Right after I made this Ruby Chocolate Buttercream recipe, I instantly thought to try it with my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I figured since ruby chocolate has predominant notes of raspberry, and raspberry and chocolate are a match made in heaven, the cake and buttercream combo would be a good fit. Well I was right (I love it when that happens!) – it was the perfect balance of berry and chocolate and such a delight to eat! You would think that the chocolate cake would overwhelm the berry notes but instead, the flavors work together in perfect harmony. And just look how pretty it is:
This cake all starts with three layers of decadent chocolate cake. This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe because it’s a one-bowl cake, aka just add all the ingredients to one bowl (in the right order of course) and it’s ready to head into the oven in about five minutes! It comes out the same every single time: rich chocolate flavor with a fluffy yet moist crumb. I use it any time I need a cake with a chocolate base.
After baking up these beautiful chocolate cake layers, I filled and frosted them with Ruby Chocolate Buttercream and the flavor combo is so dreamy! This buttercream is so silky smooth and flavored by adding melted ruby cacao. I used these Chocolove Ruby Cacao bars for the buttercream (and the ruby chocolate ganache drip, and the ruby chocolate disks on top) and absolutely love the flavor: dominant raspberry notes with a hint of chocolate that’s not too bitter or too sweet. I could eat the ruby cacao all on its own, but whipping it up into buttercream is the perfect flavor compliment to this cake! And the best part is, the incredible flavor and pretty pink color are totally natural. It’s the latest innovation in the chocolate world since the introduction of white chocolate and I am here for it!
I knew I wanted to try making the ruby cacao into ganache for a drip, and after a few attempts I discovered that the right ratio is a simple 1:1. I thought it would behave a bit more like white chocolate but it’s very much the same as working with a semi-sweet or milk chocolate. To make the ganache, I chopped the ruby cacao into bits and measured out 6 oz (about 2 bars). Then, I measured out an equal amount of heavy whipping cream (½ cup), brought it to a light boil, poured it over the ruby cacao bits, and whisked it all together. It turned out a little more brown-toned than mauve for some reason, so added a drop of Americolor Fuschia to match the rest of the cake. It was super easy to drip the cake with once it reached room temp.
To finish decorating, I melted more of the ruby cacao, tempered it, and poured it into disk shapes on wax paper. They dry firm after about 10 minutes in the refrigerator, after which you can use them however you want in your cake design! I ended up splatter painting mine with a little Americolor Bright White color gel to give it some additional intrigue and love the look so much. I stuck them right into the buttercream on top of the cake and finished everything off with some piped ruby chocolate buttercream. Use Wilton tip 4B for the stars and 1M for the rosettes if you’re into this design! However you decorate this cake, it is so SO tasty, the prettiest natural color ever, and is sure to impress any chocolate lover (especially if they’re into trying the latest innovations in the chocolate world!). Enjoy!
Ruby Chocolate Cake Recipe
One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
- 2 Cups (265g) all purpose flour
- 1 2/3 Cups (340g) white granulated sugar
- 2/3 Cup (60g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch Process)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 Cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Cup (240ml) full-fat buttermilk*, room temperature DIY recipe in the notes
- 1 Cup (240ml) hot water
Ruby Chocolate Buttercream
- 9 oz (255g) ruby cacao, chopped into small bits
- 1 1/2 Cup (339g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/4 Cup (270g) powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 Cup (80ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Ruby Chocolate Ganache
- 6 oz (170g) ruby cacao, chopped into small bits
- 1/2 Cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 drops Americolor Fuschia or pink food color gel optional
Make The Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with cooking spray and fitting the bottoms with a wax paper or parchment cake circle.
- Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and stir on low for 30 seconds to fully combine them. Add the vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk and mix on low until just combined. With the mixer still on low, add the hot (just boiled) water in a slow stream, then turn the mixer to medium and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. The batter will be very thin.
- Pour into prepared cake pans no more than 2/3 full and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Make The Ruby Chocolate Buttercream
- Add the ruby chocolate into a glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir until all the ruby chocolate is melted and there are no lumps. Alternatively, you can melt the ruby chocolate using a double boiler. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, add the powdered sugar, and mix until well combined. Scrape down the bowl and paddle, give the melted ruby chocolate a few stirs and make sure it’s not hot enough to melt the butter (if it is still too hot, wait a few minutes before adding!), then add it in. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla, heavy whipping cream, and salt and beat for another minute on medium.
Make The Ruby Chocolate Ganache
- Place the chopped ruby cacao into a glass or metal bowl and set aside. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm heavy whipping cream until it just starts to boil. I always look for small bubbles forming around the edge and a soft boil starting in the middle. When you see that it’s just starting to boil, pour it over the ruby cacao bits and let sit for about 20 seconds.
- Whisk it together until it’s uniform in consistency and there are no bits of chocolate left on your whisk. Add a drop or two of Americolor Fuschia or pink food color gel of your choice if you want (the natural ganache color turns out more beige-toned for some reason).
- Cool ganache at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache itself is close to room temperature (a little warmer may be fine depending on how thin you like your drips).
- When the chocolate cake layers have cooled completely, torte them before filling and frosting with ruby chocolate buttercream. Chill the frosted cake in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before dripping with the room temperature ruby chocolate ganache. It’s always best to do a test drip on the cake before dripping the whole thing – that way you can see whether you need to cool the ganache more or gently warm it in the microwave before committing to dripping the rest of the cake.
- After dripping the cake with ganache, place it in the refrigerator for at least five minutes to let it set. To create the design pictured, place a few tempered ruby chocolate disks on top of the cake (I splatter painted mine with Americolor Bright White). Use the remaining ruby chocolate buttercream to pipe rosettes with Wilton tip 1M and stars with Wilton tip 4B wherever you desire!
- The chocolate cake recipe can be made ahead and stored at room temperature, covered tightly in plastic wrap, for up to two days. Alternatively, you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to two months before thawing to room temperature.
- The ruby chocolate buttercream can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for one day. Alternatively, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temperature and re-whip with your stand mixer to bring it back to piping/frosting consistency.
- The ruby chocolate ganache can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it as a drip, microwave it in 10 second increments, stirring after every interval until your ganache is room temperature and uniform in consistency.
Did you make this recipe? I want to know how it went! Leave a comment below and be sure to tag @sugarandsparrowco on Instagram to show me your cake creation. I love to see my recipes out there in the world!
Terry Murray says
There is no way that 2 1/2 cups of icing sugar is the correct amount. maybe 4 1/2 cups. Is this possibly a typo?
Hi Terry, it’s not a typo. When you add the melted ruby chocolate into the butter/powdered sugar mixture and whip it for 2 minutes, it does most of the thickening that the extra powdered sugar would do. For that reason, and to keep the sweetness at a reasonable level, the powdered sugar is kept at a lower amount than I’d usually put in a buttercream recipe. And miraculously, it makes quite a lot of buttercream!
Hello there! I found your blog today, it took me about 2 and a half minutes to subscribe.
I should be working, but I am having a tough time moving away from the computer… LOVE YOUR WORK!
Thank you so much, Sally! That totally makes my day!
Great recipe – looking forward to trying it. Just wondering why you say not Dutch processed cocoa? Several other recipes I’ve read recently say the opposite.
Hi Kate! Whether to use Dutch Process or non-Dutch process depends on the type and amount of leavening agents (baking soda, baking powder) in the recipe. The beans used for Dutch Process cocoa are washed in a chemical solution that neutralizes their acidity, which ends up creating a negative reaction to recipes that call for baking soda as a leavening agent (aka the cake won’t rise). Here’s a great article about the science of all of it: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/baking-basics-dutch-process-natural-cocoa-powder/
Aleta Lentz says
Would switching to the butter and milk to vegan options change the consistency or ruin the recipe?
Hi Aleta! I’m not entirely sure how that would affect this cake recipe BUT I do have a Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe here: https://sugarandsparrow.com/vegan-chocolate-oreo-cake-recipe/ I would recommend using that instead of trying to alter this one. For the buttercream, you can certainly sub in vegan butter/milk and the consistency should be fine.
Hi I was wondering if there was such thing as ruby chocolate. Then I found one I asked my mom if I could have it for my b-day. I recently discovered Ruby chocolate proximally 1 1/12 months ago!!!! My B-day is in late November and I will turn 12! Where can I buy this EXACT cake?
Hi Alyia! Yes – ruby chocolate is amazing and so tasty! I hope you get to have a ruby chocolate cake for your birthday. I’m not sure where you can buy a cake like this (I don’t sell my cakes) but you can always try and convince a friend to make you this recipe! Hope you have the best birthday ever!
I’m making this cake for Valentine’s day. I’ve already ordered 8 bars of the same brand of chocolate. This is a beautiful cake! The stores near by only have 10 inch heart pans, is a 10 inch pan going to make the layers too thin? Thank you for your hard work, very inspiring!
Yay, Arri! Excited for you to make this cake and it’ll be so fun in a heart shaped pan! If you’re wanting more than two layers, I would double the recipe for the cake to make enough for a 10 inch heart pan (it should yield 3 to 4 layers that way depending on how thick you want the layers). Hope that helps!
Jeraldine Labrador says
Someone gave me 22 lbs of ruby chocolate because the business couldn’t use them due to the virus. I made the ganache & used it for my macaron. I’m going to use to make Milano & crinkle cookies as well. Love this cake by the way.
That’s a lot of ruby chocolate! So happy the ganache recipe worked well for your macarons and I’m excited for you to make more treats with it!
Hello your cake looks fabulous if I have 9 inch pans and wanted to still have three layers, how should I adjust the measurement of the ingredients? Thank you so much
Thanks so much, Aubrey! To make enough for three 9-inch pans, I would make 1.5x the recipe (multiply each ingredient by 1.5). Enjoy!
Great! Thank you so much for the quick feedback. I will definitely give it a go soon!!! All the best and please share more of your great ideas on ruby chocolate cake recipes in the future
What should I use to drip the ganache onto the cake? Just a spoon? Squirt bottle (think refillable ketchup bottle)?
Hi Stephany! I always just use a spoon but I know some bakers swear by the squirt bottle. Here’s the technique I use: https://sugarandsparrow.com/ganache-drip-cake-tips
How would this work with a raspberry filling between layers?
Hi Christy! A raspberry filling sounds lovely with these flavors. It would totally work!
Hi, this cake looks amazing and so does all your website! In this recipe you are using ruby cocoa to make a drip. I don’t have it but I have ruby chocolate. Would you know what the proportion would be using ruby chocolate and cream? Or is it the same thing? I would be grateful for your answer. Alex
Hi Alex! Thanks so much for the kind words about my cakes. The ruby cacao and ruby chocolate are the same thing, so go ahead and follow the recipe here for the drip. Enjoy!
Hi Whitney, do you know whether the Callebaut ruby chocolate callets are similar (chocolate ratio %) to the ruby chocolate bars used in your recipe?
Hi Nikki! The Callebaut has a little higher percentage of cocoa solids (47.5% vs 34% in the brand I used), but should still work just fine with this recipe.
The make ahead tips are so so helpful and this is a beautiful design. Looking forward to attempting to replicate! Thank you
Yay, Avni! Excited for you to make this cake!