Easter Raspberry Chocolate Birthday Cake


FOTCM Member
It is not often that a birthday falls on Easter Sunday, hence the name. Inspired by two cakes: the Gâteau fraisier (strawberry crème mousseline filled sheet cake (for the type of filling)); and the Pavé framboise (a raspberry fruit mousse filled layered sheet cake (for the raspberry part and the decoration too)); and a need to meet a liking for both raspberries and chocolate sponge cake too. That is how this cake was derived to celebrate a birthday.

This cake is made up of various cake components, known and frequently used, to arrive at the final assembled cake, which is a combination of the flavours of chocolate and raspberry. It is made using Devil’s Food Sheet Cake as the two chocolate sponge layers, a raspberry mousseline sandwiched in between, and the top of the cake is topped with a raspberry flavoured ganache. Take note that the cake is very rich.

First, Devil’s Food Sheet Cake. Sheet Cake is a flat and rectangular cake that is baked in a large, flat rectangular pan, such as a sheet pan, jelly roll pan, or baking tray. It is thinner than an English sandwich layer cake. Devil’s Food refers to the chocolate component of the sheet cake. This gluten-free version is based upon the gluten, Devils Food Sheet Cake, recipe given by Shirl Gard (shirlgard.com), that is a made like an old-fashioned mayonnaise cake. Mayonnaise cakes descend from the chocolate infused spice cakes made popular in the early 20th Century. In fact, the earliest printed recipe was made in 1927. The cake was popularised by Hellman’s to promote their mayonnaise, which during the Depression and WWII was an economic substitute for butter and milk. In fact, prior to this, cakes made with thickened dairy products were popular, and mayonnaise provided a similar consistency. The mayonnaise acts as an emulsifying oil, allowing the chocolate sheet cake to be moist, rich and tender, and at the same time avoids the taste of oiliness that often happens through using too much butter.

Layered cakes provide a means of making larger cakes, and a mousseline filling is used as it is sturdier than a mousse yet lighter than a buttercream filling. For this cake, a raspberry cream mousseline is used. The recipe is based upon the recipe for a Fruit Crème Mousseline given in Baking, (Berkeley, Ten Speed Press, 2009) by Peterson J.

The topping is a ganache. A standard ganache, also known as crème ganache, is an emulsion of just two components: chocolate and butterfat, either in the form of cream and/or butter. To take the raspberry concept further, in this case, part of the butterfat component is replaced by a raspberry purée. It is a relatively hard ganache. This raspberry ganache is based upon the recipe given in Sherry Yard’s book, The Secrets of Baking, (Houghton Mufflin Co., New York, 2003).

The suggested schedule for making this cake is to make all of the main components (Devil’s Food sheet cake, and the pastry cream part of the raspberry mousseline) on one day, or even spread over two days, and then add the butter to the pastry cream (to create the mousseline). Then, the following day, assemble the cake, make the raspberry ganache, and finally decorate the cake. All of the main components will keep either at room temperature, in a refrigerator or, most of the components in a freezer overnight. Doing it this way takes the stress out of the whole cake making process.

Ingredients: (makes a rectangular Raspberry Chocolate cake, approximately 33cm (13in) by 23cm (9in), or 30cm (12in) by 20cm (8in)). This is sufficient for approx. 8 to 10 people.
Devil’s Food Sheet Cake
Raspberry Mousseline
Raspberry Ganache
Fresh Raspberries (or Freeze Dried if fresh are not available) for decoration, if required

Day 1
For ease of making, the Devil’s Food sheet cake can be made the day before, or on the same day as the pastry cream component of the Raspberry cream mousseline.

Devil’s Food Sheet Cake
The recipe makes one rectangular sheet cake, approximately 30cm (12in) by 40cm (16in).

Gluten-free flour mix* 200g
Cocoa powder (alkalised) 60g (Dutch processed)
Baking soda/Bicarbonate of soda 1tsp
Sea Salt 1/4tsp
Gum Arabic 1tsp (or 1 1/2tsp Guar gum)
Eggs (room temperature) 110g (2 large) plus 10g egg yolk
Cane sugar 250g
Vanilla essence 3/4tsp
Mayonnaise 170g
Water (room temperature) 210g
Instant coffee 1 1/2tsp
Melted dark chocolate (72%) 115g (for glazing the bottom of the cake)

*Gluten-free flour mix: Brown rice flour 440g; Sweet rice flour 125g; Potato starch 45g; Tapioca starch 95g; Arrowroot powder 55g. Total weight: 760g

Line a half sheet pan, or baking tray (33 x 45cm (13in x 18in)) with parchment paper and lightly grease.
Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 165C (for this recipe, a convection oven, that heats fairly accurately, was used at this temperature) for 45 minutes.
Sift Gluten-free flour mix and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl (1), add the instant coffee, cocoa powder (both sifted), Gum Arabic, and salt, and then whisk to combine.
Place the eggs and egg yolk, lightly combined, in the bowl of a stand mixer (2) (or the bowl of a hand mixer) fitted with a whisk attachment and mix at low speed for about 1 minute to combine.
Gradually dribble in the cane sugar as the mixer is running, stopping and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as required. Take about 6 minutes to do this. Turn the speed up to high and continue to whip until the mixture is thick and pale in colour. This will take approximately 10 minutes. At the end, when the whisk is lifted the mixture should form a slowly dissolving ribbon.
Turn the speed down to low, add the vanilla essence and combine. Then add the mayonnaise, a spoonful at a time, and combine.
Remove the mixing bowl (2) and fold in one third of the Gluten-free flour mix with a large rubber/silicon spatula; add half of the water and combine, ensuring that all of the flour is incorporated. Repeat with another third of the Gluten-free flour mix and the other half of the water. Finally, fold in the remaining third of the Gluten-free flour mix until it is fully combined (making sure to reach all the way down to the bottom of the bowl (where the flour likes to settle)). The batter will be very thin.
Pour the batter into the prepared half sheet pan and spread the batter with an offset spatula held at a slight angle, spread the cake batter evenly over the tray with a rapid back and forth movement (‘wax-on, wax-off’) in a motion that is quick and light, making sure that the batter reaches right into the corners. Use a rubber/silicon spatula to scrape off any batter that adheres to the offset spatula.
Place the filled pan in the preheated oven and bake at 165C for approximately 25 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted into the middle of the sheet cake comes out clean, the sheet cake is starting to pull away from the sheet pan sides, and the cake springs back when lightly touched by a hand.
Let the Devil’s Food Sheet Cake cool in the pan to warm.
Place a silmat, or a sheet of parchment paper, on top of the cooled cake and carefully flip over on to the worksurface. Remove the greased parchment paper on the bottom of the cake.
Cover the Devil’s Food Sheet Cake with two layers of overlapping clingfilm. Place the cake back in the sheet pan, cover with two layers of overlapping clingfilm; then place the sheet cake in the freezer for at least 1 hour, as freezing makes it easier to cut.

Wrapped completely in at least two layers of clingfilm, the cake can be left at room temperature for up to four hours; for up to 3 days in a refrigerator, and up to 2 weeks in a freezer.

Raspberry pastry cream component
In baking terms, Mousseline is a pastry cream that has been whipped with soft butter until it is lighter and more structured. It tends to be used when the cream component of the recipe needs to stand, or hold up as a filling in a cake that is cut. A basic cream mousseline is made by adding one portion of softened butter into two portions of French pastry cream and whipping together. Raspberry cream mousseline is made by replacing the milk in the basic cream mousseline recipe with a raspberry purée.

Ingredients: (enough for 1 layer in a 30 x 20cm (12in x 8in) sheet cake, and for piping decorations on top of the cake)
Raspberry (fresh or frozen) 1000g (sufficient to yield approximately 830ml Raspberry purée)
Gluten-free Flour mix 2* 38g
Cornstarch 37g
Cane Sugar 230g
Eggs 180g (2 large egg plus 5 large egg yolks)
Butter (room temp, chopped) 660g (used at a later stage)

Cane sugar (sufficient to suit taste)
Lemon juice 1 – 2Tbsp (to temper sweetness if required)
Framboise (Raspberry brandy) 1Tbsp (or Kirsch, if Framboise is unavailable)

*Gluten-free pastry flour 2 mix: White rice flour 290g; Sweet rice flour 150g; Potato starch 75g; Tapioca starch 210g; Arrowroot powder; 35g. Total weight: 760g

Sort, wash, and prepare the raspberries, or if using frozen, let them thaw in a colander over a bowl (1), and when thawed, gently pat the raspberries dry.
Place the raspberries in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; process to a smooth puree.
Taste, and adjust sweetness with either cane sugar or lemon juice, and incorporate with a whisk.
Place a sieve over the top of a saucepan (2), and pour in the raspberry purée, using a rubber or silicon spatula to press the purée ‘liquid’ through the sieve, leaving any solids in the sieve.
In a large bowl (3) add sugar, egg, and yolks, and whisk together for at least 30 seconds (otherwise the egg yolks will burn due to the acid in the sugar), to form a smooth, lemon coloured mixture. Add Gluten-free flour mix and Cornstarch (the flour and starch are used to bind and stabilize the custard mix), and whisk to combine and produce a smooth texture.
Place the raspberry purée filled saucepan (2) over medium heat, and bring the raspberry purée to a gentle simmer, yet avoid boiling.
Turn off heat. Slowly pour half of the hot raspberry purée (saucepan 2) into the egg mixture (bowl 3) and stir constantly with a wire whisk. This is called tempering, and is a method of easing two components with widely different temperatures to cook together and prevent premature coagulation: to control the rate of protein folding and reconnecting.
Pour the resultant mixture (3) back into the saucepan (2) containing the remaining hot raspberry purée and whisk together to combine.
Turn heat back on to medium-low, for even unfolding and reconnection of the egg proteins, and stir the raspberry pastry cream mixture with a wooden spoon until it is thoroughly blended and smooth. Make sure that wooden spoon reaches everywhere - bottom, sides, and corners, so that the mixture does not burn, or curdle. Keep the spoon in constant motion. Once you sense that the mixture is slightly thick on the bottom of the saucepan (look at bottom of spoon), remove it from the heat. Once the mixture has reached 75 – 77C the egg proteins reattach and solidify. Heating above 77C will result in an ‘eggy’ taste to the custard.
Off heat, continue stirring the raspberry pastry cream mixture for a further minute, until the mixture is thick, smooth and uniform (this allows a slow and even coagulation of the eggs and will produce a creamy texture).
Return the saucepan to the heat and cook for a further 1 – 2 mins to overcome any resultant starch flavour.
Line a baking tray with clingfilm, and pour the raspberry pastry cream into this, ensuring that it is thinner than 5cm (2in) in thickness.
Allow the raspberry pastry cream to cool to room temperature. To cool quicker, cover airtight with clingfilm and place in a refrigerator to cool completely. It is cool when the bottom of the baking tray feels cold. Using a rubber, or silicon spatula roll up the raspberry pastry cream to one end of the baking tray and scoop into a bowl.
The raspberry pastry cream should be thick, creamy, and smooth, indicating that the fat, in the butter, milk, and eggs, has been properly emulsified with the water in the milk and eggs.

Day 2
The activities are involved with, adding the butter to the pastry cream (to create the raspberry cream mousseline), assembling the cake layers, making the raspberry ganache, and decorating the cake.

Adding butter to the Raspberry pastry cream to form Raspberry cream mousseline
If not already at room temperature, bring the French pastry cream up to room temperature, approximately 30 minutes. At the same time slice the butter, and bring up to room temperature. It is important that both the Pastry cream and the butter are at the same temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sliced, room temperature butter and beat at medium-high speed for at least 3 minutes, until it is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Gradually beat in the Raspberry pastry cream, at medium speed, periodically stopping and scraping down the sides. When the Raspberry pastry cream is incorporated, add any optional ingredients. Finally, beat at medium speed for 3 – 5 minutes until the Raspberry cream mousseline is light and fluffy, and the butter is fully incorporated.
Once cool, and if not using immediately, cover the surface with wax paper, or buttered parchment paper (this will ensure that the pastry cream does not form a skin). Refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reuse, beat with a spatula to ‘re-fluff’ the mousseline.
Raspberry cream mousseline cannot be frozen, as the starch and protein bonds will break down. Also, in the process of defrosting, the Raspberry cream mousseline will weep, producing moisture, resulting in a runny, rather than stiff, consistency.

The first part of the assembly consists of several stages: cutting the Devil’s Food sheet cake to size; coating the bottom layer of the Devil’s Food sheet cake with melted chocolate (optional); and cutting a matt board to size. The second part involves the base and filling assembly.

Cutting the Devil’s Food sheet cake to size:
Remove the Devil’s Food sheet cake in its pan from the freezer, then place the half sheet pan on a work surface. Unwrap the top clingfilm. As the short ends may have crept in during baking, use a long straight edge, or steel rule, as a guide to cut the ends square with a paring knife, so that the result is a perfect rectangle.
Measure the long top edge, and mark the halfway point, or centre. Repeat on the top long edge. Use the steel rule to line up the two marks, and use the edge to guide a paring knife in cutting the Devil’s Food sheet cake in half, so that there are two equal rectangles.
Lay clingfilm on the base of another half sheet pan; then place one rectangle of the Devil’s Food sheet cake on top of it, wrap the Devil’s Food sheet cake in two layers of clingfilm and place the half sheet pan back in a freezer.

Coating the bottom layer of the Devil’s Food sheet cake with chocolate (optional):
Coarsely chop 115g of dark chocolate, and place in the top bowl of a double boiler, and place over the top of a saucepan of just simmering water; then using a silicon spatula, or metal spoon, stir the mixture to just melt the chocolate.
Over one half of the Devil’s Food sheet cake, pour the melted chocolate over the exposed surface; then, working quickly, spread the chocolate evenly over the surface with a thin metal spatula.
Allow the chocolate to cool, cover with clingfilm, and then place the chocolate coated Devil’s Food sheet cake back into a freezer.

Cutting a matt board to size:
Cut a rectangle from a sheet of matt board, or cake board, that is 25mm (1in) smaller in each direction than the Devil’s Food sheet cake.

Base and filling assembly:
Remove the chocolate coated Devil’s Food sheet cake from the freezer and unwrap. Then place it, centrally, with the chocolate side (if that option is taken up) face downward, on to the cut cake board.
Uniformly spread a thin layer of Raspberry cream mousseline over the top surface of the Devil’s Food sheet cake, using a thin metal, offset spatula. This will help to stabilise the sheet cake surface.
Spread a thick layer 13mm (1/2in) the Raspberry cream mousseline over the top of thin, initial layer, going right to the edges of the sheet cake, and over (any excess can be scraped off later with a thin, metal spatula).
If there are any holes left after smoothing, just place a spoonful of Raspberry cream mousseline over each hole. Placing the next layer of Devil’s Food sheet cake on top of it will squash it smooth.
Remove the second half of the Raspberry sheet cake from the freezer and unwrap. Carefully lay it on top of the Raspberry cream mousseline filling. Ensure that each of the cake edges line up. If any Raspberry cream mousseline escapes, or squeezes out, whilst doing this, use a small metal spatula to remove the excess.
Place the filled Raspberry cake back into a freezer to firm up.

Raspberry Ganache
This a hard ganache that can be used for both icing and piping decorations.

Dark chocolate (chopped) 400g
Butter (sliced) 100g
Raspberry (fresh or frozen) 300g (sufficient to yield 150g Raspberry purée (there will enough left over to use as a coulis (sauce))

Sort, wash, and prepare the raspberries, or if using frozen, let them thaw in a colander over a bowl (1), and when thawed, gently pat the raspberries dry.
Place the raspberries in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and process to a smooth puree. In a measuring jug (2), weigh and measure the Raspberry purée to right amount, and set aside.
Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl (3) and place the bowl over a saucepan (4) of just simmering water, and melt the chocolate, stirring all of the time. Cool the melted chocolate to 38C.
Whilst the chocolate is cooling, in a small saucepan (5) melt the butter, and then allow it to cool to 38C.
When both the chocolate and butter each 38C, pour the melted and cooled chocolate (bowl 3) into the similarly cooled butter (saucepan 5). Using a silicon spatula, stir the chocolate butter mixture with a circular motion, starting in the centre and moving out to the sides of the bowl, to fully combine the chocolate and butter.
Gradually stir in the Raspberry purée (measuring jug 2) with a similar circular motion and fully combine.
Allow the ganache to cool to 30C, when it will be firm enough to spread as an icing, or cool to 25C to pipe. Note that spreading will need to be done quickly as the ganache will be solid as it reaches room temperature (approximately 21C), and, being a thin layer will cool quickly, making spreading difficult.
If the Raspberry ganache is not to be used immediately, store the ganache, tightly covered with the top surface airtight, in a refrigerator for 2 – 3 days, and reheat before using, or store in a freezer for up to two weeks.

Topping and decoration
Remove the filled Raspberry Chocolate cake from the freezer.
Using a thin, metal, offset spatula uniformly spread the Raspberry ganache evenly over the top layer of the Devil’s Food sheet cake. Ensure that the Raspberry ganache is taken right to the edge, and over.
Using a long, metal straight edge, give the Raspberry Chocolate cake a flat, level surface. If any excess Raspberry ganache goes over the edge, use a thin metal spatula to remove the excess.
Slide the Raspberry Chocolate cake onto the cut cake board.
Decorate the top of the Raspberry Chocolate cake with either piped Raspberry cream mousseline, and/or Raspberry ganache and decoratively place the fresh, or freeze-dried raspberries, as desired.
Place the finished Easter Raspberry Chocolate Birthday cake in a refrigerator for at least one hour, preferably more, to firm up the Raspberry ganache.

Refrigerate the Raspberry Chocolate cake for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Use a warm chef’s knife to cut through the cake, especially through the raspberry ganache, so that it does not crack.
It is recommended to cut all the way along the long middle of the cake, and then cut slices off perpendicular to this cut.
When a slice has been cut, slide it upright onto a serving plate. The chocolate coated base will provide stability. If desired, raspberry purée can be poured onto the slice to enhance the flavour.

The Raspberry Chocolate cake can be stored in a refrigerator, covered, for up to two days.


This photo is of a cake twice the size given in the recipe.
raspberrycake (2).jpg


Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Woooooow…. :love: I have been looking for a gluten-free cake for a while now. Since I bake a cake every week for our café in our housing project. I will definitely try this one out. Is the amount in the recipe enough for a 28cm diameter round cake?


FOTCM Member
Woooooow…. :love: I have been looking for a gluten-free cake for a while now. Since I bake a cake every week for our café in our housing project. I will definitely try this one out. Is the amount in the recipe enough for a 28cm diameter round cake?
It makes a rectangular Raspberry Chocolate cake, approximately 33cm (13in) by 23cm (9in), or 30cm (12in) by 20cm (8in)). These are half of a half sheet pan size. This is sufficient for approx. 8 to 10 people. The recipe was doubled, everything, for the cake shown in the picture.


FOTCM Member
:lol: :thup: I was chatting with a friend about a Birthday cake to be made soon and THIS was one of the favored combinations we came up with! So yay Birthday cake information field. And thanks for the recipe!
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