll only need the syrup from the blackberry compote, which you can strain to eliminate any seeds. To avoid seeds in the mascarpone layer, you could just use the syrup again (though you might need less cream in that case), or you could use a seedless blackberry jam, or you could even just add some extra powdered sugar to the mascarpone & just have a plain mascarpone filling.
How much longer should I bake the batter in the oven if baking in two 9 inch pans instead of three 8 inch?
Thanks Haley, appreciate your suggestion 😊
Keep baking and sharing the love ❤️
Great recipe. I made this cake for a family birthday party and it was a big hit. Please note the recipe says to add both baking soda and powder into the dry ingredient mix but does not give an amount for the powder. I added 1/4 teaspoon. Additionally adding a cup of coffee would have made my batter too thin so I added expresso powder instead. Truly yummy cake. Took me awhile to make but it was worth it.
Hi Susan, I’m so glad to hear how much you all enjoyed it! Thank you so much for pointing out the discrepancy in the ingredients and the instructions, I’ve corrected it. Glad it worked out so well with espresso powder too. I find a thin batter gives me a really nice, moist cake, but that’s a great alternative too!
Hi. Thank you for a great recipe – definedly one I am going to try 😊
I just have one question – instead of baking 3 layers in 3 separate pans, is it possible to bake them all together in one pan, and divide it in 3 afterwords?
Hi Charlotte, I hope you enjoy it! I recommend baking the cake in separate pans if you can. It would probably be too much batter for just one pan (unless you have a pretty tall one). Even then, it would require a much longer cooking time and the cake will not turn out as moist. Even if you had two pans, that would be preferable to just one.
Just came across this recipe and I have to say it’s a total stunner! I’m 6 months late but happy blog-iversary!! 😀
Thank you! 🙂
Made this today for my mother-in-law’s 87th birthday. The smile on her face when she saw it was heartwarming. Everyone raved about it all evening. The recipe came up in a search on Pinterest for a gluten free chocolate cake and it wasn’t until I was in the middle of making it that I realized that it wasn’t gluten free. Substituted a cup-for-cup gf flour and the cake was moist and amazing! The blackberry marscapone filling and buttercream set it off to perfection. Thank you so much for this recipe, it had already been requested for the next birthday in the family.
Hi Kim, that’s wonderful. I’m so glad to hear this worked out so well with the gluten-free flour substitute!!
This looks delicious. What do you think about making it into cupcakes? How would I alter the bake / bake time?
Hi Whitney, yes, you could use this recipe to make cupcakes, but it might be even easier to check out this recipe and use that cupcake recipe: https://flourcoveredapron.com/triple-berry-nutella-chocolate-cupcakes/. Then you could come back here for the filling & frosting. Good luck!
This looks amazing, I am planning to make it this weekend! The only thing is I don’t drink coffee, so do you have a recommendation for what that can be replaced with in the recipe?
Hi Keara, you could use hot water instead of coffee.
Can I use baking powder instead of baking soda?
Hi Sandra, I recommend using baking soda if possible! If you must use baking powder, you’ll need to add more of it to get the same amount of leavening. This could change the taste of the cake.
So delicious!! We made this yesterday and one of the best cakes ever!!! We are not expert bakers so it took us a bit to get everything together but it was so so so worth it!!! Not very difficult to make, even for a beginner 🙂 thanks Haley!!
Thanks Ela, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
So is there no baking powder in this recipe? I noticed a comment made but the directions didn’t change! I am making this tomorrow and I need to know ASAP! Thanks!
Hi Rachel, this recipe uses baking soda, not baking powder.
This is gorgeous and I’m excited to make it for a birthday this weekend. How long ahead of time can the cake be assembled? Thanks!
The cake can certainly be assembled the day before you plan on serving it. If you’re trying to prepare further ahead than that, I would recommend preparing & chilling the components separately (i.e. cake layers can be wrapped in plastic wrap, placed into gallon size ziploc bags, then frozen) and assembling the cake the day of or the day before. However, I would recommend making the mascarpone filling immediately before assembling the cake. Enjoy!
Could you tell me, if it matters what kind of coffee should I use? Will hot espresso work well? And also, in case blackberries do not taste that well the region I’m leaving in, do you think it would taste well with blueberries? Thank you very much!
Hi Annie, yes, you could use espresso! I would try raspberries as an alternative. But if not, I’d love to know how it turns out if you try it with blueberries.
Thank you very much! I’ll let you know in case I make it with blueberries 🙂
What altitude was this cake made at? I live at 4700 feet.
Hi Deborah, this recipe was tested at low elevation. I live in Chicago.
I first came across this recipe when I was looking for a specialty cake to make to take to a dinner party. It just sounded so good and it turns out it TASTES even better. This is a decadent, delicious, special occasion cake. The cake is incredibly moist and the as a chocolate lover myself, that chocolate, blackberry butter cream frosting is addictive! Now a few months later it is my daughter’s 29th birthday and we are basically “locked down” during a public health crisis. She was a bit down about not being able to do anything for her birthday. I pulled this recipe back out and it definitely brightened everyone’s mood. If you are looking for something special to make, this will certainly fit the bill.
Hello I’m wondering if you’ve substituted cream cheese for the mascarpone cheese. I have never seen it where I live. I live in Mexico.
I haven’t, but thought about it because I hadn’t seen it before either. But hadn’t ever looked. I think marscarpone is fluffier and lighter, less dense, than cream cheese. In California, I found it in the deli section where they have specialty cheeses and cheese/wine pairings.
I made this for my b day and loved it but i couldn’t get the black berries taste to come out or the mascarpone to stay Firm it completely clasped I didn’t know if you had any advice on what to do differently I’m Using this as my wedding cake in a few days
I made this for my b day and loved it but i couldn’t get the black berries taste to come out or the mascarpone to stay Firm it completely clasped I didn’t know if you had any advice on what to do differently I’m Using this as my wedding cake in a few days . Please help
Mixed feelings about this recipe. The cake layers are delicious and have a rich flavour.
The ratio for buttercream is off. I had to add 5tbsp of milk to loosen it up as it was too thick to even spread. I also felt like you couldn’t even taste the blackberry flavour and that the syrup may be better off added to the mascarpone instead.
Because the mascarpone mixture only has the blackberry mash, it was very “seedy”. I would omit the mash altogether next time, cut down the whipped cream and add the blackberry syrup to it instead.
This cake is my go-to chocolate cake recipe for all occasions. It can’t be beat! Sometimes I fill and frost according to this recipe and sometimes I use it as a base for other chocolate cakes. Whatever the case, it turns out incredibly every time! Thank you for this recipe which has become part of many family celebrations.
I was wondering if I could get this recipe in grams and ml? I used a converter but I checked 2 websites and got different results so not sure I got it right?
Thanks a lot 🙂