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
Three layers of decadent chocolate cake, filled and frosted with a silky smooth ruby chocolate buttercream to create beautiful notes of raspberry that perfectly balance the chocolate flavor. Topped with ruby chocolate ganache and featuring an all-natural mauve color palette!
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 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!
DIY Buttermilk recipe: add 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to a jar and top it with 1 Cup of whole milk. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes before using in the recipe.
Make ahead tips:
- 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!