Chocolate Cake + Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Last weekend our co-op celebrated housemate E’s 22nd birthday.  It was quite the event; there were balloons and streamers, take-out Indian food, a fridge filled with champagne and cheap beer.  But before all that, there were cupcakes!

Housemates M and E and the birthday gal. Also the cupcakes, lookin rad.

Back in February, my housemates baked thumbprint cookies for my birthday.  It made me feel so happy and loved, and I wanted E to feel that too.  My go-to baked good is banana muffins, but I make them approximately twice a month, so that didn’t feel very special.  Instead, I settled on these chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting.  They were so tasty, I made the recipe in cake version later in the week.

Chocolate cake, adapted from 500 Cakes by Susannah Blake — Add 2 tbsp coffee to make it chocolate espresso cake, if you’re into that.  (I am).


  • 1 1/2 sticks butter,
  • 3/4 cup sugar,
  • 3 eggs,
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  If making a cake, grease the pan.  If making cupcakes, good choice.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer until pale and fluffy.  Reflect on how lucky you are to live in a co-op that gives you access to a stand mixer.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. Sift flour, baking soda and cocoa over the top, then mix on low speed until fully combined.
  5. Bake 20- 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool completely before frosting.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting — A note here: this is the recipe I started with, but not the one I ended with.  I used frozen raspberries, and they caused the butter to cool and un-cream when I added them.  Wild improvisation followed, resulting in delicious frosting with mysterious ingredient proportions.  Mostly I just kept dumping powdered sugar in until it looked right.  This lead to more frosting than I intended, but that contributed to my decision to make a second round of cake.  All’s well that ends well??


  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2 cups butter
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar + extra in case you fuck up


  1. Using stand mixer (thank u, co-op), cream butter until it is lighter in color.
  2. Add in powdered sugar a 1/4 cup at a time, mixing on high speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla, milk and UNFROZEN raspberries.  Whisk until it looks like frosting.  If it doesn’t look right, add more powdered sugar.

2 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake + Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  1. LOVE this! The photo of the cupcakes is DIVINE. Also I love that you’re real and honest about your frosting making experience 🙂 That sort of thing is such an important dimension of baking/cooking/anything in the kitchen that gets left out of a lot of “perfect” looking posts and recipes floating around online now. THIS SHIT IS THE REAL GOOD CONTENT! xoxox


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